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# Where did the dollar go?

Sat 6 Dec, 2008 12:58 am
Three men pitch in for a hotel room and pay \$10 a piece for the room totalling \$30. The room is a disaster because room service had not mad it to the room yet. Thus, the hotel gives a \$5 refund for the room. Since they cannot split the \$5 evenly, they each take \$1 and give the other \$2 for a tip. Each man end up paying \$9 for the room and collectively gave a \$2 tip. What happened to the remaining \$1? (9*3)+2=29 (10*3)=30

So what exactly happened to the \$1 that is not accounted for?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 878 • Replies: 5
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Pangloss

1
Sat 6 Dec, 2008 03:18 am
@Theaetetus,
Everything is accounted for in the story...the total end cost of the room, including tip was \$27 (25+2). This balances with what they ended up paying, (9*3) = \$27
xris

1
Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:42 am
@Pangloss,
heard it tweny years ago.. sorry.
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Theaetetus

1
Sun 7 Dec, 2008 09:38 am
@Theaetetus,
I actually had a point to posting this--which came to me as the day was nearing an end--but it seems to have slipped my mind after sleep and writing a paper comparing and contrasting Kantian and Aristotelian ethics. It had something to do with order, chaos, and language. Anyway it rests within this comparison: (9*3)+2=29 and 25+(3+2)=30. Two different ways to express the same data, but both have different outcomes.
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Pangloss

1
Sun 7 Dec, 2008 01:41 pm
@Theaetetus,
No, it's an error of accounting.
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Theaetetus

1
Sun 7 Dec, 2008 01:51 pm
@Theaetetus,
I remembered what it was all about. It had to do with economics and what happened to the economy. Simple fudging of numbers whether known or unknown radically threw the system out of equilibrium. This basic error that the situation highlights how simple it is to ascribe the wrong mathematical placeholder for a certain function. It is an error in accounting, but on a larger scale it has drastic consequences. Think about billions of dollars and millions of participants and it becomes obvious how serious the problem is.

If you think about it, the entire economy was based on improper ascription of mathematical language. Think about this little though experiment spread across the entire realm of the economy and it becomes obvious why things went wrong in a hurry. Structural accounting errors. The theory attempted to alter the data.
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