Mathematical puzzles

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Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:16 am

The UK makes a lot of money from making and selling arms to other governments, and then gives those same governments a lot of that money back as foreign aid.

Would it be better to make and sell even more weapons, and give away more money as foreign aid, or, better not to bother?

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Chill37 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:44 pm

Ah but remember we are not the only Goverment, probably, that does this.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:36 pm

Probably so, but, the UK is a world leader in both arms sales and giving foreign aid, so this branch of mathematics is particularly relevant to our economy.

If we made less money by selling fewer weapons, and reduced the foreign aid budget by the same amount, we would end up with the same amount of money.

It might be better to sell fewer land mines and electric cattle prods, concentrate more on high tech weapons. Huge steam driven battle robots tearing up houses and swatting helicopters out of the sky would look good on the news, and, if they said 'Made in Rochdale' on them, all the better. But I digress.

The thing is, we as a nation seem to be caught in a cycle of economic necessity, selling more and more weapons to make a profit, and sending more and more aid to a world ravaged by wars. Perhaps we could ease off a bit and do something more useful than making weapons, manufacture household robots perhaps?

Similar with the drug economy, we as a nation spend a huge amount on drugs, much of which goes abroad to fund wars. If we calmed down a bit and had a nice cup of tea instead, the world might be a better place? I'm sure a few such useful adjustments could be made if the mathematics were properly considered.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:04 am

Interesting. Verrrry Interesting. Hmmmmmm -!Exclamation 
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Chill37 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:45 am

cyfrifia wrote:Probably so, but, the UK is a world leader in both arms sales and giving foreign aid, so this branch of mathematics is particularly relevant to our economy.

If we made less money by selling fewer weapons, and reduced the foreign aid budget by the same amount, we would end up with the same amount of money.

It might be better to sell fewer land mines and electric cattle prods, concentrate more on high tech weapons. Huge steam driven battle robots tearing up houses and swatting helicopters out of the sky would look good on the news, and, if they said 'Made in Rochdale' on them, all the better. But I digress.

The thing is, we as a nation seem to be caught in a cycle of economic necessity, selling more and more weapons to make a profit, and sending more and more aid to a world ravaged by wars. Perhaps we could ease off a bit and do something more useful than making weapons, manufacture household robots perhaps?

Similar with the drug economy, we as a nation spend a huge amount on drugs, much of which goes abroad to fund wars. If we calmed down a bit and had a nice cup of tea instead, the world might be a better place? I'm sure a few such useful adjustments could be made if the mathematics were properly considered.
Even against the USa...I think we may be one of the leaders. But clearly you have your finger on the pulse of this topic. Dont think i can add anything constructive on this one.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:34 am

'While the soul slumbers, all is numbers'.

Applied mathematics in it's various forms underlies much of our lives. Failure of mathematical systems in economics sent the banks into collapse, numbers in binary code underlie the internet, maths sent space probes to the planets.

If we had competent mathematicians with access to accurate statistics, the logic behind things like the socio-economic relationship between the arms industry and foreign aid might become clear and understandable.

As it is, mathematics seem to be as mysterious and capricious as modern art, very few people understand it. Do the prices in modern art make any mathematical sense?

Events continue, generating huge and incomprehensible numbers and statistics, if we had a grasp of the relevant numbers and their implications, we might be better placed to understand things, but let's face it, we don't.

The more a politician drones on about statistics and percentages, the less convinced we become, practical mathematics should be about facts and realities, but, it isn't.

The industrial revolution was developed with and depended on applied mathematics, business empires were run with mathematics. The atom bomb and nuclear power were developed with advanced mathematics, without them we would be in a very different world. Countries that have done well economically, Japan, Korea, Malaysia,  leaping ahead with the various branches of mathematics.

Architecture, computing, trade, banking, industrial design, transport, economics, social planning all depend on applied mathematics. The decline in the UK has been accompanied by a decline in mathematics, poor teaching, adults who cannot add up a shopping bill, service industries that confuse and blather with complex billing methods. What are the chances of that being entirely co-incidental? The whole thing does not add up, we have lost any useful grasp of the numbers involved, and so lost control of our destiny, with many of the population now at the mercy of the mathematics of wonga dot com.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Chill37 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:06 pm

Erm ok. If you say so.Shocked 

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Dalelad on Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:59 pm

The defence industry employs 10s of thousands of people in this country, keeping many families fed and housed, which needs to be added to the equation.
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:27 am

And Dalelad has it in one. Q.E.D.Cool 
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:45 pm

Yes, we as a nation seem to be caught in a cycle of economic necessity, selling more and more weapons to make a profit, and sending more and more aid to a world ravaged by wars. Perhaps we could ease off a bit and do something more useful than making weapons.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:03 am




Not whilst there are those 'out there' who would see us all terminated under some misguided mishaprehension that they would benefit from our wholesale demise. Until man comes to accept and realise that self-determination should be the norm from cradle to grave he will continue to make weapons with which to protect and destroy himself. Simples really. But sad.Sad
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:16 am

Misguided mishaprehensions, or beliefs based on incorrect statistics and misinformation cause a lot of grief. A fresh look at the logic, an audit of the mathematics may well show that policies or courses of action do not really add up.

Some people have a talent for mathematics, just as some do for music, others for 'working with people', or have 'green fingers' and are good with growing things. These are all talents which should be used and developed, preferably for the general good of society.

If some young mathematician with an interest in maths in social and political context would care to find the statistics and percentages about UK foreign aid to Somalia, and how that relates to the recent attack on the shopping mall in Kenya, it would be very interesting to hear the real story of where the money goes, and could perhaps persuade public opinion one way or the other.

As things stand, the general impression is that many millions of pounds that could have been used to provide jobs and alleviate poverty in the UK is given to Somalia, and that a 'good percentage' of that cash ends up funding terrorist organisations there. If that is true, it does not support Mr. Cameron's argument that giving money away as foreign aid will prevent people abroad wanting to come to the UK. This 'pay them to go away' policy does not seem to add up really. If on the other hand, the aid money from the UK to Somalia is being used for something useful, that information would be reassuring. Maths, facts and statistics, all need sorting out, guesswork is not good enough. As it is, we get the impression that lunatics who cannot add up are running the asylum.

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:07 am

(Quote) - As it is, we get the impression that lunatics who cannot add up are running the asylum.

Er - Yes. That is so.Exclamation 
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:55 am

Well, perhaps some mathematically correct maniacs could prove them wrong? So many things in public life and politics simply do not add up, as we saw with the banking crash.
There is plenty of computing power available to do the calculations, maybe this is more about access to relevant information?

'Mathematics in social context.'

Mathematics is presented as ultimately 'correct' and reliable, we rely on it for all our technology, for our lives, how come we accept that the maths and statistics of politics and banking is mumbo jumbo?

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:02 am

Crunching the numbers in the banking fiasco would not have solved the problems prior to the crash. It wasn't mathematics at fault. The 'faults' lay in the greed of the casinos who collectively (apart from a few individuals) became deluded under the paranoia of 'easy money' and crooked mortgage lenders who only had an eye for 'commissions' regardless of the probity of the transactions. That the vast majority 'didn't know what it was they were doing or how it was 'working' (which behind the scenes it wasn't) can only be laid down as ignorance and apathy on their part. It can happen again and undoubtedly will if more safeguards are not put in place. One way of dampening down such 'wayward' enterprise in this country would be to dampen down the property market by building the houses that are needed (1 million and rising) to stop the speculation that was seen in the early parts of the last decade. But this is not 'Conservative' policy any more than it was 'New Labour's' and therefore will not happen. Meanwhile we live on the knife-edge with our so called 'bankers' and 'speculators' who don't want to 'count' or do their sums if it means less profits for them and their ilk.
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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:25 am

Atlas wrote:It wasn't mathematics at fault.
It was obvious the numbers didn't add up, given complete and true information that could have been calculated and 'proven' just the same as any other mathematical proof.

Still, economics is a bit like steam power, quite a lot of boilers blew up before engineers got the maths right to make them safe. Cool 

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Re: Mathematical puzzles

Post  Atlas on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:28 am

Indeed it could have been seen (and was by a few who were rapidly silenced) but only if one wanted to see it. Making piles of easy money tends to blind most people. A common malady.
If you are expecting 'them' to get it right - dream on. It is not in their own personal interests to 'see'.

In due course the economy will 'right' itself. It will be at the expense of 'Joe Public' and mostly from the weak and less well-off - who let's face it - are dispensable anyway. They won't see you starve, after all it's pretty difficult to do so from an island in the Pacific, under a sun-shade and pie-eyed from pinacoladas. affraid 
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