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Current time: August 23, 2019, 9:42 am

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Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
#1
Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
What is the correct answer to:

8 divided by 2(2+2)

Is it 1? Or is it 16?

At first, I said 1, but then I looked at it again and reckoned it's actually 16. But it could be 1, though ... huh?

Then I realized the trick here is that parenthesis, should we take care of that parenthesis first (and then have 1 as the answer), or should we treat it as a multiplication and hence the answer should be 16.

I think the answer has to be 16, but if so, then PEDMAS guideline would be a little misleading.

Ok, so here's why I think the answer is 16:

Before anything else, let's rephrase the problem a little so it's clearer what the answer should be later:

8 divided by 2 times (2 + 2)

First take care of parentheses:

8 divided by 2 times (4)

becomes

8 divided by 2 times 4

And then we have multiplication and division left, same level of precedence, so we start left to right

8 divided 2 = 4, and 4 times 4 = 16
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#2
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
The original rule says the answer is 1. (order of precedence) but apparently modern maths uses slightly different rules.
Lots of stuff on the net about this.
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#3
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
Its not a math problem at all, its very simple 3rd graders math.
The real problem is that the equation is presented in an ambigious way. We have math symbols for a reason.

If the originator would have bothered to specify the problem, it wouldnt be a problem at all.

#1 8/(2*(2+2))=1
#2 8/2*(2+2)=16

Now, what was the original problem? #1 or #2?
Cetero censeo religionem delendam esse
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#4
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
These Maths problems are deliberately ambiguous so people argue about it and the meme goes viral. e.g . memes consisting of multiple choice questions, with each option using different icons for each value and asking you which is the correct answer.
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#5
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
It's definitely blue and gold.




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#6
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
(August 3, 2019 at 2:53 am)Deesse23 Wrote: Its not a math problem at all, its very simple 3rd graders math.
The real problem is that the equation is presented in an ambigious way. We have math symbols for a reason.

If the originator would have bothered to specify the problem, it wouldnt be a problem at all.

#1 8/(2*(2+2))=1
#2 8/2*(2+2)=16

Now, what was the original problem? #1 or #2?

You may have a point actually.

For me, when it comes to questions like this, my rule of thumb is to never assume that which is not explicitly shown or is not assumed by convention. Sort of like the maths version of the principles of parsimony. As such, #1 would be an incorrect "rephrasing" of the original question as it assumes extra parentheses that aren't in the original.
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#7
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
The answer is actually 42.
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#8
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
Just realized there's another rule that some people use instead which is BODMAS which now clearly explains the difference in answer here.

Edit: scratch that, BODMAS is essentially the same as PEDMAS

So no I'm sticking with 16 as the correct answer by convention
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#9
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
(August 3, 2019 at 3:40 am)Mathilda Wrote: These Maths problems are deliberately ambiguous so people argue about it and the meme goes viral. e.g . memes consisting of multiple choice questions, with each option using different icons for each value and asking you which is the correct answer.

Ok after much researching, I'm going to probably be annoying here and argue that, while the question could have been worded better, it is not [by modern convention] ambiguous.

This isn't like the blue vs good dress thingy, rather this is more like a common error that lots of people (including very smart people) make by implicitly adding an extra rule to their approach (like otherwise smart people who consistently write its instead of it's and vice versa)

Ignoramus is correct, though. Back in the old days (before any of us were born) the answer would've been 1. Today the answer is 16.
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#10
RE: Math problem that is driving the Internet crazy
I will add a convention, when in doubt, mathematical notation takes precedence over descriptive notation.

“8 divided by 2(2+2)” is 8 divided by the quantity of (2(2+2))

Had it been intended for the division to have the same precedence as the multiplication, it should have given as “8 divided by 2 times (2X2)”
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