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Old 2021-08-13, 04:51   #1134
LaurV
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John and Bill, math teachers, have lunch at a restaurant discussing the level of mathematical knowledge of the general population. John is of the opinion that the level of these knowledge is very, very low and that something needs to be done in this sense, while Bill considers that the level is absolute satisfactory, that the common man knows even more mathematics than he needs.
At one point, John goes to the bathroom and Bill thinks it's time to take advantage of this situation. So he calls the waitress and says:
"Miss, I'll give you a hundred bucks if you help me in one little problem".
"Sure, say it".
"When my friend comes back from the bathroom, I'll ask you one question. It's going to sound weird, but don't worry, just answer 'x to the 3rd power divided by 3'. Do you think you can help me?"
"Sure, no problem".
He gives her a hundred and the girl leaves satisfied. John returns from the bathroom and Bill tells him:
"Look, to prove you I am right, I'll give you an example. Let's take an ordinary person, for example the waitress who serves us, and let's ask how much is the integral of x square. I bet you two hundred bucks that she knows the answer".
"Get out of here, be serious, let's try to give her some easier arithmetic calculations, how can she know what's the integral of x square? ..."
"I say she knows. Do we bet on two hundreds?"
"It's done, I'm telling you from now on that I won the bet," John says.
Bill calls the waitress and says:
"Miss, my friend and I had a little discussion and you would be very helpful if you could answer a question. Can you tell us how much is the integral of x square?"
"x at 3rd power divided by 3", the girl answers very calmly.
John looks at the waitress in amazement, while Bill looks at him triumphant.
After a few seconds the girl continues:
"Plus a constant."

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-08-13 at 04:51
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Old 2021-08-13, 15:21   #1135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
"Plus a constant."
Very good and very dumb.
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Old 2021-08-13, 20:21   #1136
kriesel
 
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Obviously the restaurant is located in a college town where they don't pay their TAs enough, or in a nearby resort town where TAs can make more in the summer as waitstaff.
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Old 2021-08-13, 20:41   #1137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
"Plus a constant."

This must be the oldest math joke ever...
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Old 2021-08-14, 03:28   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
"Plus a constant."
Perhaps this was also a sign to tip her more (with an arbitrary value, unless an initial condition fixing it to 15% is stated).
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Old 2021-08-14, 04:59   #1139
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The rabbit was sitting in front of a cave and was writing something. The fox spotted the rabbit and asked what is the writing all about. The rabbit replied that the writing is the research methodology of a master's thesis on applied game theory entitled “How rabbits can eat foxes.” The fox got angry, snatched the rabbit and went into the cave. Soon after, the rabbit went out and continued writing. The same thing happened to the wolf and then to the bear while the rabbit was modifying the thesis title to “How rabbits can eat wolves” and “How rabbits can eat bears.”
Spoiler alert! While the rabbit was writing, the lion was laying inside the cave with a toothpick in its mouth.
A lesson learnt is that sometimes it is more important who is one's research supervisor rather than what one writes.
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Old 2021-08-15, 10:51   #1140
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masser View Post
Very good and very dumb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Till View Post
This must be the oldest math joke ever...
It may be old and dumb, but it was new for us, and we laugh a lot for a while. The guy could ask first, and save a hundred bucks, but we guess there is something with men and asking, haha. This is also a "karma is a bitch" joke, as well as "you are all hypocrite/misogyn/sexist/whatever, except me" joke, because, while the guy was arguing for the level of education of the people, he believed that the girl serving them was stupid, which turned back on him. We think this is a very good joke, not dumb - so we took the time and effort to translate it - someone sent it to us in Romanian language. It may only be us... We also imagine the possible continuation, John asking "how do you know that?" "Oh, he told me to say so, when you were to the restroom", then Bill is ashamed and a hundred dollars poorer, hahaha. When you believe you are cleverer than the people around you (i.e. underestimating your adversary )

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-08-15 at 12:02
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Old 2021-08-15, 12:52   #1141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
It may be old and dumb, but it was new for us, and we laugh a lot for a while.
<snip>
I heard essentially the same joke over 40 years ago when I was in grad school, and it was almost certainly old then. It's still amusing and will remain so, IMO, due to its irony. Bill advocates that the general level of math knowledge is satisfactory, but fails to consider that the waitress might actually know calculus - which she does, as the punch line reveals. So, rather than saying "Oh, he told me to say so," she could have said something like, "Oh, I took calculus last semester."

Having heard this joke, I brought it to life one evening when the janitor was making his rounds in the building where I and some other graduate teaching assistants had their offices. One of them had an indefinite integral written on the blackboard in his office (probably explaining something to a student), but had failed to include the constant of integration. I had the janitor write in " + C" with a message pointing out the omission.

There is a sequel. This janitor often lamented his ineptitude at math, saying things like, "I couldn't pass a math test to save my life." One day, I proved to him that he understood things better than some of my students did.

One of my students in some "math for business majors" course had been in my office complaining about me taking points off his solution to an exam question. He'd gotten the right answer, after all. But he'd done something completely invalid, and the answer was only right through happenstance. I tried to explain. I wrote on the blackboard

x2 = 25

and then "solved" it by "canceling" the twos:

x2 = 25

The student looked at it and said, "Uh, x = 5 - yeah, that's right. So?"

That evening I showed the same thing to the janitor. He looked at it for some seconds. Then his eyes widened and he said, "Wait a minute! You can't do that!"
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Old 2021-08-15, 13:01   #1142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
and then "solved" it by "canceling" the twos:

x2 = 25

The student looked at it and said, "Uh, x = 5 - yeah, that's right. So?"
In the spirit of the joke the next line should be.

Janitor: "The answer is plus or minus 5."
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Old 2021-08-20, 15:36   #1143
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A pedant walks into a bar. Actually, it's a restaurant with a bar. More precisely it's a brew-pub since it has an on-site microbrewery. But be aware that there is often different terminology used in other languages or locations.
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Old 2021-08-20, 16:12   #1144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
A pedant walks into a bar.
To be clear, they are infirmed, so it is more of a shuffle. And they are using a walking frame. They were accompanied by a caretaker. They used the entrance from the rear car park, so they actually went through the hallway first. And they got winded before getting to the end of the hallway, so they sat on the fold down seat on the walking frame before actually entering the dining area.
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