Split the bill

Blake sent me this article from the Onion: “Caltech Physicists Successfully Split The Bill.”


The funny thing is this shit happened all the time in college. The system is so borked that the unwritten rule there is that the youngest, non-Mathematics major has to split the bill. For those who don’t know, math majors at Caltech are notoriously bad at arithmetic so they get a free pass.

This leads to the conventional wisdom that the smarter the people are on paper, the harder it is going to do get them to successfully do something practical like split the bill. I remember once I was discussion with a classmate how smart some chemistry prof was—he either won the Nobel Prize or later would win one—and someone mentioned in passing, “Yeah, but I bet he can’t do his taxes or something.”

As a frosh with an undeclared major, the Caltech policy meant a couple times this physicist did the “Random Contribution Model.” I think they were expecting the “Pay What You Ordered Algorithm,” but I was taking a lot of math classes and I once spent half an hour (no joke) trying to compute the square root of two-squared.1

So fuck ’em.

1 The answer is 2.

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