6 – 1 x 0 + 2 / 2

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

This is why I should just get off Facebook. A friend linked this question in his feed, and I made the mistake of reading some of the answers. Right now it’s got nearly 39,000 answers, and at least half of them seem to be wrong. Actually, more than half – maybe one in five gets it right. The answer is 7:  multiplication and division have higher precedence than addition and subtraction.

The part that gets me is that every single person arguing for another answer is convinced they’re right. I hate to appeal to authority, but typing the string into Google returns the expected answer.

The most common answers:

1:  These people just read across and do what the signs tell them to do.

5: These people have heard of order of operations, but they’re following the BEDMAS acronym too closely and assert that addition has a higher precedence than subtraction.

0, 3.5, 4, any other answer: These people were all dropped on their heads repeatedly as children.

Reading questions like this is the equivalent of reading the comments sections in newspapers. The people that have time and inclination to respond to things like this are exactly the sort of people that you don’t want to hear from. Yet as much as I try to avoid reading shit like this, something draws me to it. Like a car accident.