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The Math Problem

TEACHING MATH IN 1950:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit?

TEACHING MATH IN 1960:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or \$80.
What is his profit?

TEACHING MATH IN 1970:
A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money.
The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one
dollar.
Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M." The set
"C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M."
Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the
following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of
profits?

TEACHING MATH IN 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is \$80 and his profit is \$20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

TEACHING MATH IN 1990:
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes \$20.
What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class
participation after answering the question: How did the forest
birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees?

TEACHING MATH IN 2000:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is \$120, paid to a partnership owned by
his son-in-law. His accounting department tells him his profit is
\$60. This is verified by his auditing firm, Arthur Andersen,
blessed by his lawyers, and touted by assorted Wall Street
investment bankers.
Question for extra credit: How can Jesse Jackson share the
spotlight on this deal?