Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Because they talk to each other.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why be rude to some who's hard to replace???

Anonymous said...

I think it's rudeness |-> replacement-time ...

Eric said...

I first read this as "The more time it takes to find a replacement A, the more rude you will be to A.", but to make this work, it should be "The more rude you are to A, the more time it will take to find a replacement A."

Anonymous said...

I think eric got it in "the more rude you are to A, the more time it will take to find a replacement A."

Thomas said...

I was confused at first too, until I remembered that in experiments in general, the x-axis is what you change, the y-axis is what results...

Anonymous said...

You remembered wrong, Thomas. This graph says that the harder it is to replace someone, the ruder you'll be to them. Probably not what the author intended it to show, but it's certainly not the first time she's gotten her variables mixed up.
Apparently it's deliberate, to annoy those who know how to properly plot graphs. It seems to have worked.

Amrit said...

Although it's natural for English-speaking people to read from left to right, in math, you almost always plot the independent variable on the X-axis and the dependent variable on the Y-axis (that's why the equation of a straight line is most often expressed as y = mx + c and not as x = (y - c) / m).

In this case, [the rudeness = x] is what's coming out of you, and [the time to find a replacement = y] is what's coming out of [the rudeness = x]. In other words, the ruder you are to someone, the harder it is to find a replacement, which, to me, makes a lot of sense.

What are you smoking, Anonymous (8:17 PM)?

David said...

Seconding Amrit's comment: graphs typically have the x-axis as the independent variable, for example time.

I have to disagree about the girlfriend one though. It's only true if she's the type to tell everybody she knows, and if your pool of potential new girlfriends are people that will hear about it.

Em said...

Anonymous (8:17) got it precisely right.

Think back to beginning stats. You have one variable that is dependent upon another. So which of the following are true?

(A) Rudeness is dependent upon replacement time. (As you alter replacement time, rudeness changes accordingly.)
(B) Replacement time is dependent upon rudeness. (As you alter rudeness, replacement time changes accordingly.)

Obviously, (B) is the only statement that makes sense. Therefore, replacement time is the dependent variable because it is dependent upon rudeness.

Dependent variables are supposed to go on the y-axis. This graph's axes are switched. If you were to read it the way it was written, it surely would not mean what it was clearly intended to say.

But, as anonymous (8:17) said, Jessica frequently puts the dependent variable on the x-axis, for whatever reason I cannot imagine.

Em said...

Wait, never mind.

I wrote that whole comment while misremembering the graph in my mind as having rudeness on Y.

Apparently, I'm the one smoking something.

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

Delta S said...

Doesn't anyone read the title of a graph anymore? :)

Anonymous said...

the graph is expressing a correlation, not a function. that's why all the confusion ...

mrburkemath said...

My initial reaction was to read being hard to replace as being valuable, and you wouldn't be rude to a valuable employee (though you may want to... but's that's another matter).

But again, that's not what the graph represents. Just shows that even the folks that have been working with this stuff for years can read one wrong occasionally.

 
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