[LMB] Old Moldy OT:

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


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).

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