Thursday, May 2, 2013

An example of why I insist that those who comment identify themselves

Occasionally readers of this blog send me comments; and usually the writers identify themselves. My friend Steve Campisi has been the most frequent one to share his views, which often extend my thinking or offer alternative views, all of which are welcome. Contradictory thinking or opposing views are also invited.

But once in a while someone comments anonymously, and long ago I announced that these comments won't be posted. Very rarely, but on occasion, sarcastic remarks have been offered: it's a shame that these individuals won't identify themselves. And, on occasion the comment has value, but given my rule simply won't be posted. Today I received the following, regarding a post from February of this year. That post suggested that without knowing the rules, mistakes could be made and was inspired from something that had appeared on Facebook. This person offered the following:

I certainly wouldn't follow any of your 'Investment Performance' because your maths is flawed. The actual correct answer is -20.

The order of mathematical operands is:
Items in brackets or parentheses = ()
Other operands eg Indicies
[sic] etc
Division = /
Multiplication = *
Subtraction = -
and if you are faced with multiples of the same operand then you must complete them from left to right.

Thus:
0+50*1-60-60*0+10=x
0 + 50*1 - 60 - 60*0 + 10 =x
0 + 50 - 60 - 0 + 10 =x
50 - 60 - 10 =x
-10 - 10 = -20

The mathematical problem that was posed was:

0 + 50 x 1 - 60 - 60 x 0 + 10 = ???

The writer is correct in the order, but somehow flipped a sign (note what I've shown in red above).

Given the writer's wording (the use of the word "maths") and notation (the use of the single quotation (') mark rather than the double (")), I'm guessing he or she is a "Brit," though I could, of course, be mistaken. The correct answer, as revealed in the blog post, is zero.

This anonymous person made a simple error, which we are all subject to. If they hold true to their threat, they will not see this post, which is fine, but at least I get to once again state that anonymous posts won't be shown ... oh, I guess I showed this one. Darn! Well, never again!!!