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## 12 or 1

its difficult to tell as you have used ambiguous notation, it could be that you deliberately omited parenthesis or you forgot, either way please use them, to give guidance.

## 12 or 1

its difficult to tell as you have used ambiguous notation, it could be that you deliberately omited parenthesis or you forgot, either way please use them, to give guidance.

## White and gold.

## 12

## 0

## you forgot your brackets

BIDMAS

## no brackets

## your funeral then

there may be localised conventions on how to see this but they are not universal (as far as I am aware)

Brackets are our freinds

## like jesus and lao tzu

## *Ross and Rachel

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_operations

## This is not universally applied or used.

It may be in yours and many circles, but many people do not. Why would you not use brackets?

ALWAYS use brackets in these sorts of long equations (they can get longer and be more involved and you will soon get lost without brackets) USE THEM (as Im always telling my sons) get into the habit and keep doing it.

## sorry, should have linked to a more neutral source

Rather than my own personal blog.

## Creaky is correct in his point, really.

brackets exist like comments in code. Yeah, you *can* be an arrogant wanker who thinks his code is so fucking obvious he doesn't need to comment it. Or you can be a useful member of society.

## if you're using the bidmas principle, it doesn't need brackets

## no fucking idea why I posted this

## Is everyone going to use the bidmas principle?

Unfortunately NO

Many people, of a certain age were taught to calculate from left to right (unless guided differently by brackets).

Most people recently have been taught Bidmas.

So we have a country that has people who have been taught different methods, hence my answer.

It does not matter what an official 'take' on it is, when it is perfectly easy to make the equation unambiguous and understandable by all methods that have been taught......it is about communication after all.

## "If" indicates a conditional statement

it means something like "On the condition that...". In this instance, it means effectively, "Taking it as true that you are using the bidmas principle...".

Given this use of the conditional clause, then the answer to your question "is everyone going to use the bidmas principle?" is yes.

## you mean "if everyone uses bidmas then everyone uses bidmas"?

## yes

## fair enough

fappable started us off on the wrong track there, cos like Bidmas does not demand the use of brackets, just says what order to use them in if they ARE there......hence I was interpreting your if as not a specific conditional statement, more as a 'figure of speech' sort of counter to fappable's unecessary comment......I took it sort of the wrong way.....because i was not being precise

sorry

of course IF i focus on your 'if' properly then you are correct......but its ok, because I was looking for a place to explain why we cannot always rely on bidmas to be used by everyone.....therefore

ALWAYS USE BRACKETS kids

;D

## 12

multiplication rules!

## i'd wish for more 1s

## It was called BODMAS! Click 'like' if you agree!

## Bidmas and Bodmas were introduced in more recent times (KS2? no idea, im not a teacher)

but in the past it was quite common that pupils were taught 'left to right'.

BRACKETS rule :)

## 1100

## yeah man, what base are you using?

buttery biscuit

## Is this thread just creakyknees explaining why even though

he got the sum wrong he didn't?

## of course

zxcvbnm ≢('not a git')

## Beautiful :D

## Surely, if there are no brackets (which there aren't)

then you just read across left to right?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_operations

## please also see my comments above

NV, many victorian children such as us, were taught left to right, but for more complex maths there was this Ooo or as it was later taught in schools at a lower level - Bitmas or Bodmas......given that we live in a world of different sorts of people, such ambiguities can be avoided with the sensible use of brackets, this way we will all know what is meant, as even in the old left to right maths teaching the use of brackets still applied.

I really like oOoOO

but i do prefer procedural languages to oo languages

## I read them

Not sure why you're pressing the brackets point, given that part of the point of a conventional order of operations (and of course it is just a convention) is to provide a consistent answer when brackets are absent.

## because relying on such a system is not going to work with people

who think that they should work from left to right, and you can say that they are wrong, but many people from long ago were taught that way. You can either be a friend to communication, or you can 'trip' up older people if you wish, and laugh at them for being old and from another age and therefore wrong.

## are we into using maths as a sword? or as a tool?

is it for competition? or communication and understanding/defining?

## This is confusing computer science with mathematics

In computing it is good practice to (over)use brackets. The reason for this is that you have no way of knowing what calculation order assumptions the particular system you are using makes. Bracketing tends to be universal however. Not that you get any guarantees even then.

However in maths, the order specified by bodmas or bidmas or whatever has stood for centuries. It isn't something that was invented in the 1980s. Einstein's energy equation can be interpreted in two different ways, but it isn't in practice, and you never see it with clarifying brackets.

## As IF anyone who uses E=mc² has to worry about this.

## Well exactly.

It's second nature. If creaky's position really were the general truth then even basic concepts in maths like linearity would need tonnes of cumbersome brackets, and the whole subject would collapse in an unwieldy mess.

Interestingly though I do remember a Guardian leader from many years ago where the writer had misunderstood Einstein's equation and had confidently asserted that it has two solutions.

## It's not second nature because of BODMAS

It's second nature because we know with that equation. It's just like learning times tables at school doesn't make you quicker at multiplying any numbers together (well unless you can see the multiples of those from the initial 1-12 tables). The point is you learn how to do something particular very quickly.

I did a physics degree and never learned about 'BODMAS'. It wasn't important to things I did because no one would risk someone misinterpreting equations.

## I did a maths degree and I never learned about BODMAS

Like I say, that order has been implicit for as good as forever.

I'm too lazy to think about it particularly hard, but I would guess the natural order is based on distributive laws.

## I'm not saying don't use brackets

I'm just saying there's an established convention for how to operate in their absence. That's it.

If that's different to how you were taught at school then, erm, so what? Conventions change. This will cause confusion to someone not aware of the change. Again - so what? It happens.

Don't even know what's being discussed anymore, tbqfh.

## Well that's your fault for not reading my post up there

where I point out Creaky's argument is one of the importance of clarity over arrogance.

## I read it, ta

I just thought it was bobbins, because you're both arguing against a point I'm not even making. I haven't said that using brackets wouldn't make things clearer, just that there's a rule for how you interpret stuff if they're not there for whatever reason. That's it. Nothing more. No need to wildly flail at a point nobody's actually arguing for.

## Not sure why you're engaging with creaky at all then.

You seem to be confusing a convention with something that is universally known. BODMAS is a convention, but it's not something you can guarantee your audience know. So to simply say, "This is the rule," ignores that soul of the question in the post, that's all. It's clear that you wouldn't have a post like this if it wasn't possible to misinterpret it.

## me either pal

^ autofill

Was it the bit where I said "(and of course it is just a convention)" that gave you the impression that I didn't think it was a convention?

Pointing out the rule doesn't ignore the question. It shows you how the answer would (CONVENTIONALLY) be arrived at, thus addressing any lack of clarity.

What a conversation to be having.

## and of course

the reason why the original question can be easily misinterpreted is that it's a wilfully obscure equation, written in a deliberately difficult to read format, with the precise intention of inviting misinterpretation. It's like writing a sentence without any spaces and then complaining that it's hard to read.

## yes he is being mischevious

hence i gave him the 2 most likely answers.

12 (if you use BITMAS) or 1 (If you use left to right)

and highlighted how he should have made it clearer.

So in this we have come around the circle and are in agreement. :)

## No.

You are wrong.

## so what do you think will be the 2 common most answers then?

## 12 and

...12?

## If I may refer to a passage from Colin

"written in a deliberately difficult to read format, with the precise intention of inviting misinterpretation"

what do you think that the most common misinterpretation will result in? (i.e. the second most common answer...what will that be?)

## 12

## so the most common misinterpretation of that equation

would result in 12?

OK, so what do you think would be the result of the correct interpretation?

(If the answer you have for that is also 12, then please explain what the most common interpretation of the equation is that would result in 12)

## The correct interpretation is:

1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + (1 x 0) + 1 = 12

One could also read it as:

(1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) x (0 + 1) = 12

or as:

((1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) x 0) + 1 = 1

## you have to humour me here and cut me some slack

and answer

I am, after all trying to take on someone with a maths degree and yourself. I am far less educated and intelligent (Im being sincere not trying to be sarky here).

I am actually quite dim, as evidenced countless times on here, so there is more onus on you to prove to me that what I say is not right with a proper stroke (rather than just batting questions off defensively)

## *mis

## Gah you're not going to let this go are you :-)

Firstly an apology. It was rude of me to just write "You're wrong". It was even ruder of me to then just piss off home. So sorry.

The correct answer is 12. It is correct because as written and as interpreted by the conventions of precedence in arithmetic that is what comes out of the other end.

The most likely incorrect answer is 1. This is interesting not because there is an alternative convention that yields this answer, rather it is interesting because even those who are ingrained with the standard convention are likely to misread the equation and incorrectly multiply the first string of 1s by the 0. My confession: this is what I did when I first saw it.

The convention that you are batting for creaky is of course the same one that would be applied by an electronic calculator. If you literally typed that equation into a 70s/80s era calculator you'd get one as the result. I do find it hard to believe that this is the convention you grew up with though, for three reasons. Firstly it makes maths very messy and hard to read, which is obviously not idea for an educational process. Secondly it's not the way I was educated, and I'm not massively younger than you. Thirdly it's (as I've said before) not the way that maths in general has been couched for a very very long time.

I think somebody should write the equaion in reverse polish notation and then we can close this thing down. Or should we be heading over to the "Mean PM" thread and getting the gloves off like everyone else?

## Thats all I wanted. :)

I was taught left to right, but quickly learnt that that was also wrong, in the 70's at some point......only a few years ago my mum, and my uncle were still using left to right and had been taught like this......hence i was being obstinate, because when faced with my mums bewilderment, I could hardly say 'she was wrong' it wouldn't be fair.....also when I explained, she then said that it was too late for her to keep remembering the 'new rules' and that she wouldn't need them anyway.

I just saw brackets as the answer to people who would otherwise be mistaken (I don't put backets around everything, just those things that are most likely to be confused)

## I actually quite like the 'mean PM', its quite funny

it seems gloriously chaotic, with everyone going here there and everywhere.

The downside of it is that its got a massive gravity now, and cg has hardly contributed......so I have this worrying idea that he is just sitting back watching it grow with self satisfaction and indulging in a celebratory wank.

## i'm a maths tutor

and this thread is shit