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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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it is not like reading latin. i think i could understand latin.
another frog
seperis
The thing is, svmadelyn knew, and still she pasted it.

After 38 Years, Israeli Solves Math Code, which is one of those things that is basically, for both of us, like really really expensively out of reach chocolate. Because we can stare at it for a while and think, wow, that's so cool and then now in human speech?

Because, quote:

"Say you've lost an e-mail and you want to get it back — it would be guaranteed," he said. "Let's say you are lost in a town you have never been in before and you have to get to a friend's house and there are no street signs — the directions will work no matter what."

We both stared at it and didn't speak for a few minutes, then simultaneously pasted what we'd been secretly googling.

The Road Coloring Problem by A. N. Trahtman
Note: Lots of words that do not mean what you thought they meant. Ask me how i ended up printing the explanation of a finite machine. I don't know. I just know I am afraid.)

The Road Coloring Problem on Wikipedia.
Note: There's a picture!


There was another length of silence.



madelyn: huh?
madelyn: ...I'm writing this out on a clipboard
madelyn: I don't get any of it.
madelyn: ...yet.

And that's when I admitted I had my colored pens and notebook out, trying to draw it so I could find the pattern from every one of the eight points. And looking for toothpicks to see if I could build it in three dimensions. (I didn't have tape or I would have just used pens. As I was in that insane place.)

seperis: Hmm.
seperis: I wonder if it's a variation of the always left thing.
seperis: You know, if you forever go left, you end up in a circle.
seperis: So if I wonder if it works three dimensionally.
madelyn: wouldn't it have to?
seperis: Yes, but I was thinking of time being a factor.
seperis: I mean, going to John's house by way of Istanbul.
seperis: Works, but hmm.

It got quiet again.

seperis: I can see vaguely how this would apply to data streams.
madelyn: This needs to percolate.
madelyn: For a year.
madelyn: Or two.
madelyn: Probably two.
seperis: ...why are we reading this?
seperis: *blank horror*
seperis: when--when did this become our lives?

Leading to:

seperis: The thing is.
seperis: How do you set directions--hmm.
seperis: I need a map.
seperis: Actually.
seperis: If you orient the world to yourself in grid form.
seperis: That would actually work.
seperis: Ooooh.
seperis: Okay, thought.
seperis: Using latitude/longitude!
seperis: Maybe.
seperis: No, you need the vertrices.
svmadelyn: Do I need to hit you with a carp?

And ended inevitably with:

seperis: BUT WHO THE HELL ELSE WILL LISTEN?
seperis: BESIDES PEOPLE WHO WILL SPEAK IN MATHEMATICA?
madelyn: ...John would.
madelyn: Rodney: He's SIXTY.
madelyn: John: *tacks his picture up*
seperis: Rodney would come in, see John with colored pens and this article, and orgasm on the spot.
madelyn: Rodney: *buries face*
madelyn: John: If you solved a 30 year old problem, maybe your picture would go up too.
madelyn: Rodney: I don't have time anymore!
madelyn: John: *folds arms*
madelyn: Two weeks later, Rodney comes in, bleary eyed with circles:
seperis: *glee*
madelyn: THERE. ADDITIVE NUMBER THEORY. SOLVED.
madelyn: John: Well. Letsee here. *stretches on bed*

And tonight:

eperis: I was thinking
madelyn: indeed?
seperis: Each vertice during reduction is shrunk.
madelyn: *finds blocking thing*
seperis: SORRY!



I don't remember Smallville making me do homework. Besides the one on nuclear detonation and the speed of jets flying to the Fortress.


You're making me wish I had studied math and not biology again.

I'm staring at the precal course this summer with a kind of scary lust. It's disturbing.

From an aesthetic perspective I love maths, but it's always remained an indecipherable language, just out of reach. I am jealous.

*nods* It feels like something I *could* almost get to. It's tricky like that.

You read it, think it should make sense but.....it just doesn't. I can totally see the multiple color pen thing though. I got through Calculus in University and realized very quickly that Math wasn't going to be my thing. My sister almost was a Math major and it amazed me the stuff she came home talking about. Of course she is also the one that speaks like 7 languages. sniff. Going to go try to slog through it again now.

My friends' boyfriend is working on his masters--his textbooks, she's convinced, are actually orders from his alien overlords. It's kind of terrifying.

Excellent discussion of this very thing on <href="http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/21/1319250">/. (slashdot.org for those unfamiliar), one partial comment at which follows:


The road colouring problem is not 'an equation'.

'deterministic automaton' basically means: computer program which doesn't have any form of randomness involved. If you're in this particular state in the program and you do this particular thing then always the same thing happens.

The road colouring problem amounts to: For any program, I claim that there is one single sequence of actions so that if you do this sequence of actions, from whatever start point, when you finish you will be in a specific state (`target', say) of the program.

If you take any real normal program, it's `obvious' what to do: for example if you're looking at 'edit' and you want a typed copy of Shakespeare in Times 12pt, you hit backspace as many times as edit can have characters (lots, but it's a finite number) then you go through the menus by keypress and set each style to the correct thing, then you start typing in the works of Shakespeare which eventually gives you the target state. And it doesn't matter if the monitor was off, you know that this method definitely works, whatever state edit was in when you got there, whether it was in the blank just loaded state, or whether it was editing font size in War and Peace, whatever.

It is not so easy to prove that in fact for any program you can find such a sequence.

In fact, it isn't even true...

(remainder of this comment by PDAllen (709106), as well as a bazillion others, at the link above).




Now that was interesting. Though I can see a nice hook in non-computer applications in that you literally will know when you get there, because it won't let you leave.

*loves you very much*

I have done way less maths that I wish I had and stuff like this makes me gleeful. And is also why I will never leave SGA Fandom, for where else could maths be this fannish and gleeful?!

*is gleeful*

Yes! SGA IS THAT AWESOME.

(Deleted comment)
It helps to draw it, seriously. The neatest part about it is, there's no possible way to do it wrong and no possible way to get lost if you follow the pattern. I ended up lettering each vertrice and walking backward to find out the pattern to get to each one.

The thing that kept tripping me up was I tried to think of it literally instead of as basically an invisible roadmap. It's pretty damn cool. Not to mention the potential in doing searches and data collection, though I think it'll have to wait until I take the class in automata to really understand the potential.

(Deleted comment)
I can't even understand the wiki article. I dun git math. :/

Heh. It took a lot of background reading, and I'm still sure I haven't picked anything up but that it ends in theoretically flawless directions and searches.

And it has pretty colors.

Rodney would come in, see John with colored pens and this article, and orgasm on the spot.

omg, I would be SO HAPPY if this story actually existed.

:-)


Oh, that's beautiful. (It's partly beautiful because my former grad school adviser--one of the reasons I do not now have a Ph.D--is now beating his head on his desk in woe because he didn't get there first, but it's also just beautiful.)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love graph coloring? And this is graph coloring with finite automata thrown in. I love this stuff. :)

[/italics abuse]

I recolored it and set the value of red to one and blue to zero to see what would happen. And you know, gave each vertrice a letter designation. What I can't figure out from the proof is exactly how it transfers between large scale (Italy to Finland) and small scale (the neighborhood) if you're looking for your friend Tina's house in Turkey if you're in Idaho. Or if it's even supposed to change scales.

Yes, I thought about it pretty much all yesterday.

madelyn: Rodney: He's SIXTY.
madelyn: John: *tacks his picture up*
seperis: Rodney would come in, see John with colored pens and this article, and orgasm on the spot.
madelyn: Rodney: *buries face*
madelyn: John: If you solved a 30 year old problem, maybe your picture would go up too.
madelyn: Rodney: I don't have time anymore!
madelyn: John: *folds arms*
madelyn: Two weeks later, Rodney comes in, bleary eyed with circles:
seperis: *glee*
madelyn: THERE. ADDITIVE NUMBER THEORY. SOLVED.
madelyn: John: Well. Letsee here. *stretches on bed*



Math was always gorgeous and beautiful and Made The World Make Sense for two weeks out of the course. Then the instructor would get just that little bit ahead of where my comprehension was and I'd slowly drop further and further behind, flailing all the way, going "but it all made so much sense" in sheer bafflement.

That was one of my Algorithms TA's favourite problems. I wonder how he's holding up right now knowing it's solved.

I don't remember Smallville making me do homework

Really? I read the Art of War, and Machiavelli to try to get into a Lex mindset. I failed [because I am kind of a commie] but I definitely started looking around. It was even worse for SGC for me. I started learning to read hieroglyphics because I am DUMB.

I have articles and articles in my closet on time travel and black holes, and I kind of hate you right now because clearly I have to go and read this.

Stop!!!

I was an English major. ::weeps softly::