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 October 4th, 2019, 07:26 PM #1 Senior Member   Joined: Oct 2013 From: New York, USA Posts: 673 Thanks: 88 Questions That Could Make You Waste Your Time The ACT had an inequality where the answers were number lines. The fifth and final choice was a blank line with the words "empty set." That was the correct answer because the inequality had absolute value < or = -1, so working with x in the absolute value was a waste of time.
October 5th, 2019, 07:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by EvanJ The ACT had an inequality where the answers were number lines. The fifth and final choice was a blank line with the words "empty set." That was the correct answer because the inequality had absolute value < or = -1, so working with x in the absolute value was a waste of time.
I take great joy in being the first to respond to this comment in the following manner: WFT are you talking about??

Could you please post the whole question?

-Dan

October 5th, 2019, 08:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by EvanJ The ACT had an inequality where the answers were number lines. The fifth and final choice was a blank line with the words "empty set." That was the correct answer because the inequality had absolute value < or = -1, so working with x in the absolute value was a waste of time.
ok

 October 5th, 2019, 08:59 AM #4 Senior Member   Joined: Mar 2015 From: Universe 2.71828i3.14159 Posts: 132 Thanks: 49 Math Focus: Area of Circle I have a perfect example of topics that can waste your time.
 October 5th, 2019, 09:21 AM #5 Senior Member   Joined: Dec 2015 From: somewhere Posts: 734 Thanks: 98 Wasting the 4th-dimension . lol
October 5th, 2019, 10:56 AM   #6
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 Originally Posted by idontknow Wasting the 4th-dimension . lol
A mathematician and his best friend, an engineer, attend a public lecture on geometry in thirteen-dimensional space. "How did you like it?" the mathematician wants to know after the talk.

"My head's spinning", the engineer confesses. "How can you develop any intuition for thirteen-dimensional space?"

"Well, it's not even difficult. All I do is visualize the situation in arbitrary N-dimensional space and then set N = 13."

October 6th, 2019, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by topsquark I take great joy in being the first to respond to this comment in the following manner: WFT are you talking about?? Could you please post the whole question? -Dan
I don't have the question, but it was in the form of abs(3x - 2) < or = -1.

October 6th, 2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by EvanJ I don't have the question, but it was in the form of abs(3x - 2) < or = -1.
Problems like that are thrown in to separate “critical thinkers” from the “numerical processors”.

 October 7th, 2019, 05:12 AM #9 Senior Member   Joined: Jun 2019 From: USA Posts: 310 Thanks: 162 Agreed. If you understand absolute value and ≤, and are thinking about the problem statement, the answer is obvious and doesn't waste your time. If you aren't thinking about these things, the problem is training you to do so, and again, not really a waste of your time.
 October 7th, 2019, 06:05 AM #10 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,164 Thanks: 736 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions Judging from threads already posted on this forum, something like: "Is Cantor's diagonal argument false?" or "Can division by zero instead be defined as instead of undefined?" Mostly because the people asking the question haven't spent the hundreds to thousands of hours researching the existing work relating to those very confusing/difficult/detailed/complex questions, so they spend just as long making stuff up that makes no sense and saying "why not dis?".

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