[LMB] Old Moldy OT:

James cessnadriver at gmail.com
Sat May 6 05:40:55 BST 2006


Ouch.

While I admit I used to be able to do mental arithmetic fairly well, I
find as time goes on and as I use the calculator more and more, I
approximate heavily to judge if an answer sounds reasonable.

Of course, I usually do it to ensure my calculations are somewhat
accurate, and mostly to see if it seems reasonable. But yeah, a common
complaint is the inability to do simple estimations.

Heck, I've done it a lot more in the past few years - when you have a
budget, it really helps to know how far into it you've gone, how much
the item you want to buy costs, and how much sales tax is gonna chew
extra. Learn a lot of extra "multiplication tricks" that can be done
to turn a complex multiplication to something much simpler (usually by
doing it using powers of 10 and addition, and dropping cents and
rounding up). I don't aim to have perfect change at the cashier, but I
know if I need to dig out a 20 and a few quarters, or a 20 plus some
loonies and twonies. Helps greatly too in case something scans in
wrong and your estimate is way out (plus something to do while waiting
in line).



More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list