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Chapter 6

Math and Logic

Math and logic: Many of us both love them and hate them simultaneously. If you're math-phobic, you might try to get along by avoiding them as much as possible, but we hope these hacks can help you learn to let them into your life a little more. Mathematics and logic are critical skill sets for clear thinking (Hack 38, “Think Clearly about Simple Errors”) and solving real-world problems (Hack 41, “Engineer Your Results”), as well as expanding your understanding of the physical world (Hack 42, “Enter the Third Dimension”).

Math and logic can help you have fun, too. You can learn simple techniques to roll dice in your head (Hack 36, “Roll the Mental Dice”) so you can play games on car trips and other places where real dice would be inconvenient, and hone your logic skills with games in which you play detective (Hack 37, “Abduct Your Conclusions”).

Some people think the world is made of math. Whether or not that's true, it certainly seems to follow mathematical and logical laws, and it always pays to understand the rules for the world in which you live. Breaking those laws can have powerful consequences, so don't get busted—ignorance of the law is definitely no excuse!

Hack 36: Roll the Mental Dice

You need a random number, but you don't have dice handy. Generate random numbers as large as you want by rolling dice in your head.

Quick! You need a way to generate random numbers using just your brain, because you're playing in the pool, driving, falling asleep, ...

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