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Smart trolls will always be better than dumb trolls

Discussion in 'Berserk Rage' started by Archie, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Archie Mexocan


    So I've been on a haitus from DFO and went back to Maple and got hooked by its sheer simplicity and lack of difficulty. I got back on my old maple account and noticed all the valuable stuff I have to sell, and I went to Basilmarket to auction my stuff off. Now I have at least 110 million mesos :)

    But, unlike SSA and DFOS, there's always something interesting on Basil, since it has a much bigger user base, so I end up finding myself taking a little haitus from here.

    Then, I found a thread on basil asking a question about a little math question:


    Easy enough right?

    I went with my intuition I got from high school, and said the answer was 16, since I thought it was asking me to square the -4.

    But, other people were saying that it was -16, but I was taught that the calculator was wrong whenever it tries to compute something like -4^2 since it would square the 4 then multiply by -1.

    Of course, I said that the people who said -16 were wrong since you can't square a negative number to get a negative number. The people who said it was -16 explained how the work was supposed to be done without fully explaining why the work is supposed to be done exactly like that. They're all like "lolol no this is how you do it" while the few on the other side were doing the same.

    So then, there was at least 60 posts with people arguing and reasoning on how such a little math question should be interpreted. Then the topic starter explained why it was supposed to be -16... because there's this rule where you have to treat the minus sign as a multiplication problem that I was virtually never taught.

    So pretty much, the thread was a heated discussion full of people telling each other to get education. An argument between the educated, and the people who only got through high school.

    I can't believe I lost sleep over something as seemingly stupid as this. So a number cannot be negative all by itself? ._.

    What a shame, although... I have to admit I never took an algebra class. The school board got my school district to take some retarded alternate math curriculum that later (and thankfully) got removed.
  2. Heidi Member

    Basil argues about that a lot.
  3. Ring "...that's my role."

  4. Hiroshi dat smirk

    Maple players regularly argue about education? lol
  5. Soushin The Novice

    Sounds like an argument I would get into. I'd be on your side in this one.
  6. geenareeno Not gReenareeno

    Yeah same. Also same about Maple Story lol. Curve is like 5x easier lol.
  7. conewicci I dun goofed.

    It's 16. ._. When you square, you're basically supposed to put a parenthesis around the first number, and then just... multiply. So, (-4)(-4). Obviously, the two negatives cancel out, and you get 16.

    You can put it in a calculator, it'll show you the right answer anyways... pretty simple fix.

    "because there's this rule where you have to treat the minus sign as a multiplication problem that I was virtually never taught." He either pulled that out of his ass, or was taught wrong.
  8. Hiroshi dat smirk

    -4^2 = -16.
    (-4)^2 = 16.

    Really. I think. This thread confuses my math knowledge.

    I have the feeling the TC brought this here so we can argue for 60 posts as well. ・ω・
  9. Soushin The Novice

  10. LHCGreg Code monkey like Fritos

    This is correct. Put it into a calculator if you doubt it. What the argument is really about is whether -4^2 means (-4)^2 or -(4^2). It is about notation. And the answer is that it means -(4^2).
  11. Hiroshi dat smirk

    That's not the problem. The problem is whether the exponents... uh, goes before the minus or not. I'm not sure how to explain in English. e_e

    When the question is what the square of -4 is, the answer is 16 because you calculate (-4)^2. However, when you simply have "-4^2 = ?", the answer is -16 because you calculate 4^2 first and then apply the "-", hence -16. The minus is the... uh, sign of the term 4^2, not just of 4.

    Edit: Ninja'd by Greg~
  12. conewicci I dun goofed.

    (I would add Greg's post too, but... no point really, but this is addressing him too).

    That's true, but I believe it'd be 16, because of how they don't specify either way, I'd simply take it to be that -9 is "one" number (meaning it isn't [basically] -1*9). Most of the time, I believe they'd specify if it was meant to be (basically) -1*9.

    If you look at this, it basically says what you guys said.
  13. Hiroshi dat smirk

    That "specifying" thing is way vague for my liking. So far it has always been -(x^y) for me and it was correct, negative numbers were always in brackets. >:

    I tried looking for an actual explanation, but no luck. The "best" thing I found so far was the equation "(−a)^2 = a^2" on the German Wiki, which doesn't really have anything to do with our problem but shows that negative numbers have to be in brackets.

    Edit: Meow.
  14. Soushin The Novice

    I stand corrected. I guess my math has gotten really rusty.
  15. conewicci I dun goofed.

    No but the problem is, that's (-[x^y]) with variables. If you plugged in a number for x... a negative one (let's say -2, and have y=2), then you would have -(-2)^2...

    The problem here is really whether it's -9^2 we're talking about, or -1(9^2).

    The example you posted, while would normally be right, assumes that it's -(5^2), not -5^2.

    Basically, it's whether the squared sign also covers the negative part of it or not (as you can see, it doesn't specify whether it's [-5^2] or -[5^2]).
  16. Hiroshi dat smirk

    There should not be any doubt left with the thing I quoted from Wikipedia. The ^ sign does not cover the minus unless it's in brackets. It's not about specifying anything further, it's math and not a riddle.
  17. Fynl Lunchbox Hero

    My opinion is that the only reason there's any confusion is due to interpretation differences. -4^2 is indeed -16, according to PEMDAS :)3). On the other hand, a lot of people when first looking at it, myself included all those years ago when I saw that on Basil, read it as "What is negative four, squared?", which, translated to numbers, would be (-4)^2=16.

    The reason it's a troll problem is because it's not specific on purpose regarding parenthesis, so that people will just argue over it. Again, my opinion, but without specifically mentioning parenthesis, you can't assume them to be there.
    Why the -4^2 survived all these years rather than -5^2, etc, is what interests me the most.

    Reading over my post, it sounds seriously argumentative, but just imagine me making :3 faces the whole time and you'll be fine :)
  18. Holypie Mmmmmmmm

    BEDMAS. There are no brackets so it can be assumed that the exponent is taken into consideration before the negative sign which is essentially a -1.
  19. Archie Mexocan

    Oh gawd. inb4 60 posts.
  20. conewicci I dun goofed.

    Dammit, I forgot to edit my post before I went to camp. +_+

    It actually is -16, I was confused and was wrong. It's the exact opposite of what I said, basically.

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