"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Math 

At Body and Soul, Jeanne explains how you can subtract 10,000 (well, almost) from 5,000 and get 20,000. Hint - it does not involve fractions.

In other news, I can prove that 2=1. Observe:
x=y
x2=xy
x2-y2=xy-y2
(x+y)(x-y)=y(x-y)
x+y=y

But, because x=y,
y+y=y
2y=y

Ergo,
2=1

Can I have a job at the Pentagon now?

Update: Replaced lame fake exponents with proper, superscript exponents. I forgot that I know how to do that.

 

Comments:

 

Your "formula" falls apart between the fourth and the fifth lines. To get from one to the next, you must divide by (x-y). But x-y equals zero (since your assumption is that x=y), and one cannot divide by zero. So, no Pentagon job for you!
 
Aw, c'mon - you think they don't do a little dividing by zero every now and then at the Pentagon? Now who's being naive?

Congrats on spotting the trick; most people have forgotton how to factor, and get all caught up on that step without noticing the divide by zero error in the next step. Still, it seems as though you could have let it go for a little while, and let those less numerically literate than yourself twist in the wind as they tried to figure it out.
 
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