Friday, December 7, 2007


Incredible decision made the other day on the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" show. The contestant had the question, "How many wheels would you have if you had 3 unicycles, 2 bicycles, and 3 tricycles?" He almost immediately asked the audience! He didn't even seem to try to puzzle it out himself first!

This is even more incredible when you realize he didn't have to come up with the answer himself. All he had to do was pick out the right one from the 4 choices given. I think this illustrates the epidemic of innumeracy we face in the U.S. People need a basic understanding of math in order to carry out their day-to-day affairs. And yet, all too often peoples' eyes just glaze over whenever they are faced with anything involving numbers.

I think we need to develop a way of measuring innumeracy. We could then report innumeracy rates for each country, just like we now have illiteracy rates for each country. One is just as important as the other!


Today's quote is again from Bill Maher's "New Rules": "If everybody was wrong about the weapons of mass destruction, then somebody has to say 'my bad'. When Clinton was in the White House, we investigated his business partners, his wife's business partners, the guy who was governor after him, the girls who did him, his travel agents, and the guy who cut his hair. For some reason the two words this president just can't seem to say are "sorry" and
nuclear". Something is terribly wrong when the only person who's been fired over terrorism is me."

NOTE: Maher is being literally true here. After 9/11 he was fired for saying that "cowardly" is not the correct adjective to use to describe the 9/11 terrorists. Just shows how dangerous it is to speak the truth in this country.


Philip Weaver said...

I told Erinne "My dad thinks we should report innumeracy rates like we do illiteracy rates".

Erinne responded "What, you mean totally inaccurately?"

Erinne's seminar paper at Bethel was on Women's illiteracy in America.

chessart said...

Wow, I didn't know this about Erinne's paper. Sounds like an interesting topic! Is her point that there are more illiterate women than is being reported?