They did better than I expected.
If a shepherd has 125 sheep and five dogs, that means each dog will have to handle 25 sheep each. If they only had two dogs, each dog would have to handle considerably more and there would be more chance of sheep running away that the shepherd would have to chase after.
Therefore, all the kids who were dividing the totals were actually working on an estimate of probability. If the shepherd was younger, he or she would be more able to chase after rogue sheep and would therefore need less dogs. So they were attempting to work out, roughly, how old the shepherd is by their ratio of dogs to sheep, and the likelihood of sheep escaping.
Now, one dog to 25 sheep probably carries a fair risk of the occasional sheep breaking ranks. I'd say that the shepherd is probably in their late 40s. Still fairly mobile but perhaps carrying a long standing and niggling injury from their teens when a horse kicked them in the thigh causing a fracture, but the wound was not allowed to heal properly because - y'know - stuff to do, sheep to herd. So, one sheep they can handle but more than one would be too much, hence one dog for every 25.
I failed maths by the way.
In the Old Testament, flocks were often given as wedding gifts, with members of richer tribes being given more. So, it could also be that the more dogs the shepherd has, the richer the shepherd's father. The number left alive would also indicate the shepherd's youth, as none of the dogs have been lost to Assyrian invasion. Given the average age of marriage and life expectancy, I'd say the shepherd is 15.
To some extent I blame math class. Story problems tend to follow this weird cadence that does not resemble how a person would actually approach a problem in the real world, and the assumption is that enough information is always present to solve the problem, if you just perform enough arithmetic. It can foster mental shortcuts that don't force you to think about what you're doing, and we're seeing a lot of that in this video.
But while I blame math class at least a little, I blame these students even more. Put on your thinking caps already, you knuckleheads.
The whole lateral thinking craze of the 90's-00's straight made everyone stupid. It's math, it has one answer. This time the answer was "there's not enough information."
I would expect this out of maybe 5th grade. Not 8th. Good grief, they're almost in highschool.
They could theoretically be drafted into the army in like five years.
You ever want to have fun with a group of teenagers, give them pencil and paper and ask then to draw a rough map of the world. Just the major continents etc.
I dare say that this is exactly the type of person the army wants. Not asking too many questions or thinking too critically. Imagine the breakdown in the ranks if the average soldier stopped to ask "does this make any sense?"
I'm fairly certain the kid who answered "42" was just flipping them the mathematical bird.
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