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Let’s not complicate things unnecessarily.
August 25, 2013 9:53 AM   Subscribe


 
"It's a pretty small error term," seems like a very useful phrase. I shoulda been a physicist.
posted by Think_Long at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


His Fight with Euclid is also excellent (and in rhyme!)
posted by Wulfhere at 10:05 AM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hahaha

Engineer: You did order a second soda.

Economist: In practice, yes. But my argument still holds in theory.

posted by Dr. Send at 10:07 AM on August 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


"It's a pretty small error term," seems like a very useful phrase.

So does, "Like most economics, that’s just gibberish with the word 'auction' in it."
posted by Wolfdog at 10:07 AM on August 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Engineer: You did order a second soda.

Economist: In practice, yes. But my argument still holds in theory.


I was on the fence until that part.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:08 AM on August 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Economist: I mean it! If there were no taxes, I would have ordered a second soda. But instead, the government intervened, and by increasing transaction costs, prevented an exchange that would have benefited both me and the restaurant.

Engineer: You did order a second soda.

Economist: In practice, yes. But my argument still holds in theory.


This was my favorite part.
posted by Unified Theory at 10:12 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's everyone's favorite part!
posted by vespabelle at 10:42 AM on August 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was once out with a group that included a math professor. When the bill came, I handed it to him to split. He gave me a dirty look and said, "I am a mathematician. I do not do arithmetic. Mainly because I'm horrible at it."
posted by jaguar at 10:43 AM on August 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Missing the scene where each share is finally calculated down to the penny, and then everyone pulls out twenties.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:48 AM on August 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


Q: What's invisible and can't figure out how to divide up a check?

A: No mathematicians.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on August 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Easy.

I'd just assign the implementation to my offshore dev team, whip up a short form for the server to fill out as to whether they accepted the proposed solution and report up the chain that it was taken care of.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


At dinner a few weeks ago with a couple who have a physics and a mathematics degree between them. She had the physics degree and figured out their portion of the check because she concurs that math people don't do arithmetic.
I started to figure up mine in my head -- it was noisy in there, I wasn't feeling very sharp and basic arithmetic wasn't coming quickly and she was visibly irritated that I didn't just subtract her result from the total to get mine. So I'm trying to do the calculation while simultaneously explaining to her that my result would validate hers. (I'm CS.) So yeah, basically three of the stereotypes played out right there.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:22 AM on August 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


My English Major self is just proud of getting the jokes.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2013 [21 favorites]


The engineer learned long ago to keep a running total of his share of the bill, (including tax and 20% tip), bring at least one $20, $10, $5, and five singles, and throw down the cash as soon as the bill arrives.
posted by disconnect at 11:54 AM on August 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


I won't share a meal with a non-Keynesian.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:45 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


My business partner has an advanced degree in mathematics. At our staff barbecue the other day his calculations as to how many packs of buns to buy to equal the case of hamburger patties was short by a ridiculous margin. His "formula" was off.

Next time just count the damn buns, genius.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I won't share a meal with a non-Keynesian.

On the other hand, non-Keynesians are probably not sharing with you, to begin with.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:49 PM on August 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


As a physicist I am offended. I may not worry about small error terms but I'm not so stupid as to think that a small error in one quantity (the bill) must translate to a small error in another (the tip).
Let alone the implication we don't care about our servers generally :-p
posted by edd at 2:14 PM on August 25, 2013


Was the economist from Chicago?
posted by acb at 2:37 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Computer Scientist: Well… the waiter did only bring two orders of fries for the table.

Physicist: We only ordered two.

Computer Scientist: Exactly. We got the 1st order, and the 2nd, but never the 0th.


That got a chuckle from this engineer who spent the past week troubleshooting LabView.
posted by Mapes at 2:41 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


My business partner has an advanced degree in mathematics. At our staff barbecue the other day his calculations as to how many packs of buns to buy to equal the case of hamburger patties was short by a ridiculous margin. His "formula" was off.

Or maybe the formula was correct but the input terms were swapped.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:29 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a physicist I am offended. I may not worry about small error terms but I'm not so stupid as to think that a small error in one quantity (the bill) must translate to a small error in another (the tip).
Except that the tip is linearly dependent on the bill...
posted by kickingtheground at 8:16 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


From experience, the correct way to split a check with a large group of physicists is to take the bill from them and tell them how much they owe without explaining why too much. Sure, by taking a command role you're putting yourself in the dangerous position of actually trying to herd physicists like the unruly cats they are, but sacrifices have to be made if we're going to escape the restaurant before the heat death of the Universe.

It's also important to institute the post-doc tax based on seniority to subsidize whomever is more junior in the group. No reason to make grad students suffer more than we already do.
posted by physicsmatt at 9:12 PM on August 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Don't worry guys, I got it." --MBA
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:33 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Don't worry guys, I got it."

"This was a working meeting, right?" *pulls out company card* --MBA
posted by Think_Long at 11:01 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


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