# What are the chances of solving this problem.

• ## 41% isn't an option....

This site makes me hate math.

• What are the chances that the people that came up with that website don't understand Mathematics?

• There seems to be a NodeBB bug, I'm TL3 and can't move this to Sidebar WTF where it belongs.

• Actually it's correct. Despite the fact that we write it 100%, the actual value is 1.0. And...

``sqrt(1) == 1``

• @CoyneTheDup If the question were `sqrt(100%) = ?`, then yes it's correct.

But look at the top.

What are the chances of solving this problem?
[image]
sqrt(100%)

Seriously?

Like, chances as a society? That's 100%, because we solved it.
Chances that any individual? Not enough information.
Chances that any individual that's visited the site and attempted the problem at this site? 41%.

`Insufficient Information`

• @CoyneTheDup If the question were `sqrt(100%) = ?`, then yes it's correct.

But look at the top.

What are the chances of solving this problem?
[image]
sqrt(100%)

Seriously?

Chances that any individual that's visited the site and attempted the problem at this site? 41%.

`Insufficient Information`

Oh. Okay, I accept a .

• I had a teacher that would pull this kind of bullshit:

What is the fourth word of this sentence:

When it is midnight in New York, what time is it in Los Angeles?

A) 9 PM
B­) midnight
C) 3 AM

Most people wouldn't read the question at the top and just answer the question at the bottom.

• @NedFodder Of course the real answer is `false` because "what" isn't the fourth word of that sentence.

• @xaade Is the image somehow relevant? Or is the problem just the square root of 1?

• @NedFodder Wouldn't the answer be "fourth"

• Wouldn't the answer be "fourth"

No, because there’s a colon at the end of “What is the fourth word of this sentence:” and that means the word “this” in it refers to what comes after the colon. Had there been any other punctuation instead, you’d be correct.

• @Gurth @xaade This was in junior high school, over 25 years ago FFS! I don't remember the exact punctuation or even the real question.

• @xaade ...not sure I get what the issue is here. `sqrt(100%)` is 100%. Is the issue that only 41% of people got it correct? Because I can definitely see how a lot of people would've thought it was 10%.

But look at the top.

What are the chances of solving this problem?

...ohhhhhhhhhh. You're reading it as one of those bullshit trick questions. Well, it's not. It's just a math problem. And the question at the top was speculating that a lot of people will get it wrong. It was a rhetorical question; that means you aren't supposed to answer it.

• Can't the result of a square root be +/-? So 100% is an answer, but it's not the answer. `Insufficient Information` could also be valid.

PS - yes, i got the joke.

• @Gurth

This is why bullshit questions are bullshit.

The number of interpretations make the questions ambiguous.

• Can't the result of a square root be +/-? So 100% is an answer, but it's not the answer. `Insufficient Information` could also be valid.

PS - yes, i got the joke.

I think probability cannot be negative?

• Can't the result of a square root be +/-? So 100% is an answer, but it's not the answer. `Insufficient Information` could also be valid.

PS - yes, i got the joke.

...percents are always positive. I mean, what would it even mean if you had -10% of something?

• ...percents are always positive. I mean, what would it even mean if you had -10% of something?

What would it mean if you had negative dollars? If you can grasp that concept, it should be fairly easy to understand negative percentages...

• ...percents are always positive.

No. If you're talking about the percentage increase of some quantity yet the value actually decreased, a negative percentage is entirely cromulent.

• The number of interpretations make the questions ambiguous.

And that’s why fun for all can be had with them!

• ...percents are always positive. I mean, what would it even mean if you had -10% of something?

That you owed someone 10% of what would be that something.

• @dkf Since when did the phrase 'entirely cromulent' emerge, I thought it was always 'perfectly cromulent' around here?

• Can't the result of a square root be +/-? So 100% is an answer, but it's not the answer. `Insufficient Information` could also be valid.

PS - yes, i got the joke.

...percents are always positive. I mean, what would it even mean if you had -10% of something?

I'm not sure what the application would be, but the math makes sense: \$100 x -10% = \$-10.

Let's see, "This item is -20% off," means you pay 20% more. (\$100 - \$100 x -.2)

"Your bank account earns an APR of -0.3%," would be a bank fee, but a mortgate "at -0.3% APR" would be a good thing (let that sucker part-pay itself off). A credit card at "APR of -30%" I would max out immediately.

Stupid applications only, I guess.

• I'm not sure what the application would be,

Revenue for 2015-03 = 120,516
Revenue for 2016-03 = 112,103
This yr vs last : (8,413) = (6.98) %

• @dkf Since when did the phrase 'entirely cromulent' emerge, I thought it was always 'perfectly cromulent' around here?

"Entirely" is a perfectly cromulant modifier for cromulent.

• @Lorne-Kates

You extended the cromulant class?

• @CoyneTheDup
The European Central Bank has had a negative interest rate for a couple of years now.
They want to make people spend more money by making it cheaper to take out a loan and more expensive to keep money in a bank.

• a negative interest rate

as in "you'd make more money by keeping the cash in your mattress"? That's pretty dumb for a bank.

• @CoyneTheDup "off" already implies a negative. "20% off" means -20%. So there's your practical application.

If you make it into a double negative, though, then it makes about as much sense as any other double negative.

• That's pretty dumb for a bank.

It's governments trying to get you to spend your money instead of saving it.

• @julmu Apparently, in the past certain Dutch banks have sold mortgages at the interbankary interest rate, plus 0.7 percent, and even that went negative. And the judge ruled that yes, this does mean the bank has to pay those people money.

• Can't the result of a square root be +/-? So 100% is an answer, but it's not the answer.

No. By definition, the square root is positive. The answer to x² = a (for a > 0) is x = ±√a, but √a itself is positive.

Things are different when you're working in the complex numbers (which can't usefully be divided into positive, negative, and zero) but that is not the domain in question.

• The answer to x² = a (for a > 0) is x = ±√a, but √a itself is positive.

In that case, you can't actually tell. Flipping the sign would result in exactly the same equation being true. Using the positive root is just convention, nothing more.

• @dkf Mathematics rely on a lot of conventions. One of them is that √a is the principal (non-negative) square root of a (for any real non-negative a).
@Scarlet_Manuka The field of complex numbers is algebraically closed, so any polynomial over it can be factored into a product of 1st-degree polynomials (so it has a number of roots equal to its degree, if you account for root multiplicity). So x² = a has 2 solutions for any complex a (if a = 0, the root is a double one).

• @Khudzlin Strictly, all quadratic equations have two roots though the roots might be coincident and might only be in the complex plain and not on the real number line. This generalises.

• @dkf Like I said, it generalises to all polynomials with complex coefficients (which does include all polynomials with real coefficients, since real numbers are a subset of complex numbers). But polynomials with real coefficients do not always have a number of real roots equal to their degree, since polynomials of the form x² + a where a > 0 are not factorable over the reals.

• you can't actually tell. Flipping the sign would result in exactly the same equation being true. Using the positive root is just convention, nothing more.

No, it's part of the definition of the function denoted by √x. I suppose it's convention that the notation √x denotes the function it does, instead of -|a| where a2=x, but if you're going to insist on that then it's only convention that it refers to either of those and not 47x - ln(x+3), or something.

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