so, “social media” erupted about the solution to this equation : 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?
Mathematicians claim that the “rules” (which they have made up in defiance of logic) has to prevail and the correct answer is 16.
Most programmers say that the correct and logical answer is 1.
Both programmers and mathematicians apply something the very same mathematicians invented (by peer agreement) called PEMDAS (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction – The logical order in which equations are solved.)
Mathematicians say that, in the silly example equation, MAGICALLY there appears a “x” and that the equation is not 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? but in actual fact : 8 ÷ 2x(2+2) = ? In their flawed reasoning, this holds because they claim that (8 ÷ 2(2+2)) = ( 8 ÷ 2 x (2+2) ) – which claim of course is not wrong, but just because it is true it does not make it correct in terms of the application of their very own rules.
Very basic logic (and PEDMAS) dictates: There simply is no X (as in the example equation does not contain an “x”) and the bracket 2(4) has to be calculated prior to the ÷
It is this same type of lazy peer agreement which causes youth and young minds to lose interest in a science where the “truth” belies logic and agreement can be reached about that which is not there. I would love to get into that, but this is why I am not a mathematician. I cannot be involved in a science that requires religious belief (or the ten commandments) – Future society may call much of what is now defined as math, a religion. But, probably not. It will just be forgotten and never spoken of again.
In an article Steven Strogatz published in the NY Times, he claims that this problem is philosophically the same as whether driving on the left side of the road is correct or if driving on the right side of the road is correct. (That it does not matter what the rules are, as long as everyone follows the same rules)
I do not agree, as the equation 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? contains no “x” sign. I do agree that you have to be an idiot to write such an equation in the first place, but I strongly disagree that a “x” can just magically appear where there is none. One has to first solve everything related to the brackets. So, 2(3) would trump 2 x 3, even if 2 x 3 = 2(3)
Mathematicians have huge ego’s.
After the singularity, mathematicians will not be missed.