Commentary by H.G. Listiak

Email from the Happy Hipped Hawaiian

Monday 07/21/2003

Welcome to my world, where I received another one of those emails from my family friend, that happy hipped Hawaiian former hula dancer. This one charts the past, present, and future of the dreaded math class. It goes like this… teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a load of lumber for 100 dollars, his cost of production is 4-fifths of the price, or 80 dollars, what is his profit? Teaching math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of set M. The set C, the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set M. Represent the set C, as a subset of set M, and answer the following question, what is the cardinality of the set P of profits? Teaching math in 1980: a logger sells a load for 100 dollars, his cost is 80 dollars, and his profit is 20 dollars. Your assignment, underline the number 20. Teaching math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful trees, the logger makes 20 dollars, what do you think of his way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels "FEEL" as the logger cut down trees? There are no wrong answers. Teaching math in 2002: a logger sells a load of lumber for 100 dollars, his cost of production is 120 dollars, how does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is 60 dollars? And teaching math in 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por 100 dollars. La cuesta de production es? That's the end of the email, but guessing past that, the logger would have 100 spotted owls. They taste like chicken. How many would he have to sell to buy a chunk of burned wood? Good question, as I see it, I'm H.G. Listiak.