### The (perverted) pleasures of computation

**Lao Chen:**The rectangle is 2 m by 1.5 m.

**Senior Engineer:**Yup, so the diagonal distance would be…

The Senior Engineer picks up a pencil and prepares to perform some squaring operations ala Pythagoras.

**Lao Chen:**2.5 m. You scale the dimensions up to 4 by 3, and it becomes a 3, 4, 5 triangle. Scale it back down and you get 2.5 m.

**The Senior Engineer:**Oh, yes yes. You’re doing it using similar triangles. Very professional…

**Lao Chen:**How much tips did you get today?

**Ruth:**I don’t know. I worked 9 hours today, so my pay would be 8.5 times 9…

**Lao Chen:**9 squared is 81. 9 times 5 is 4.5. 81 minus 4.5 is 76.5.

(Muffled gasps of wonder from back of the car.)

**Ruth:**So my tips would be

*[omitted]*. I think the Manager paid me an hour less.

Finding existing solutions to compare with an existing arithmetic problem (and them solving it rapidly) gives me a strange pleasure. Of course, it can be used to impressed boys and girls, but that is obviously an utter misuse of mathematics.

You can probably tell that I'm showing off.

Labels: personal

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