Posts Tagged: Math

What's Behind This Totally Nonexistent Epidemic Of Banker Suicides?

The New York Post is doubling down on a truly grim tabloid story: "What’s behind epidemic of financial industry deaths?" This is a follow-up on last week's… identical story, which was a follow-up to two previous stories, all by the same author, in which "a rash of eight financial-industry suicides so far in 2014" have "baffled" mental health professionals.

But back in the real world, actually the rate of suicide in people "35–64 years increased 28.4%" from 1999 to 2010, according to the CDC. The suicide rate among whites in America increased 40% in that period. In New York City, there are approximately 475 [...]


You're Popular

The median Twitter account has exactly one follower.

— Jon Bruner (@JonBruner) December 18, 2013

"In comparative terms, almost nobody on Twitter is somebody: the median Twitter account has a single follower. Among the much smaller subset of accounts that have posted in the last 30 days, the median account has just 61 followers. If you’ve got a thousand followers, you’re at the 96th percentile of active Twitter users."

Look at you! You're so pretty and everyone likes you!


Take A Minute To Thank God That You Don't Have To Go To Math Class Anymore

"An article on Thursday about efforts to help students improve reading and math skills omitted some skills that students in a math class needed to correctly add three fractions. They needed to find the least common multiple of the denominators, rewrite each number as an equivalent fraction, add the numerators, find the greatest common factor, then reduce the final answer — not just find the greatest common factor and reduce. The article also misstated, in some editions, the percentages of children who scored at a proficient or advanced level in math and reading after attending a school in the Uncommon Schools network for two years. Eighty-six percent, not 90 [...]


And The Winner Of The Awl 2012 Electoral College Pool Is…

In order to become a wizard, you must first apprentice to a wizard, and the acolytes who followed Nate Silver's lead did very well in The Awl's first quadrennial electoral college pool. Out of 160 entries received, 9 of you predicted the map exactly. (That's right: we're calling Florida for Obama. I mean, it's Friday.) This means that 5.6% of this website's readers have documented psychic powers. You can't argue with that. It's math.

Of the people who predicted the map exactly, 78% overestimated Obama's popular vote total by several million votes, reflecting a wildly inflated expectation for voter turnout. The remaining 22% didn't guess Obama's popular vote at [...]


How Much Can You Expect As A Return On That $2 Powerball Ticket?

As has been widely advertised, the jackpot for tonight's Powerball drawing is $250 million. Later today, I'll head out to a store in my Chicago neighborhood to buy a $2 ticket, then spend the rest of the day as I always do before a drawing, daydreaming about what I would do with all that money: A house across the street from Lambeau Field (perhaps attainable without winning the lottery), villas on the beach, bottles of Pappy van Winkle 23-year. The works. Top shelf everything. Living easy.

While I know that my odds of actually winning the jackpot—1 in 175,223,510 to be exact—are essentially zero, I never bothered to [...]


The Size of a Human Rolled Into a Sphere

"If an average-sized human body were rolled into a sphere, how big would that sphere be?"


Let's Do the Math on 'The Beached White Male'

Not just two white men are without jobs, though they're the nice anecdotal evidence for the cover of Newsweek, which announced "The Beached White Male." Oh, you do not say: "Through the first quarter of 2011, nearly 600,000 college-educated white men ages 35 to 64 were unemployed." Oh but wait, do not make fun: "It might be tempting to snark at these former fat cats suffering lean times. But when Beached White Males suffer, so do their wives and children." (There are about 52 million married white men in the U.S., by the way.) But it's still safe to say this thesis doesn't have anything to do with [...]


To Be Good At Math, Electrocute Your Brain

"In a lab in Oxford University's experimental psychology department, researcher Roi Cohen Kadosh is testing an intriguing treatment: He is sending low-dose electric current through the brains of adults and children as young as 8 to make them better at math. A relatively new brain-stimulation technique called transcranial electrical stimulation may help people learn and improve their understanding of math concepts."


Why Are We So Terrible At Contacting Aliens?

In Stanislaw Lem's 1968 novel His Master's Voice, a message bubbles up from an underground fringe community that comes to be regarded as a message from an alien civilization.

A group of scientists are secretly assembled by the United States government to crack the message. For the most part, they fail. They run through some math, come up with a genome, use it to pop out a useless goop that can sort of kind of teleport things with absolutely no precision, and continue to search for meaning in the message. They fail.

The book served as a sort of treatise on the problem of communication with an extraterrestrial society. Such [...]


How Much Less Money Is The 'New York Times' Really Making Now?

Let's just do facts, right? (Footnoted with sources; otherwise from NYT Co. self-report.)

Total Q1 revenue this year: $475.4 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2012: $499.4 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2011: $566.5 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2010: $587.9 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2009: $609.0 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2008: $747.9 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2007: approx $740 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2006: $832 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2005: $806 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2004: $773.8 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2003: $783.7 million.*


Science Discovers Why People Hate Nate Silver

"The anticipation of doing math problems lights up pain networks in the brain for people with high levels of math anxiety, according to a new study."


Trenne Is The Jonathan Richman Of Pastas

"It’s a mirror universe where everything is pliant and groovy, and in that universe there’s someone that stands out, and it’s the boring-looking trenne with its sharp edges.” —Architect George L. Legendre, who along with his partner, Marco Guarnieri, has made an art book called Pasta by Design, which presents mathematical equations detailing the shapes of 92 different types of pasta, along with pictures and suggestions for accompanying sauces. That is a ridiculous and fun-sounding project. I wonder which pasta Legendre would say is the most pliant and groovy in the mirror noodle universe? Who is the Papa John Philips, the Jimi Hendrix of pastas? Maybe [...]


Blame Your Parents If You're Bad At Math

"People who are bad at maths were probably born that way, according to groundbreaking new research. The study found the ability to work with numbers may be something that is entirely pre-destined - you either have it or you don't."


Do Extended Unemployment Benefits Increase Unemployment? No.

Goldman Sachs released a report today Wednesday for its clients about unemployment, and finds that extension of unemployment benefits in a recession does not actually make workers lazy and unwilling to work.


What Happened To The Jobs?

Why is the unemployment rate staying relatively level (actually, a little bit "down") at 6.7%? That's because there is a shrinking pool of people who consider themselves workers. Almost 100 million Americans aren't in the workforce.

People Not In Labor Force Soar To Record 91.8 Million; Participation Rate Plunges To 1978 Levels

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 10, 2014

And who's in the labor force but not working? Well, one way to slice that is by education level. (You can also slice it by race, which provides equally disturbing numbers.)

Unemployment by education: No HS diploma (9.8%), high school graduates (7.1%), some college (6.1%), college or more [...]


Mayor Mike's Legacy: What *Really* Happened To Affordable Housing In New York City

Largely today's New Yorker profile of Mike Bloomberg makes me remember there are lots of things we're going to miss about the lil' Bostonian billionaire that could! In particular, the attitude, and also the humongous amount of money he's dumped into various institutions and projects in the city. We're also going to miss him when we forget in a couple years that he's largely to blame for the forthcoming budget crisis. But.

“No one has done more to help the poor than we have.” The city, he insisted, “created three hundred and fifty thousand jobs in tourism. These are entry-level jobs.” In his twelve years as mayor, it built [...]


Britons Having Difficulty Tallying Up The Number Of People They've Stabbed

"One in four adults has the maths skills of a nine-year-old or worse and struggles with the most basic everyday sums. According to a shock report, more than eight million adults in England are considered to lack even basic numeracy." Hahahaha, England! 1 in 4 adults! That's like 50% or something!


Now Nate Silver Is Just Laughing At You

.@joenbc: If you think it's a toss-up, let's bet. If Obama wins, you donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross. If Romney wins, I do. Deal?

— Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) November 1, 2012

The Nate Silver Wars are still going—but it's embarrassing to even refer to it as a proper battle, since the weirdo pundits who think he's a LIBERAL MOUTHPIECE are too busy breathing through their own mouths to be understood. If you were busy "being without power" or "helping out your neighbors" or otherwise having a life and/or suffering in the hurricane, perhaps you missed the most hilarious intellectual breakdown of the election yet. [...]


Math Not Actually Hard, Girls Just Faking: Study

Bad news, ladies: Now you have no excuse for being bad at math.


Paul Ryan WineGate Shows He Has a Hard Time with Basic Math

Big night out last week for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan! The three men were spotted ordering the $700 worth of wine at Bistro Bis on Capitol Hill by an associate professor of business at Rutgers University named Susan Feinberg. After dining in the same restaurant with her husband, Feinberg confronted Ryan and his pals about the high-end wine. The exchange became contentious. Ryan professed not to know the price of the wine, and one of his buddies responded to Feinberg's chastisement by loudly saying, "Fuck her."

He has fun friends! The mouthy one is Cliff Asness, who runs a hedge fun and used to work at Goldman Sachs [...]