With insincere apologies to Mark Twain, a society that doesn’t count is no better than one that can’t. Consider the wisdom of the internet:

Over 3 in 2 people in the world are completely innumerate.

Eh? Come again? *heh*

Or better yet, consider this:

I don’t even know where to begin… *sigh*

One cent=$0.01


$0.00002X35893 (the kb use cited in the video above)=$0.71786

It’s very, very, very simple arithmetic. “Do-it-in-your-head” arithmetic. Doesn’t even qualify as “math,” IMO.

Why did the two Verizon reps just not get it? Well, not only is adult literacy on the decline in these (dis)United States, but a growing number of folks just can’t count… largely because they’ve not been compelled by education and experience to do so. Heck, even this otherwise thoughtful article at Money uses a model that is part of the problem, a big part.

There is nothing wrong with using a calculator, of course. Calculators are useful in that they save time on arithmetical computations. But in a modern society where most citizens have graduated from an advanced system of formal education, one would expect that educated people would have an understanding of what the calculator is doing. To be sure, the four basic operations are well understood by people who consider themselves educated, but recent studies show that a majority begin to have difficulty when faced with such concepts as square roots, simple algebraic terms, and grade school geometry.

Did you catch that? “To be sure, the four basic operations are well understood by people who consider themselves educated… ”

It doesn’t matter one bit whether people “consider themselves educated” or not. Those who cannot tell the difference between $0.002 and $0.00002 can’t perform “the four basic operations” and indeed do NOT understand them. They are innumerate. And their numbers are legion. And it is they who combine their illiteracy (“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”–Twain) with their innumeracy and thus allow the Mass Media Podpeople Hivemind, politicians, illiterate and innumerate Academia Nut Fruitcakes, so-called educators and all their ilk to fill their minds with illiterate, innumerate, toxic sludge.

When a people cannot measure the impacts of public policies in clear and meaningful ways, then that people can fall prey to all kinds of flim-flammery. And such is the American public becoming.

Millions of Americans engage the services of income tax accountants every year because they are unable to perform the simple calculations themselves. Many others have difficulty interpreting statistical information, percentages, or any kind of information expressed in terms of graphs and charts. When it comes to calculating areas, capacity, or weights and measures, the average North American is not sure where to begin. For a modern society, this should be an intolerable situation, yet it seems that for most people it is quite normal and acceptable.

In short, millions of Americans are enstupiated sheeple, ripe for shearing. Worse, these same people cannot really blame the failures of “public education” (AKA “prisons for kids”), because almost anyone who wants to, who puts in a little effort, can become literate and numerate. Well more than half the population of enstupiated American sheeple are self-made enstupiated American sheeple.

In a representative republic, such is a recipe for disaster. In an ever more democratic (rule by mob) representative republic, we are beginning to reap many of the ills feared by the Founders, largely because a lazy, illiterate, innumerate electorate enables the obscene autoeriticism of politicians who gain almost orgasmic pleasure from misusing tax monies as yet uncollected from future generations.

I met a woman in her 60s the other day who declaimed that “We older people will lose all our benefits if the Republicans gain power.” *huh*?!? What benefits? Social Security has long been bankrupt, stealing from younger generations to buy older folks’ votes. Medicare and other “benefits” are likewise nothing but Ponzi schemes writ large. “Benefits” that steal from my children and grandchildren (and yours) to pay me are beyond obscene; they are simply wrong. Dhimmicraps/Repugnican’ts: makes not one bit of difference. The Ponzi scheme remains. And people who can’t or won’t do the math to see behind the smokescreen are the problem–or at least a large part of it–that keeps the government’s shameful Ponzi schemes going. For now. But someday, numbers will force an accounting, and when that happens, katie bar the door.

“There are three kinds of people in the world: those who count and those who don’t.”

*heh* Which are you?

Trackposted to The Pink Flamingo, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Political Byline, Wingless – Belgium Says Israel Uses Child Soldiers, Refuses to Sell Weapons, Democrat=Socialist, and DragonLady’s World, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

5 Replies to “Innumeracy”

  1. There are only 2 basic operations, addition and multiplication. Proof: Subtract 2 from 5. 5 + (-2)=3. Divide 2 into 4. 4 X 1/2. Otherwise known as 4/2. See? πŸ˜‰

    Also, I noticed in your little intro you said you had 3 points or questions, and I only counted 2. What’s up with that? πŸ˜‰

  2. Rosemary,

    ’bout time someone mentioned that (3 out of 2 people, 3 kinds of people, etc.). *heh*

    re: Addition and multiplication. Yeh, but one has to be basically numerate to think that way. A vast majority of folks nowadays aren’t. Simple multiplication and/or addition of two or three-place numbers sends ’em running to find a calculator; meanwhile, numerate folks have done the simple arithmetic (23X425, 5% of $12.50; 36+267+56-12; whatever) in their heads and gotten on with life.

    *feh* Nothing but laziness can explain it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *