Questions That Could Make You Waste Your Time

Oct 2013
691
90
New York, USA
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.
 

topsquark

Math Team
May 2013
2,385
996
The Astral plane
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?? :eek:

Could you please post the whole question?

-Dan
 
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SDK

Sep 2016
705
470
USA
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
 
Mar 2015
182
68
Universe 2.71828i3.14159
I have a perfect example of topics that can waste your time.
 
Mar 2015
182
68
Universe 2.71828i3.14159
Wasting the 4th-dimension .:p 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."
 
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Oct 2013
691
90
New York, USA
I take great joy in being the first to respond to this comment in the following manner: WFT are you talking about?? :eek:

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.
 

skeeter

Math Team
Jul 2011
3,211
1,734
Texas
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”.
 
Jun 2019
493
261
USA
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.
 

Benit13

Math Team
Apr 2014
2,166
739
Glasgow
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 <whatever> 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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