I suspect that the youth complaining about the uselessness of algebra are the same ones who, as cashiers, can’t count the correct change if their registers are down.
I also suspect that basic mathematical skills escape us if we don’t regularly use them.
A few years ago, I went to the fish market to buy $50 worth of clams* for a relative. She was unsure of the cost, but to me that was irrelevant – unless they were like $5 or something outrageous like that and then I’d leave them right in the showcase – because I already knew how much I had to spend.
“They might be $1 per clam,” she says, anyway, “I don’t know.”
I drive to the market, peruse the board for a price but don’t see one and ask the older co-owner how much for her clams.
She replies $3.75.
And that’s when shit went downhill.