Brian MacMillan

01 Lackadaisicals

BM Lackadaisicals


Lackadaisical numbers, expressions and functions have an actual value that is always less than its potential value, or as  computer scientist Professor Andrew Winthrop puts it, “a lackadaisical is an identity that is less than itself.” Lackadaisicals include probabilities that produce results  with a margin of error greater than fifty percent; any result one  or more orders of magnitude smaller than its significant digit; and all distributions based on non-random samples. Some psychologists  claim they are useful in enumerating false  modesty and  hyperbole. In mathematics they are used  extensively in political polling, pharmaceutical testing, punditry and last- minute master’s thesis surveys.  They are also used in pharmacology to miscalculate doses, and by weight-watchers everywhere to count calories.


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