Law Reciew: Math through decades | SierraSun.com

Law Reciew: Math through decades

by Jim Porter

My daughters and I have been doing homework, working on means, medians and modes, as well as fractions and even some multiplication tables. Do we ever forget our multiplication tables?

Here’s a summary of New Math someone sent to me:

Teaching Math in the 1950s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5ths of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in the 1960s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in the 1970s: A logger exchanges a set “L” of lumber for a set “M” of money. The cardinality of set “M” is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set “M.” The set “C,” the cost of production, contains 20 fewer points than set “M.” Represent the set “C” as a subject of the set “M” and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set “P” for profits?

Teaching Math in the 1980s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in the 1990s: By cutting down a beautiful forest of trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering this question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in the 2000s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60?

Here’s my own Math in 2000s: A logger, unable to cut trees, sells his truck for $100. His cost of the truck is $120. Oh forget it, this is sounding too political.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter-Simon, who have offices in Truckee, Reno and a new office in South Shore. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com.