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Every time I open a newspaper or surf the Web, there's another poll trying to predict who will be our next President. But are the pollsters asking the right questions? I'm convinced that when push comes to lever pull, math friendly folks will favor Gore, while people whose eyes glaze over at the very mention of arithmetic will go for Bush.
I feel so strongly about this that I urge any betting person (caution -- betting involves numbers) to lay odds that Election 2000 will turn on how many voters:
(a) become woozy when Al Gore chants "the richest one percent"; or
(b) laugh mockingly at George W. Bush's allergic reaction to what he terms "fuzzy math."
I hereby call on all pollsters to focus on what really counts. And to help them out, I offer "Mad Kane's Presidential Math Quiz." I personally guarantee that it's 110 percent accurate with a 17-point margin of error.
1. An algorithm is:
a) A set of rules for solving problems.
b) Our Vice-president attempting to dance.
2. A bird in hand is worth:
a) Two in the bush.
b) Two bushes.
c) Both Georges
3. Boolean Algebra is:
a) A form of propositional calculus.
b) A math course I managed to avoid.
c) Very, very scary.
4. Presidential elections are held every four years. That means the next one will be held in:
b) Wait, I need a pencil.
c) I used to know that one.
5. I balance my check register:
a) Every time I make a deposit or write a check.
b) Once a year whether it needs it or not.
c) On my head.
6. When I get my bank statement I retrieve my records and:
a) Review everything carefully and often find bank errors.
b) Stick everything in a file. The bank surely knows what it's doing.
c) What records?
7. A logarithm is:
a) The exponent of that power of a fixed base number that equals another given number.
b) It sounds very familiar.
c) If I knew, I wouldn't have such a hard time getting online.
8. I go to a restaurant with several friends. At the end of the meal I:
a) Know exactly what everyone owes without glancing at the bill.
b) Divide the bill by the number of people in seconds.
c) Hide in the bathroom.
9. When it's tax time:
a) I use a tax software package to file my own return.
b) I present my accountant with organized documentation the day before my return is due.
c) My accountant hides in the bathroom.
10. A square is:
a) The product of a number multiplied by itself.
b) A four-sided figure.
c) Someone like Gore who understands "fuzzy math."
How do you score the results? I'm pretty sure you have to use arithmetic.
© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Published Bridge News October 2000
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