DailyDirt: Logarithmic Thinking Is Natural

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Most of us have been taught to understand math-related topics in a linear way, but that might not be the way our brains are hard-wired. Kids actually tend to have an innate number scale that is logarithmic, so even though they know how to count to ten (or even twenty), they’ll actually think more along the lines of one, many, lots of many’s, and then OMG so many that’s like infinity. Here are just a few links on logarithmic thinking to ponder.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “DailyDirt: Logarithmic Thinking Is Natural”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Watcht on Oct 24th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

except your first finger should be 2 not 1..

between 1 AND 9 is not math, like ‘1 and 1 = 2’ its the difference between the digits 1 and the digit 9..

start at 1 your first count is 2, when you get to 9 how many fingers are you holding up thats right 8 fingers..

half of 8 is ???

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Watchit on Oct 24th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

OK, try this. What number is half way between 20 and 40?

Did you say 30? Why?

High Number [40] less[-] low number [20] = Spread [20]

Spread [20] divided by[/] 2[2] = Half of spread [10]

Half of spread [10] added to [+] low number [20] = Halfway point [30]

So now with What number is half way between 1 and 9?

High Number [9] less[-] low number [1] = Spread [8]

Spread [8] divided by [/]2 [2] = Half of spread [4]

Half of spread [4] added to [+] low number [1] = Halfway point [5]

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Response to: Watchit on Oct 24th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

Yes, but I was trying to explain WHY the answer is 5 (or 30). That solution was offered and rejected, I attempting to explain it a different way.

In math sometimes you have to prove your answer in more than one way, especially if people don’t understand the concept.

azlibertarian says:

And for bigger numbers ...

many (so-called) educated adults in answering the question:

What number is halfway between one million and one trillion?”

… will give the answer “1 billion” (which is only approx 1/1000 of the way).

No wonder politicos can fool much of the public. The difference between a billion and a trillion doesn’t seem like much logarithmically.

Emil Ole William Kirkegaard (profile) says:

Re: And for bigger numbers ...

keep in mine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales#Comparison

million = 10e6
milliard = 10e9
billion = 10e12
billiard = 10e15
trillion = 10e18

so 10e6+10e18=1000000000001000000 half way is 1000000000001000000/2 = 500000000000500000.

Logarithmic scales makes more sense for large numbers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

so you dont think you have $20 dollars in your pocket, you know money can buy fuel for your car, but you dont know how much, and you cant work out how far you will be able to go for your $20, or if you even need to spend all of that $20 on fuel, but keep some for some more drugs and beers..

your not sure if what you are paying for your beers and drugs is alot or not much, nor can you work out if you are being pain as much as you should or if you are being screwed by your boss.

what a hell you must live in…

Anonymous Coward says:

climb a 9000 foot mountain, when you get 1000 up set your altimeter to zero (set it from asl to agl), then clime to the top, what does your altimeter read now ?? 8000 good you did not fall…

what is half of 8000 feet ?? lets see 8000/2 = 4000

or just clime up 9 stairs, start counting between 1 and 9 and work out how many steps you took (8) then do the math 1/2 x 8/1 = 4

Anonymous Coward says:

all our senses are logarithmic, makes sense to perceive the world that way

we see, hear, feel, smell, taste logarithmicly, this is to achieve a far higher dynamic range in our senses. it’s the same reason earthquakes are scaled logarithmically, for the dynamic range it provides (7 of the scare is 10 times bigger than 6).. nature tends to act in a logarithmic manner as well.

even gravity pulls you down in an almost logarithmic fashion (9.8mts/sec^2)

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...