ThomasReed

Male
from Denver, CO

    • ThomasReed

      I should be cleaning my room.

      4 years ago

      I saw a problem on a friend’s Facebook status that read “You saw a shirt for $97. You didn’t have the cash, so you borrowed $50 from your mum and $50 from your dad = $100. You bought the shirt, and had $3 change. You gave your dad $1 and your mum $1 and kept the other $1 for yourself. Now you owe your mum $49 and your dad $49. 49+49 = 98 + your $1 = 99. Where is the missing $1?” Being a bit of a mathematics geek, I was perplexed and decided to figure out what the fuck was going on here, because it seemed mathematically sound. I was also supposed to be cleaning my room, but this felt more important. Now, the thing I discovered almost immediately is that the problem arises from keeping any of the money you were given. For example, if you only give one parent $1 and keep $2 for yourself, you owe one parent $49 and owe the other parent $50. In total you owe $99, and the $2 you kept for yourself brings the total to $101. So where did this extra dollar come from? The simple answer is you can’t assign the same “value” to a dollar you have versus a dollar you owe. The “missing” dollar is actually the one you kept. You make it a missing dollar by keeping it. You only spent $97 of the borrowed money, so at the end of the day that’s actually what you owe. But by keeping the $1, you will owe a total of $98, which is one dollar more than you’re supposed to owe. You can’t add the one you kept because you still owe the one you kept. 49+49=98. But, you can look at that equation another way. How much did you spend? $97. How much did you keep? $1. 49+49=97+1, which can also be written as 98=98. You borrowed $100 and gave back $2. 98=100-2.

      Another (and probably much simpler) way to explain it is to think of it as each dollar owed as a negative dollar and every dollar you keep as a positive dollar. You start at $0. Were your parents to accompany you to the store, you’d be at $-97 when you left the store with your nice, new shirt. But, when you borrow $50 from your mom and $50 from your dad, your total comes to $-100 (you’re at $-100 instead of $100 because you’re not keeping it; you’re buying a shirt). You buy the shirt, have $3 left over, give $1 to mom, $1 to dad, and keep $1. You gave two back, so you owe $98, and the one you kept is worth one, so your total is $-97.

      Okay maybe that wasn’t simpler. I don’t care. It makes sense either way.

      I was also slightly saddened when, after figuring it out, I noticed someone else had posted the explanation on the status. After I had spent SO long (okay....like 15 minutes of thinking/watching Austin Powers.....wasn't I supposed to be cleaning?) figuring it out. I also need to thank a good friend of mine, Mike Stein. While I came to the solution myself, Mike's somewhat sloppy attempt to explain it inspired me to write this little explanation. Now to clean. Or I could watch more Austin Powers.

    • ThomasReed

      I wrote a song....hot damn!

      4 years ago

      I wrote a song and then posted it onto YouTube....whaaaaa?

      You can check it out by clicking here.

      If you didn't want to click there, I understand. The first link is always a whore. Try this one instead. It's less of a whore.

      [EDIT]: As it turns out, both the links are whores and don't work. Considering I'm too tired to make them work, I'll just give you a bit of advice. Ignore the links. Just watch the video on Rooster Teeth right below where it says "Linked Media." Ah, the wonders of the internet.

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