## Oh, My, God. Pointy-Headed Biden Talks Calculus!

You will not believe this. Joe Biden, at a campaign rally in Wooster, Ohio today yesterday, used mathematics in an analogy to demonstrate why you shouldn’t vote McCain. And I’m not talking about arithmetic or even algebra. He used calculus in his analogy–specifically inflection points! WTF?

This is not change I can believe in. Candidates for president are not allowed to even give the slightest impression that they are intelligent, curious people. I strongly disapprove.

Check out the video at around the 2:35 mark or just read the transcript and you can scoff along:

Biden: Folks, remember your calculus classes from undergraduate school, you few crazy people who were engineers, God love ya? But all kidding aside, remember your calculus class you learned about an inflection point? That’s the point at which, like, you’re driving your car, where the steering wheel is dead straight, and once you make a move, even to a degree, you commit that automobile hurdling in a direction you can’t immediately change. Well, in American history, there have been about four or five inflection points… [etcetera]

HOW DARE HE INSULT MY STUPIDITY WITH HIS ELABORATELY ABSTRACT MATHEMATICAL METAPHORS THAT ONLY D&D NERDS WILL UNDERSTAND.

### 2 responses to this post.

1. Posted by Alec DesRoches on September 19, 2008 at 10:04 am

an inflection point, or point of inflection (or inflexion) is a point on a curve at which the curvature changes sign. The curve changes from being concave upwards (positive curvature) to concave downwards (negative curvature), or vice versa. If one imagines driving a vehicle along the curve, it is a point at which the steering-wheel is momentarily “straight”, being turned from left to right or vice versa.

from mathworld

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/images/eps-gif/InflectionPoint_700.gif

An inflection point is a point on a curve at which the sign of the curvature (i.e., the concavity) changes. Inflection points may be stationary points, but are not relative maxima or relative minima. For example, for the curve plotted above, the point is an inflection point.