The OC Young, Fun and Nerdy Meetup Message Board › $5 Critical thinking challenge for any nerd!

$5 Critical thinking challenge for any nerd!

A former member
Post #: 2
I was applying for a meet up and they asked me to tell them something interesting about myself. This is what I wrote, and thought I should share this with you guys and even give the first person who posts in my profile $5 if they can figure this out =).

The first person from one of the two meet ups I post this that post in my profile the correct answer wins, so the time is ticking!

If you are taught something and is told it works then shouldn't you in theory be able to test it out and it should hold true...Well check this out!

Being in debt means to be in the negative correct? So how does this hold true? "A negative times a negative is a positive" Doesn't that mean if you are in debt and are in the negative you should be able to multiply it by another debt which is a negative and be in theory in the positive and in no debt? In simple that means negative $2 times negative $2 should in turn if what you learn holds true to be positive $4 correct? So why doesn't it hold up if you use and apply it to real life? I mean they drill this into you at an early age and make you believe this right? The first nerd to post in my profile the answer to this critical thinking challenge I will automatically transfer $5 to your pay pal account!
  P.
PhotoJoe
Bellflower, CA
Post #: 1,081
Being in debt means to be in the negative correct?
No, not correct. The practice of using negative numbers in accounting to represent a debt is probably the source of the confusion here.


Multiplying a debt by a negative number means changing the direction of the debt that is owed (as well as the magnitude if the multiplicand is any negative number other than -1). That means a debt owed to Alice by Bob of x unit of monetary value is turned into a debt owed to Bob by Alice. To use an example of a debt of $2 owed to Alice by Bob, if we were to multiply that by -2, the debt would now be $4 owed to Bob by Alice. Finally, debt isn't actually a negative number. It's a positive value that one party owes to another.



To rephrase in case the above wasn't clear:

Debt is best represented as a euclidean vector (a thing that has a magnitude and direction) In a debt of $2 owed by Alice to Bob the $2 is the magnitude and the direction is from Alice to Bob. To multiply the vector that describes the debt by a positive number one changes the magnitude, or more specifically the value owed. To multiply the vector that describes the debt by a negative number one is changing the direction of the debt (and if the multiplicand is a negative number <> -1 one also changes the magnitude.) The correct simplified notation for vectors is always a direction linked with a positive magnitude. A debt, as represented by a vector, is never negative. It can be nul($0 magnitude or have no direction) but it can not be properly noted as a negative.

Also, your hypothetical example is flawed. You're multiplying $2 of debt by -$2, and your answer is not in the unit of $^2.

If you find this suitable it should be noted that I don't have a paypal account. I would instead ask you to direct the $5 to Autism Speaks.
A former member
Post #: 4
It's very clear. To spend $2 means -$2 no matter how you look at it. So if you physically pull $2 from your pocket and spend it that means you are left with -$2 period from your pocket! YOu walk into another store and spend another $2. That means another -$2 from your pocket. So -$2 x -$2 = -$4 anyhow you look at it. I am looking for one specific answer.

I understand using the word debt itself isn't clear, but realistically debt does mean you are in the negative! Say you go buy something and they ring it up, before you actually pay and they give you a number that really in terms a debt since you haven't really paid for it yet right? Once you pay for it then its no longer a debt


If you come up with the answer please post it in my profile so I know you were the first to come up with the answer. This really isn't rocket science=). It's very simple!
A former member
Post #: 7
ANSWERED and CLOSED!
Just Call Me K.
xengren
Orange, CA
Post #: 32
It's very clear. To spend $2 means -$2 no matter how you look at it. So if you physically pull $2 from your pocket and spend it that means you are left with -$2 period from your pocket! YOu walk into another store and spend another $2. That means another -$2 from your pocket. So -$2 x -$2 = -$4 anyhow you look at it. I am looking for one specific answer.
Bad elementary math. You're using the wrong operator. If you spend $2 twice, you are really performing -$2 + -$2 = -$4. Another way to look at it, is 2 x (-$2) = -$4. -$2 x -$2 is actually $$4. You can already tell it is wrong because the units change from $ to $$...which doesn't exist.
A former member
Post #: 9
I never said anything about Math. I just threw numbers and signs in as distractors. I used the #2 to confuse knowing if you add or multiply the #2 you get the #4. I noted in the title the whole time that this is critical thinking. So that really itself means English even though some Math applies. It's fair game!

I already knew this was just a bunch of BS, I just put it together in words that sounded logical.
  P.
PhotoJoe
Bellflower, CA
Post #: 1,082
So if you physically pull $2 from your pocket and spend it that means you are left with -$2 period from your pocket!
Ah, I'm sorry sir, but that's not how it works.

If you had $2 or more (Call that X$) in your pocket to give to another party then you are X-2$ after the first exchange and X-4$ after the second. As long as the value of X was higher than the number of dollars you pulled out of your pocket you have not gone into debt.

Let's change this to make it IOUs you are passing out. You do not have $-2 dollars after passing out an IOU. We can either pedantically view this as physical items (of which there can not be a negative number of) or as abstract representations of units of value. Let's assume the later because if it's the former there's nothing else to discuss.

First let's view those IOUs in the context of someone who is in possession of actual dollars as well: If I hold, say, $20 in currency and coinage, and issue $4 in IOUs, I am in debt to those holding the IOUs the value of those $4. That does not mean I now have $16.

I'll have to finish this another time...my youngest child is waking from her nap and will angrily chew her way out of the crib shortly. I'd like to avoid that so I'm off to make lunch for her.
Just Call Me K.
xengren
Orange, CA
Post #: 34
I never said anything about Math. I just threw numbers and signs in as distractors. I used the #2 to confuse knowing if you add or multiply the #2 you get the #4. I noted in the title the whole time that this is critical thinking. So that really itself means English even though some Math applies. It's fair game!

I already knew this was just a bunch of BS, I just put it together in words that sounded logical.
No offense, but I think you are confusing Critical Thinking with Fallacy. The words don't seem logical at all. Sorry.
A former member
Post #: 10
Look at it anyway you want. I clearly wrote it out -$2 "(x)" -$2 = -$4. If you just look at the sign I used you know this can't hold. You "add" debts together. I gave hints that this was all bogus. It's all how you look at it! To say someone is in debt can mean anything. If you tell someone to calculate how much they have left if they paid off $15 of debt from $100. Doesn't that mean $100 (-) $15 or it could mean -15 (+) 100. All I was looking for was the key word "Addition". Any other number other then #2 people would have caught on!
A former member
Post #: 11
I apologize. I'll leave this meet up immediately. Most people would laugh at this!
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