Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Boys & Girls on Money Talk

I was in KL slightly over a week ago for treasure hunts. One evening, I watched an interesting forum on the telly in my hotel room. It was a discussion about the disturbing trend in our local universities. Apparently, about 70% of university students are females; and only 30% are males. Are Malaysian girls really so much smarter than boys?

In fact, I discussed about this subject with my business partner some time ago. It is impossible to compare specific individuals—we could only make comparison from the general point of view.

I know that some women are clever; no, they are brilliant! But I don't believe that the trend in our local universities is any indication of the decline of clever boys when compared to the girls. Boys and girls think differently; their brains work differently too. They have their respective strengths and weaknesses. But the way I see it, our education system favours the girls' brains rather than boys'.

Some girls who've scored impressively in the local university ended up in my office. I asked them about some valuation principles, and then followed by some complicated valuation formulae. Their answers were quick and impeccable. And then I asked them to show me with their hands how long's 1 metre, and they couldn't answer me! I went on to ask them which one is heavier, 1 kg of cotton or 1 kg of iron. And again the answer was quick: 1 kg of iron, of course! To be fair, not all of them failed to answer my questions, but most of them did!

When I asked the boys those same questions, I found that they're not really well-versed with the valuation principles and all those complicated mathematical formulae. But almost all of them knew the length of 1 metre; and most of them knew that both 1 kg of cotton and 1 kg of iron weigh the same.

Now it happen that by mid-2008 the Malaysian 1-sen coins will no longer be in circulation. Therefore, the smallest denomination in circulation will be the 5-sen coins. So perhaps this is a good time to consider a question regarding the 1-sen and 5-sen coins, because once the 1-sen coins are out of circulation, people will quickly forget about its existence!

If you put the 1-sen and 5-sen coins side by side, you will find that the 1-sen coin is slightly bigger (in size) than the 5-sen coin. It is strange, because in terms of value, the 5-sen coin is obviously worth more. Of course 5 pieces of the 1-sen coins would have the combined worth of a single 5-sen coin.

So, boys and girls, let's imagine a hypothetical scenario where you are given a choice between 1 truckload of 5-sen coins and 5 truckloads of 1-sen coins. All the trucks are identical and all are filled up to the brim. Which option would you choose:

(A) 1 truck, full of 5-sen coins; or

(B) 5 trucks, full of 1-sen coins?

DON'T POST YOUR ANSWER HERE. Send it to, together with a short explanation for you choice. Please specify your gender as well.

When we are done, we shall analyse the answers.

p/s: Again I forgot to mention that I allow only ONE answer per person, since it makes little sense to allow 2 answers, each answer going the opposite direction!


Cornelius said...

Hmmm... looks like business is very slow today. I can see many people watching from the sideline, but so far only 2 have submitted their choices (together with their respective explanations). Incidentally, we have one male and one female participants so far.

I didn't think it's a very complicated question, but I suppose the boys and girls are very careful not to blunder!... hehehe.

Come on, folks, let's have fun with this question!

Cornelius said...

Some more answers trickling in, folks. But unfortunately, I can't count some of them. We need the answer to come with an explanation. The idea is to analyse the lines of thought at the end of this little experiment. So don't forget, include a short explanation. Otherwise your answer is as good as a random choice.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cornelius said...

Sorry about that, folks. Richard is one of those people who don't really pay attention to instructions!

In a way, he has probably distorted this little experiment of ours. But I will keep it going a little bit longer for now. I must look up for the moderated comment option again.

If you read the instruction, Richard, I said DON'T POST YOUR ANSWER HERE. Send it to my email address instead!

Cornelius said...

OK, I have enabled the "comment moderation". From now on, all comments will require my approval before publication. I don't know why I didn't do this earlier.

Please comment as you would, folks. But this time I get to see your comments first before they're publish.

Cornelius said...

Oh by the way, Rich, why don't you get George back into you team? Some strong teams in KK Challenge 3! Very hard to compete running on 3!

And this time, for goodness sake, follow the instructions, man! Don't lose because of time!

Cornelius said...

Just to update you, folks, we have a few submissions now. But as I said, some of them are not counted because they're without explanations. Because of that we have too few to have a meaningful analysis! Furthermore, I have only received one submission from a female.

So right now, we have 1 female; 3 males; and one guy trying to be cute—he described his "sex" as "once in a blue moon".

Cornelius said...

I have just received another submission from a girl, folks, which is what we need. Come on girls, send in your choice.

Boys and girls, no need to reveal your names if you like. Just tell me your gender is good enough.

Cornelius said...

Good news, folks! I have just received another submission from a female. So now the scale is a bit more balance—3 gals and 4 guys. Looking good, but hopefully we will get more submissions soon. Keep it coming, gals and guys!