*Chill mathematicians! I know you can’t have more than 100%. I’m using BBC Scotland guidelines on headlines.
From FinTech Scotland on Friday:
FinTech Scotland has confirmed that the number of innovative fintech SMEs based in Scotland has grown by three times to over eighty in the last twelve months. The announcement comes on the first anniversary since the formation of FinTech Scotland, a joint initiative by a number of financial services firms, University of Edinburgh and Scottish Government. The growth in the new fintech enterprises focused on reinventing financial services has been driven by both new start-ups and existing fintech firms moving to Scotland. In addition, the number has also been bolstered by early stage Scottish technology firms expanding their proposition into financial services.
What we can and should do:
Can Edinburgh’s high-tech expertise steal some of London’s financial business post-Brexit?
Glasgow’s lower costs and supply of technology graduates tempting financial services firms away from London
Why we should do it:
How London’s bloated financial sector sucks the lifeblood of the Scottish and rUK economy
Of course you can have more than 100%, it’s your more fluid interpretation of percentage calculations John that might make mathematicians wince. A percentage is just like a ratio or a fraction, sorry, not just like: it IS a ratio or fraction. Instead of a quarter you can say 25%, which is a quarter of a 100, 1/4 x 100. Three is just as much of a fraction, 3/1, as a quarter, so 300% is valid, 3/1 x 100.
When it comes to statistics, you shouldn’t treat percentages as straight numbers – there is context, and they are fractions. 100 is just what you choose to be the ‘whole’ in any context. Three times that whole is an increase, but if you say a 50% INCREASE that would be 1.5 x the whole which is 150% (150/100=1.5, or (100+50)/100=1.5) which is half of 300%, but 50% isn’t by itself half of 300%, (‘increase’ here implies above the whole), and 50% decrease (or 50% of the whole) would be 0.5 x the whole. It’s muddy waters talking statistics. ‘Grow by’ 300% is good wording to suggest a 3x the whole I reckon. Mathematically ‘of’ means ‘x’ (multiply). I think I may have just muddied my own thinking, but I’m no weel so will leave it there and expect sympathy.
Aaaaah…that hurt! Why have some mathy people corrected me before and tole me that I can’t have more than 100%? They’re just bar stewards?
Context, it’s all to do with context. 100% is everything in a whole, and percentages should really be used to relate to fractions of that whole – you cannot add up a bunch of percentages to get more than 100%, unless they aren’t related in which case you shouldn’t be adding them (dodgy sums).
Then, one of my OU maths exams had a potential 115% result. Yup, they designed it where you could pass with 115% – or send us over the edge into madness trying to think why anyone would do this. So you had the basic criteria for reaching 100% (choosing so many Qs in the first part and so many Qs in the second) and then if you were super-clever and very very fast you were allowed to complete an extra Q in the second part, worth 15 points. I can’t remember if there was a special merit for achieving above 100%, needless to say I definitely didn’t get anywhere close. Normally, an extra question would not be marked, but in this case they promised to and give credit for it, hence the extra 15%.
If you say ‘120% OF something’, you are just saying ‘1.2 times something’. (Because per cent is the same as indicating ‘divide by a hundred’). Or 80% OF something is 0.8 times something. But only where ‘something’ is relevant to this usage (say money in your account) ( e.g. The cost of the lawnmower is 120% of money in my bank account)(that is, the lawn mower costs 1.2 times more than I can afford).
But you can’t ever say 120% of people voted, for instance, because there is not physically more people than there is. So you can’t add up 25% voted remain, 50% voted leave and 45% voted don’t know, it makes no sense. It has to be a fraction that only adds up 100 (with rounding errors), because the 100 is absolutely everything in this case.
Is this any better, or does the brain still hurt?
Context? I should get that. Always on about myself in a different context – journalistic sources.
I once got 120% in an arithmetic exam by answering all 6 questions when just 5 were required. They wouldn’t let us leave and I had time to spare.
Unfortunately next time I found the questions harder and only got 73%. My report said my progress was inconsistent.