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petdance (2468)

petdance
  andy@petdance.com
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I'm Andy Lester, and I like to test stuff. I also write for the Perl Journal, and do tech edits on books. Sometimes I write code, too.

Journal of petdance (2468)

Wednesday September 18, 2002
10:26 PM

Amazed by knowledge!

[ #7819 ]
I'm amazed at what people are amazed by.

I went to my Macroeconomics class tonight, and the teacher had a slide that showed the price of a Big Mac: "1940, $0.30 / 1997, $1.97". I piped up: "... except that McDonald's didn't exist until 1955, fifteen years later." A guy a few seats in front of me turned around and exclaimed, "Duuude! How did you KNOW that?"

How do you answer a question like that? "Dude, it's just knowledge."

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  • McDonald's was franchised by Ray Kroc in 1955 but McDonald's the restaurant was opened in 1939/40 and the Big Mac wasn't introduced until 1968. Lots of economists use this example though for intro classes as nearly all college students are familiar with a Big Mac enough to understand the value of it over time. Going pedantic on the trivia misses the point of the exercise.

    I know this as being the econ dept sysadmin at wu made me pretty adept at TeX and I learned enough econ to hang with the local nobel and

    • It's not "going pedantic on the trivia", but critically thinking about what the person is saying.
      Since the Big Mac was not introdruced until 1968, it could not have been 30 cents in 1940. The prictures of Ray Kroc's restaurant that I have seen say that the price of a hamburger was 15 cents. Intellectual integrity is not the same thing as pendatry, and you don't need to be a Nobel Laureate to hold people to the truth. :)

      The problem with standard examples like this is that authors copy other authors who co
      • It's like saying 'pass the scotch tape' or 'pass the kleenex' where the brand name becomes synonymous with the item itself as not all clear tape is scotch brand tape nor are all big macs McDonalds big macs..they're just hamburgers. This is macroecon, an introductory course, so going pedantic on the minutiae for the sake of 'academic integrity' is tedious not to mention probably drawing negative attention from the teacher which they'll remember at grading time. Again, it's a common example in introductory co

        • It's like saying 'pass the scotch tape' or 'pass the kleenex' where the brand name becomes synonymous with the item itself as not all clear tape is scotch brand tape nor are all big macs McDonalds big macs..they're just hamburgers.

          "Big Mac" is not synonymous with "hamburger", regardless of any proof-by-repeated-assertion to the contrary. That's why McDonalds still sells hamburgers alongside Big Macs. In «macroecon» terms, the Big Mac might be a shorthand for a "premium burger", specifical

    • Going pedantic on the trivia misses the point of the exercise.

      It's possible to point out inaccuracies in the example, AND still understand the point of the exercise.

      Here's the Museum [mcdonalds.com], if anyone's interested. I've seen it, and been to the McDonald's across the street many times, but never been inside.

      --

      --
      xoa

  • Here's how you answer: http://www.bash.org/?993 [bash.org]

    --

    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]