Monthly Archives: September 2015

Conflation: The New Bigotry?

Conflation is running together two things that do not fit together.

Odd Language #120: Credit Risk vs. Bad Employee? gives the example of bad credit risk vs. bad employee and a law being passed to stop this.

There are people who are bad credit risks and bad employees, but are the two hand-in-hand? No.

Imagine someone who is laid off and who is unable to find work in his field because of a slowlabour market. Such a person might get behind on his payments and have his credit rating downgraded. Does this really make him a bad employee? I think it rather more likely that once he gets a job, he would catch up on his payments quickly.

Kicking someone while he is down is very cruel and inhumane. In this case, it is also bigoted.

When two things that do not belong together get connected like this, it is just another form of bigotry. There are many other pairs that get connected in this: women and so many traditionally male areas, older people and computers, and on and on.

Please speak out against this.

Puzzle #123: Six Sheets to the Breeze?

While on a walk, you found some pages from a small booklet. You recognise the source and know that the booklet consists of 32 pages numbered from 1 to 32 in that order. You found six of the sixteen sheets. What is the probability that at least one page’s page number on the pages that you found is prime?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Definitions

Here comes fall. (I am in the Northern Hemisphere and admit my bias.)

How do you define it?

Do you go by the date? Or the local deciduous trees changing colour? The temperature? That students are back in school?

Kamloops has somewhat erratic weather. I know that, in December, it is cold and in August, it is hot, but from December to August, the temperature does not steadily go up. For the past three years, it has been warm around Valentine’s Day, but then has cooled off again. This make determining spring a bit of a challenge.

Recently, I heard that we are due for a long fall and a mild winter.

Whatever that means.

Odd Language #119: Delayed Death

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/04/cleveland_man_shot_in_2007_die.html has the headline “Cleveland man shot in 2007 dies Monday of his injuries”. The story is dated 2013.

The issue: It does seem odd that the man did not die until six years later. Usually, this apparency would be because of a misplaced modifier or inappropriate editing. In this case, although not explicitly stated, it appears that the man did die of his injuries six years later.

Puzzle #122: Marbles

You had some marbles each of one colour of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet, but you lost some of them. Fortunately, you did not lose all of your marbles.

First, you lost two of each colour. Then, you lost three each of red, yellow, and violet. Then, you lost two each of green, blue, and violet. You now have a prime number of marbles of each colour and all of these numbers are different, and the number of marbles you have now is the lowest number it can be. What is the maximum number of marbles you could have had before your losses?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #120 Solution: Leaves

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Another Gaming Convention Promotion Post

The third Attack-X gaming convention was last weekend in Kamloops. I had a wonderful time, but again, promotion raises its ugly head.

Attack-X’s main thrust is for tabletop wargamers. There is a much smaller contingent of other gamers. This leads to an interesting contrast.

Attack-X is known about within the tabletop wargaming community, but not very much by other gamers. One of the tabletop gamers came from Hamilton, Ontario. There were not very many other gamers. They might not have been any general public. This is despite a one-page article in the local newspaper in the week before.

How do you solve such a problem? There are lots of other things that people could do, but the same is true for the gamers who did show up. How do you promote a specialised activity to the general public?

I now have a year to come up with something better.