
Teaching maths through the 20th century
TEACHING MATHS IN 1950:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit?
TEACHING MATHS IN 1960:
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 MATHS IN 1970:
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 subset of set "M" and answer the following question:
What is the cardinality of the set "P" for profits?
TEACHING MATHS IN 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. Her cost of production is $80 and her profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
TEACHING MATHS IN 1990:
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.
TEACHING MATHS IN 1996:
By laying off 40% of its loggers, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.
TEACHING MATHS IN 1997:
A company outsources all of its loggers. The firm saves on benefits, and when demand for its product is down, the logging work force can easily be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000, had three weeks vacation, a nice retirement plan and medical insurance. The contracted logger charges $50 an hour. Was outsourcing a good move?
TEACHING MATHS IN 1998:
A laidoff logger with four kids at home and a ridiculous alimony from his first failed marriage comes into the loggingcompany corporate offices and goes postal, mowing down 16 executives and a couple of secretaries, and gets lucky when he nails a politician on the premises collecting his kickback. Was outsourcing the loggers a good move for the company?
TEACHING MATHS IN 1999:
A laidoff logger serving time in Folsom for blowing away several people is being trained as a COBOL programmer in order to work on Y2K projects.
What is the probability that the automatic doors on his cell will open on
their own as of 00:01, 01/01/00? 
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