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Topic: Am I punctual?
Replies: 12   Last Post: Jul 27, 2010 10:50 PM

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 Stan Brown Posts: 1,314 Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Am I punctual?
Posted: May 27, 2010 7:37 AM

On Wed, 26 May 2010 23:28:07 -0400, Greg Neill wrote:
> musicgold wrote:
> > This is not a homework problem. It is a real life situation. I am
> > just trying to apply my math knowledge in day to day situations.

That's good practice, but it's equally important to know *how* to
apply it and when it does *not* apply.

You can answer "am I punctual" in different ways, depending on what
you mean by "punctual". Barb's definition is a common one, and by it
you are not punctual -- and you notice that there was no math
involved.

If you define "punctual" as "within ___ minutes of the correct time,
__% of the time", *then* it becomes a mathematical question.

> > There was a discussion among my collegues. If a person is usually on time
> > for work, but sometimes gets late, should we consider
> > him panctual or not?

This is not a mathematical question, period. Mathematics can compute
his average number of minutes late, or the variability in his number
of minutes late; it can guide you to how to make graphical
presentations. But "punctual" is a value judgment that has no place
in math. It belongs to the realms of language and ethics.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
Shikata ga nai...

Date Subject Author
5/26/10 musicgold
5/26/10 Barb Knox
5/26/10 musicgold
5/26/10 J. Clarke
5/26/10 Greg Neill
5/27/10 Stan Brown
5/27/10 musicgold
5/27/10 hagman
5/27/10 musicgold
5/27/10 HallsofIvy
6/3/10 Kevin Gets
7/27/10 straightenersale
7/27/10 musicgold