[personal profile] vshnayder
Is anyone who reads this as intrigued, in a strange sort of way, as I am by panel 3 of http://xkcd.com/c207.html ?

Date: 2007-01-09 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] esprit-du-tigre.livejournal.com
I'm not 1337 enough to know what the hell that's talking about. I drop math classes like third period French (as the cliche goes, although in reality I loved third period French).

Date: 2007-01-09 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dushai.livejournal.com
It's the mathematical equivalent of the Show That Never Was. "Not infinity, but a damn good approximation."

However, if you like that one, then surely you must like this one:

Date: 2007-01-09 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shnayder.livejournal.com
Indeed. I like pretty much all of xkcd though :)

And I like the way you phrased it. It'd be fun to try to write an entire Mathematical Show That Never Was. I don't know nearly enough math to pull it off though.

Date: 2007-01-10 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dushai.livejournal.com
I don't know nearly enough math either, but that won't stop me from trying...

"Dividing by zero on the field, it's the Princeton University Band!"

[Princeton Canonical Song]

"Hey band, Graham's number is big, and Ackerman's function on Graham's number is bigger, but for what value of N does the sum from i=1 to N of 1/i exceed it?

I say Cantor's diagonal proof is full of crap, because not only do the decimals in the list go on forever, but the list goes on forever too, so you're just as likely to reach the "last" decimal place as you are to reach the "last" number on the list.

Besides, obviously there are just as many rational numbers as irrational numbers, because there's a rational number between every two irrational numbers. Just write the two irrationals down, one over the other, and truncate at the first decimal place where they differ.

Forming a continuum hypothesis on the field, the band says [censor bait] "Our gonads are THIS BIG!" [backup plan] ...says "Aleph One and one for all."

[Band forms a blob, plays "Hey Ya"... or "Mandelbrot Set" by Jonathan Coulton]

Run away, Band! It's x/y, x^y, and the Dirac delta function... and they all want you to differentiate them at the origin!

Date: 2007-01-10 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shnayder.livejournal.com
Nice... that first question is a good one. Isn't infinity great? No matter how big a number you imagine, you can always think of one much much bigger :)



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