« Slow motion video of bird landing | Main | Junk Science Double Fail »

February 1, 2012

Saxon Math

From Jennifer's Algebra "Saxon Math" textbook tonight:

"The ratio of withs to withouts was 3 to 11. If 5600 were huddled in the forest, how many were withs?"

If you think you know the answer, you're wrong. There is no way of knowing the correct answer because not enough information is given. Who is huddled in the forest? The "withs", the "withouts", or both?

I assume that the "withouts" are huddled in the forest, and this is another white-guilt, income-inequality lesson they're trying to pump into our kids. The "withouts" are huddling in the forest because the "withs" are in their fat-cat 1-percenter mansions overlooking the ocean.

Jennifer assumed that the "withs" and the "withouts" were huddled in the forest. The book doesn't say.

If they count off for Jennifer's answer, I'm going to go down there and raise holy hell.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2012 at 9:24 PM


Jennifer is right that everyone is in the forest, There are 1200 withs and 4400 withouts. Very simple considerering how you have been whining about how hard this math is. I don't even know much math compared to you. You are right about the socially inappropriate adjectives used.

Posted by: sl on February 1, 2012 at 10:27 PM

You make a different assumption than I make. You assume that the "withs" and the "withouts" are all huddled in the forest. My assumption is that only the "withouts" were huddled in the forest, and the "withs" were home in bed. The problem doesn't say. Why would you call them "withs" and "withouts" if they were all huddled together in the forest? This makes no sense.

My assumption was that the "withouts" are alone in the forest. If only the "withouts" are huddled in the forest, then 3/11 = x/5,600 and x ≈ 1527. So, there were 1527 "withs" home in bed. These are the one percenters.

If this is not the case, then what is the point of calling them "withs" and "withouts"? Why would the "withs" be huddled together in the forest with the "withouts"? This makes no sense. Where's the advantage in being a "with" if you can't get away from the "withouts"?

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on February 2, 2012 at 12:04 AM

my vote is all in the forest. they just called them with and withouts to torque you up. could have easily use the option boy/girl for the group name, but that would be sexist. Should have just called them group A and B, but thats too boring. these word problems have to distact you so you get it wrong, trying to overthink it. either that or the publisher really mucked the question up without enough info, that happens a lot too.

Posted by: mop on February 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Mop, I'm sure that your interpretation is the correct assumption. I read too much into it. I assumed the "withouts" were huddled together in the forest, and the "withs" were snug in their 1%er mansions. This frustrates me on several levels though: 1) They're deliberately dividing the "withs" and the "withouts", the same way Obama has deliberately divided the county. This is something that, once done, is very difficult to undo. 2) They don't really give enough specific detail to know who's in the forest, and you have to make some assumptions that may or may not be correct and 3) they don't have any way to report these flaws in their books. There should be a website where you can easily report these issues. The bottom of every page in the book should say "post feedback, corrections, and suggestions at the following URL....". No such luck, of course.

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on February 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

It's obvious that the people in the forest are those who didn't express enough gratitude towards corporations, and were therefore marched into the wilderness by Bill "Pol Pot" Whittle at gunpoint as part of his social re-engineering program.

It is funny to read you being critical of Saxon math, since it has been "Opposed by leftist groups such as NOW, on the grounds that his books fail to promote feminism, political correctness, and the New World Order." I first heard of Saxon math decades ago, back when I listened to right-wing talk radio hosts who had nothing but praise for the program.

Posted by: anonymous on February 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)