Mathematics, Dirty Harry wannabes, hacks and car dealerships ….

Mathematics: this appeared in the New York Times. It is about Terry Tao, who is one of the best mathematicians in the world. It also gives a reasonably good description of what mathematical research is like. True, I only do it part time, and my best stuff wouldn’t even be a throw away for Professor Tao. Nevertheless, the article in interesting reading.

Computer hacks: yes, if someone REALLY wants to hack your computer, they can. No, I am not really worried; there is no reason to target me. But still, this article is very interesting; I knew about some of this from my days in the Navy.

Dumb business practices: A potential customer visits a car dealership:

So last night I decided to go shopping for a new car. My current car is fine, but it’s three years old and I’ve already put 80,000 miles on it. I get nervous when my car gets near the 100,000 mark, so I thought I had better go ahead and start looking.

When I got to the dealership, the salesman pounce on me. You know the routine. They need a commission check and they want to sell me the most expensive car I can get. The salesman shows me a few cars, and I find one I really like. I test drive it and decide that I wanted the car. We discussed pricing and payments and finally my trade-in. He took my keys and told me they were going to take my current car out for a drive so they could appraise it.

When he returned, he told me they had to knock off $3,000 because my car had been vandalized. My car hadn’t been vandalized, so I said “Excuse me?” while giving him a puzzled look. He said, yeah, somebody did a real number on it. At that point, I stood up and said show me. I thought for a moment that I must have overlooked something that must have recently happened. He laughed and said, “That Hillary bumper sticker on your back window.” He said, I am sure you wouldn’t have put that mess on there. You know she’s going to ruin the country if she wins and will tax you so much you won’t be able to afford a car. Then he laughed again.

Well, I wasn’t in the mood to hear his shit. I asked for my keys back and when he gave them to me, I got up to leave. Confused, he chased after me. I told him I did not appreciate his comments and that he had lost a sale. The sales manager for the dealership overheard me and came over to ask me what had happened so I told him. He rolled his eyes and told me that his salesman was only joking. I said I’m not and I left.

Boy this is going to be a long election season… Oh, and I won’t ever be buying a car from that dealership.

LOL. But a friend, actually the same friend that pointed me toward the Terry Tao article, pointed out that this guy blew an opportunity to get a big discount. Hey, you can tell me that Obama sucks, but if you want MY business, that is going to cost you! 🙂

Playing Dirty Harry: Some “patriots” (yes, I now find that I use that word as an ironic slur) are taking it upon themselves to “guard” military recruiting centers. The military is less than thrilled.

Perhaps this is why:

Bottom line: you might be a good hunter and you might be good at the target range. But real life attacks are unpredictable, highly stressful situations and unless you are not only trained to react well under stress and your training is current, you will probably be less than worthless in a real life situation. You’ll be nervous, scared, and other humans will be around; things will be happening FAST and it is highly likely that you’ll just make things worse.

Even trained professionals make mistakes.


July 25, 2015 - Posted by | mathematics, politics/social, social/political | ,

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