Dear Higgie,

Higgenbotham wrote:
> I think both of them could if you laid the equation out that is to

> be solved, explained what a, b, and c are, then gave them the

> quadratic formula. Otherwise, if they haven't used the formula in

> the past year, I doubt either would remember it.

> If you put an equation in front of them like x2 - 4x - 21 = 0, and

> asked them to give both solutions in less than 15 seconds by just

> looking at it, I doubt either of them could do it. I would wonder

> what fraction of the US adult population could. Maybe somewhere

> between 0.1 and 1%?

I believe that what Obama said is that he can't solve a quadratic

equation no matter how much time he has, even with his daughter's

textbook in front of him.

Recall that the quadratic formula contains a square root sign. Could

Obama, or any but 1% of the politicians, be able to answer the

question, "To the nearest integer, what is the square root of 10?" I

doubt it.

I realize that solving quadratic equations is not in the job

description to be president. But I'm making a deeper point. I've

written hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times expressing enormous

contempt for politicians who don't have the vaguest clue what's going

on in the world. I've had a "scorched earth" policy for politicians

in America and in Europe, on the left and on the right, and for

so-called "experts" on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. If I had to pick one

that epitomizes the greatest stupidity of all, it would be Nobel Prize

Winner Paul Krugman.

Obama's remark to Leno really crystallized my thinking on this point.

If he's unable to help his daughter solve a quadratic equation -- even

while sitting with his daughter, with all the time in the world, and

with the quadratic formula right in front of him in his daughter's

textbook -- then how can he have any clue what's going on in the

world?

To understand what's going on in the world, then you have to

understand the difference between cause and effect, between causation

and correlation, as well as simple logical reasoning. All of that

would be well beyond someone who can't figure out how to help his

daughter's algebra homework.

*** System Dynamics and the Failure of Macroeconomics Theory*

** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi ... acro061025
Higgie, you'll recall the above article that I posted in 2006. You

wrote to me at the time that you had no trouble solving Sterman's

system dynamics problem.

So you'll understand how serious the situation is. Sterman's problem

requires no more mathematics than the ability to count to 100. But it

does require the ability to do simple logical reasoning, much simpler

than the logical reasoning that a President would have to do every

day. But most MIT students get it wrong, and many are completely

stumped. It's totally hopeless among mainstream politicians and

economists. No wonder they all sound like idiots, and make decisions

and reach conclusions that reflect their innate idiocy.

This weekend, we have the European leaders in Brussels trying to

figure out how to solve the financial crisis. Can you imagine a

dumber bunch of baboons doing that?

Mathematics is a big part of Generational Dynamics theory, and I

personally don't believe that anyone who can't help his daughter solve

a quadratic equation, or who can't solve Sterman's simple system

dynamics problem, should be trusted to make any decisions more

complicated than whether they want pickles with their hamburgers.

Today we have Gen-Xers with no experience, absorbed with hatred of

Boomers and thus unwilling to learn from the experience of Boomers,

and incapable of anything close to logical reasoning, making

decisions. No wonder history is littered with catastrophes, with the

next catastrophe right around the corner.