Arla, a Swedish yogurt producer.
You catch a pike but the scales are broken. The pike weighs two kilograms plus half its weight. How much does it weigh?
At this point I’m comfortable with two definitions of pseudocontext:
- context that is flatly untrue: “a basketball team scores two points every minute for the duration of the game.”
- operations that have nothing to do with the given context: “the age of Mark’s dad is three more than four times Mark’s age.”
We’ve worked hard for those two categories. We’ve digested some really untasty mathematics in their development. They indicate problems that aren’t just boring or irritating but problems that are actually alienating, problems that disrupt a student’s innate and true sense of the world.
Pseudocontext Saturdays will run their course eventually. For now, though, the intellectual challenge of identifying different levels of badness (and, in many cases, redeeming it) is too invigorating to give them up. Those of you who have invested time and effort on these features in the comments and in your submissions — thanks.
- Scan an example of pseudocontext.
- Email it to email@example.com
- List the textbook title, edition, and publisher.
- Give me your interpretation of the term “pseudocontext.”
- Let me know if you’d like credit (name, blog or twitter) or if you’d prefer anonymity.