Saturday, February 12, 2005

When bad educational systems attack.

Once upon a time, I proferred some advice: You can only get away with snark when you're right. If you try snark and you're wrong, well,
you kind of end up just looking like an asshole. Which brings us to a recent comment here by one Mr. Ian Scott, who nicely demonstrates what happens when the school system fails its students miserably.

In responding to my original posting, Mr. Scott might actually have taken it seriously. Apparently, satire is lost on the young. And the stupid. But, wait -- it gets better.

In criticizing the (completely fictional) dialogue I put in Bezdek's mouth, solely for entertainment value, Scott goes first for the ad hominem attack: "Too bad the kid, like a lot of socialists, ...". To which I can similarly respond, "Too bad Mr. Scott, like a lot of pedophiles and child pornographers ...". Wow! Wasn't that easy? Apparently, we left wingers can make stuff up out of thin air just as effortlessly. And with just as much total irrelevance.

But seriously, folks, consider the meat of Scott's argument:

Too bad the kid, like a lot of socialists, forgot to factor in the part about the money going out though. Sure, as long as money is coming in, and no money is going out, no one will go bankrupt.

But that ain't the way it works, friends :)

Guess the Canadian socialist math whizz needs to hit the books again, and learn a bit more about somethin' called "expenses." They don't teach that though until about Grade 10 Accounting class.

Apparently, the word "bankrupt" has an utterly different meaning on Mr. Scott's planet. As countless observers have noted, if the scheduled outgo from Social Security would exceed the income from payroll taxes, and there is nothing at all in the SS trust fund, all that will happen is (unless something is done ahead of time) benefits will have to be scaled back accordingly to bring those two amounts into balance. Now, what part of the above is that mathematically difficult to comprehend?

And, yes, that is the way it works, friends.

BONUS RAMBLINGS: I've been told (more than once) by friends that it's really kind of unbecoming to take critical comments on this blog so personally. And, for the most part, they're right. I'm still working on it but, every so often, someone tries to lay the totally wrong kind of punk smackdown on your humble correspondent.

In particular, I just don't take well to right-wing snark questioning my innate mathematical talent. Perhaps it's my two degrees in computer science. Perhaps it's the undergraduate and graduate courses I've taken in calculus, numerical algebra, number theory, analysis of algorithms, cryptography and combinatorial mathematics. Or some combination of the two.

In any case, if you want to bust my chops on something related to mathematics, you really want to show up with more than an Ann Coulter blow-up-doll fetish and an insolent attitude. Because I will slap you around. And that's a promise.

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