WitCH 52: Lines of Attack

Yes, we have tons of overdue homework for this blog, and we will start hacking into it. Really. But we’ll also try to keep the new posts ticking along.

The following, long WitCH comes from the Cambridge text Mathematical Methods 3 & 4 (including an exercise solution from the online version of the text).

UPDATE (07/02/21)

Commenter John Friend has noted a related question from the 2011 Methods Exam 1. We’ve added that question below, along with the discussion from the assessment report.



A Fine Whine

Last week we were contacted by a long-forgotten (but quickly remembered) ex-student. We met for coffee yesterday and, for no reason we could discern, the student presented us with a bottle of wine:

We are aware that a number of our ex-students read this blog. So, it is important that they not think of this post as somehow a hint or a request to act in kind. They should think of it as more of a demand.

RatS 3: The GameStopping of Wall Street

Matt Taibbi has written a great article on the GameStop game: Suck it, Wall Street.

(Subheading: In a blowout comedy for the ages, finance pirates take it up the clacker.)

It’s all really worth reading, but here’s Taibbi’s summary:

[E]verybody “understands” what happened with GameStop. Unlike some other Wall Street stories, this one isn’t complicated. The entire tale, in a nutshell, goes like this. One group of gamblers announced, “Fuck you!” Another group announced back: “No, fuck YOU!”

That’s it. Or, as one market analyst put it to me this morning, “A bunch of guys made a bet, got killed, then doubled and tripled down and got killed even more.”

UPDATE (07/02/21)

Taibbi interviews one of the GameStop gamers.

And, Taibbi responds to a critic.


We’re back, sort of, and we’ll soon get back to mathematics and to needling the VCAA and their goon-clown minions. But, first, there’s a little catching up to do. And, to begin, we must celebrate the decline and fall of the Orange Maniac. It turned out, and this was no gimme, that American society was strong enough to withstand the full on assault by Republican fascists. And now America, and the World, is once again perfect.

Trump, of course, is not the disease but a symptom. True, he’s a disgusting symptom, and he’s a symptom that’ll probably end up killing a couple million Americans; symptoms can indeed be deadly. But the disease is what matters most, and the disease was thriving long before Trump shat on everything, and it is stronger than ever. For decades, Republicans have gleefully engaged in a calculated and vicious denial of reality, eagerly enabled by Murdoch and his rapacious ilk, and their psychopathically soulless henchmen. And the Democrats, and America in general, is not a whole hell of a lot better. The place is pretty fucked.

Australia is not fucked. Yes, we currently have a fifth rate, mini-wit conman motherfucker for a Prime Minister. Yes, this fifth rate mini-wit conman motherfucker leads a government of neanderthals and crooks and born-to-rule twat-snots and full blown sadists. They are trying to fuck up Australia, and they are certainly making it worse. The disease is here as well, and it is getting stronger. But, and in spite of ScoMoFo and his thugocracy, and corruptly compliant media, Australia has held together pretty well.

So, let’s give thanks. Let’s give thanks that we don’t live in a gun-infested, reality-denying lunatic asylum. Let’s give thanks that the dumb fucks in our government are, in particular, pretty inept in their attempts to fuck things up. Let’s give thanks that the disease, although anything but dormant here, has not won here. Yet.