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May 21st, 2009, 10:29 AM   #11
Joined: May 2009

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Re: Help with probability problem.

Originally Posted by Dave
Originally Posted by ListerineStrips
It seems people can only criticize and not actually help
Perhaps you should browse through this site and count the number of times I have helped, and the number of times I have criticised. Then count the number of times you have helped and the number of times you have criticised [Count this as 1.] Mathman said it was unreadable, and didn't bother any further. I should have followed his example. However, I tried to read and interpret what you had done. That was being helpful, not critical. Further, any help I give here is done under adverse circumstances, and need not be done at all in fact. I'll admit my wording was not too clear, but I was trying to interpret what you might have been thinking, and it did seem that you were cancelling where you shouldn't, which was the real point I was making.

For clarity in future, I'd recommend downloading and using MathType to write your formulas, showing clear steps to leave no doubt. You'll have to learn how to use it, but it does make a big difference.
I'm sorry but if I take my car into a mechanic and all he has to say is "Yep, it's broken," that doesn't help. Criticism is not a bad thing when paired with help. A number of the later posts were filled with criticism but were quite welcome as they offered help. You offered criticism with little help. Telling me "right side is plain rubbish" offers zero help. I know I did it wrong, that's why I'm asking about it. Also, the time spent/number of times helped doesn't effect individual situations. If I'm an upstanding citizen, who frequently volunteers, and I suddenly punch an elderly woman crossing the street in the face is it suddenly okay because I'm usually a good person? So get upset at me if you wish but I was looking for help and advice, not a lecture from "board vets" how you don't have to help(which you didn't) or how you helped hundreds of people before. Either way, this seems like a good board of intelligent people so I would prefer to end this argument sooner rather than later.
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May 23rd, 2009, 12:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mathman
The attachment is unreadable.
I had no problem reading it. As greg1313 observed and mattpi explained, there is an algebraic mistake at the outset that leads to an incorrect answer. There is a third answer at the end, but that was due to a separate arithmetic error (that is quite easy to spot) very near the end.

The answer ought to state that n is the number of men in the population. Since the question asked for the total population, the final answer should be 3n, i.e., 21.
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