Blowing a situation out of proportion unnecessary

Michaela Regier

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There are many dangers in life, but a statistician’s greatest fear is the dangers of extrapolation. Extrapolation is when the equation of a line is used to assume the value of a number beyond the given graph. It is dangerous to assume the values beyond the given graph because the line could change, therefore, making the new found values inaccurate.

Now, after reading all those big math words please refrain from being scared. It is true what teachers say, math does apply to life. Pretend life is a graph. The x-values are the events that happen in life while the y-values are the outcomes of those said events. Where the x and y values meet is the coordinate point, or in this metaphor, the perception of those said events. If a person is over dramatic about an event that occurs (assuming the x value), the perception of the event can be skewed and have a much more negative apprehension in life.

To simplify this, say Susy asks her best friend, Karen, to borrow a shirt (this is the event that occurs, the x-value). After the weekend she was supposed to return it, but forgot to give it back. It has now been three weeks and Susy still has the shirt.

It is Karen’s favorite shirt and she cannot survive the social jungle without it. Now Susy is the enemy because Karen knows she intends to keep it forever in order to ultimately destroy her happiness. Now the two hate each other; Karen is out a shirt and a best friend.

Karen decided to be over-dramatic and assume beyond the boundaries of the affair. She could be a lot happier but has ruined her chances of a positive y-value. She should have talked to Susy and to see all sides before she ruined life’s graph. Extrapolation should be feared by not only statisticians but all melodramatic drama queens out there. Boys and girls alike.