7:26 AM — Infinite Monkeys throw Infinite Shit at Infinite Computers
Monkeys can't write Shakespeare. They can't even figure out where the keyboard is on a computer. And even if they could find the keyboard, typing an infinite number of letters for an infinite time is still no garuntee. For example, they could simply type an infinite number of letter A's. That would take an infinite time, yet they would never get the complete works of Shakespeare, abridged or no. Gotta love infinities.
- There's an infinite amount of positive integers (at times also called counting numbers, whole numbers, or natural numbers, though these terms can be confused with the next category). These numbers can be listed: 1, 2, 3...
- There's one more non-negative integer: 0, 1, 2, 3... So that's infinity plus one (equals infinity). Alternately, you can think if mapping all the positive integers (p) to the non-negatives (n) by saying that n=p-1, and therefore there's actually the same number of infinite values in each set. This is referred to as the order or cardinality of the set, which is called alef-null.
- There's twice as many plus one integers as positive integers, or twice as many minus one integers as non-negative integers, all of which are infinite: ...-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3...
- There's even more infinite rational numbers, anything that can be expressed as a fraction n/m where n and m are both integers, for example (in no order and establishing no trend) -1/2, 25/342, -7, 44/3...
- And there's infinitely more yet of real numbers, consisting of both rational and irrational numbers, numbers that can be expressed as a fraction and those that can't. For example, irrational numbers include sqrt(2), pi, -(4/3)^(1/5)... This is a higher "order" (alef-one) of infinity than the previous ones (all alef-null). This one's continuous (no "gaps" between numbers, can completely fill the "space") while the previous ones are discrete.
) discusses the levels of infinity.
) defines the different types of "whole" numbers.
Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare
(original AP article c/o Wired News
Notes Towards the Complete Works of Shakespeare
(official page of the experiment/performance art)
by Rudy Rucker, a surreal sci-fi novel regarding infinities and God.
5:09 PM — Astronomically awestruck
barely beyond the edge of the Earth
the newborn lies cradled in the arms of love
Stepping off the bus today I saw an amazing site of the crescent moon juxtaposed beside a bright Venus in the West. It was beautiful to look at, the thin sliver of moon pointed at the ground, shining pinprick to its right less than the same distance away, framed on the left by tree branches and on the right by houses, with the sky luminously blue. But geek that I am, I found it even more amazing knowing that about 24 hours ago the new moon (now waxing crescent) passed in front of the sun in Antartica, and in addition that in less than a year Venus will do the same for the world for the first time in over a hundred years.
To paraphrase the Bad Astronomer
, the universe is fascinating and gorgeous in its own right; there is no need for me to invent supernatural additions to it, be they gods or ghosts.
11:23 AM — |337 6009|3
By now everyone not hiding under an unwired rock without a nearby airport knows of simple text abbreviations such as "cu l8r" ("see you later"). Many of the more internet savy might have even heard of "l33t sp34k" (I know of it through the webcomic Megatokyo
of "Does anyone here speak l33t?!" and "b4k4^2" fame). But did you know that even Google
has a "l33t l4|\|9u49e" version of their search engine!
For the few of you readers NOT in the know, l33t sp34k is a term for a kinda encrypted version of English (or the language of your choice) in which numbers and symbols are substituted for common letters which appear similar. E->3, A->4, etc. There are varying levels of leet, and at its "worst," you'll have substitutions such as W->\/\/, H->#, N->|\|, U->|_| ... It's certainly entertaining, but not designed for easy communication. Check out that Google
page, and the linked help
, etc. pages. If you're confused and can't read it at all, try slightly unfocusing your eyes; that allows you to not concentrate on the meaning of every individual symbol but instead start seeing similarities between the appearance of the symbols in l33t and the ones you expect to see in normal English.
#4\/3 f|_||\| & 900|) ||_|c|<
1:55 PM — Privacy...
Egad, my research advisor's colleague found my old blog pages while we were visiting him in France to do research. He wouldn't cease ribbing me about it... At least that's better than being stalked by someone I don't know whom swears I'm his soul mate and he wants me to have his children.
France was fun. Photos will get up sometime. Meanwhile, I need more brainpower so I can write a real post...
UPDATE: 10 Dec, Photos now up!