24 December 2020

Not That Hard

Something kind of fun over my many attempts to get a degree...


My first attempt at getting a degree was aerospace engineering.

Calculus is a cut class for AeroE at Iowa State.  You don't pass, you don't advance into the core program.

The score you need to pass it unreasonably high as a limiter to the number of students entering the core classes.

If you just wanted to learn calculus, you took a different class with lower pass/fail standards, to be an engineer student, you learned calculus.

After three tries I passed.  I also ran out of tuition money and tolerance for the BS of being a college student.

After a break I went back and was going to be a psychologist.  Statistics are an astonishingly large part of psychology.

Probability and statistics are, despite what so many people say, not not difficult.  They are tedious, but they are not hard.  But I burned out when I learned what the actual job would be.  I loved the science, hated the employment prospects.

I took what I'd already learned and got an associates in machine design and drafting.  A translator between those who engineer and those who build.   That kept me fed until the peace dividends put experienced engineers in competition with me for mere drafting jobs.  Why have someone who was merely qualified when you had someone who was overqualified and desperate to take the job at virtually any salary offered?

Back to college...

I ran into math again when I finally finished a degree and got my Business Admin sheepskin.


Accounting is not really math.  It's really just arithmetic.  But it's a way of organizing the number to give meaning to the numbers which can express beyond just figures.  Fascinating, really.  A BBA doesn't delve all the way into accounting, but it does give enough to grasp it.

All of that is a long-winded way to say, "with the data I have, from the source I took it from, my numbers are absolutely correct."

If there's a fault, it's in the source's data and not what I did to it.

Today's CFR is 1.69 from Florida's numbers which I have been tracking since March.  The reason I started tracking it is they don't have a history.  You can't check yesterday's numbers, so I put them in a spreadsheet.

Something about being a autodidact polymath is the checking of terms when entering new territory.

That little Wikipedia article on CFR really helps explain why the people who're most confused by the simple fucking math here are nearly always in medicine.  They're not using the correct term when they say CFR and have group-thinked themselves into believing they're correct and everyone else is using it wrong.

It's like a machinist saying tenths when they mean ten-thousandths.  It's wrong, but they know what they mean among themselves.  It's only when they try to explain it to someone else who is using the terms correctly that things break down.

At least machinists can (usually) remember to correct themselves to say ten-thousandths.