Rant: Adolt

My sister linked an interesting article on the state of single graduate men, a subject that has been on my mind a fair amount.

I don't particularly like the article actually. It sounds too much like another bemoaning of the lack of marriageable bachelors with only small lip service to any causes or solutions thereof. Besides, there are plenty of marriageable young men, we just don't hang out in bars.

If I had to cite a cause for the "adolt" condition, I'll have to callously point to the systems in which our youth are raised. Both the formalized public school system and the society of teenagers within it encourage young men to be unmarriageable. To a large extent this carries over into college and thereafter.

Basically, the school system encourages students to avoid setting goals, and it is the exception rather than the rule which strives for excellence. At the same time the school's student culture favors beefy, physically mature guys over sensitivity and respect.

I could go into more detail, but it gets a little too personal and blame heavy for me to comfortably rant on the subject. Suffice it to say that these kinds of articles are extremely frustrating and even infuriating for marriageable bachelors.


Repeating 9s

So, I've once again run headlong into more nerdy math stuff.

First, I'd like to address my dear brother's comment on my previous post on the subject of 1 = .999....

"This is because trailing the end of 9.999... is an additional 0 (due to multiplying by 10), while trailing the end of 0.999... is a 9."

Except that the number 0.999 repeating doesn't *have* an end for the zero to go on. Pick any 9 you want, but there's always a 9 after it, not a zero. It's like the proof of limits in calculus, where you prove it by showing that no one can specify a place where the function will suddenly deviate from its course towards your limit. 0.999 repeating is the same thing, except that it's by definition of what repeating is.

Your argument against the rule of nines is similarly ridiculous because, again, THERE IS NO EDGE FOR SOMETHING TO TRAIL ON. Infinity doesn't "end". That's why it's infinity, that's why infinities have to be dealt with completely differently than normal numbers. Just because .111 repeating is too long of a number for us to divide by brute force doesn't mean we have to resort to remainders to say that it's equal to 1/9. I'm pretty sure it's provable that 1.0 divided by 9.0 will be .111 repeating. You want to say that somewhere along the line you'll suddenly get a different correct answer when you do the division, 10/9 = 1 with 1 remaining. Obviously, it won't, as division is a function and will give the same answer when given the same input, and in this case the input for each small division in the long chain is the same as the output. 1/9 will divide into .111 repeating And that's what .111 repeating MEANS: 1/9. There IS NO TRAILING EDGE. IT GOES ON FOREVER.

There is no trailing edge. There is no trailing edge. There is *no* trailing edge. Are you saying there's some number which is at the top of infinity, which you can then put another number on top of? No, you can't do that, because infinity has no top. In the same way, repeating numbers HAVE NO TRAILING EDGE. -- To have an edge, an end, is to not be infinite --

I'll readily admit that my solution to this issue is equal parts philosophical as it is mathematical, and I think that's where we're coming into conflict.

Allow me to represent my argument a different way.

9.999... = 9/1 + 9/10 + ... + 9/(10^n)
0.999... = 9/10 + 9/100 + ... + 9/(10^n+1)

When we plug infinity into n, we have 10^infinity versus 10^infinity+1. In my mind, and maybe I'm being childish, there's a difference between infinity and infinity+1. If there's a proof to the contrary, then me and my philosophical meanderings are washed up.

That said, I have encountered a 1=.999... proof that I can't easily counter. That is the a/(1-r) proof. See: Geometric Progression.

0.999... = 9/10 + 9/100 + ...
0.999... = E ar^k (a = 9/10, r = 1/10, |r|<1)
0.999... = a/(1-r)
0.999... = (9/10)/(1-(1/10))
0.999... = (9/10)/(9/10)
0.999... = 1

So, either I'm a complete hack, or E ar^k (where |r|<1) != a/(1-r) is wrong. In fact, it's possible to represent the 9.999... - .999... in similar notation and blow my infinity versus infinity+1 argument out of the water. So, as any credible thinker should, I make my last stand and give my opponents a chance for a coup de grace.

Looking further into it, there is a step where we have limit (n->infinity) (ar^(n+1))/(1-r). Anyone who remembers their limits knows that this evaluates to zero as r<1. Desperate for an "out", I pose the following question.

Is ar^(n+1) zero or simply infinitesimally small to the point that we really can't keep track of it any longer and in 99.999...% of situations it doesn't matter? If it's the former, and mind you I would like a "because [explanation]" following any "It's zero", then my mental exercises have done little but given me a good, if futile, stretch. If it's the latter, then I would contend we've found the hole in another argument for 1 = .999...

Thus we end my grasping at straws.


Viewing Comprehension

Scientific minds are stereotyped as having difficulty understanding subjective subjects such as art. So, leave it to the internet to provide an art gallery for geeks.

My only warning are, it really doesn't help explain art so much to geeks as it does to satirize it, and I believe there's one semi-offensive picture in the bunch.



Prognostication: SPOILERS AHOY

The following characters were revealed by a very unintentional leak on Nintendo's part. I will not describe the nature of the leak in this preamble, nor the characters that were revealed. Chances are, these characters were meant to be hidden, and as such will not be announced on the blog until well after Brawl comes out. If you're attempting to avoid finding out about such things, cease and desist.

That said, here is the relevant link. I'm also embedding the trailer below to fill space before I say anything.

You might have missed it, but hidden in that video were the unannounced characters. If you missed them you weren't alone, I certainly overlooked it (and apparently Nintendo did as well).

If you've read the link you'll know that the characters were Ness, Jigglypuff and Lucario (another pokemon).

So I both correctly and incorrectly predicted Ness, nailed the Puff, and am aghast at Lucario. I obviously don't pay attention to the Pokemon movies (phew). Sadly, chances are Mewtwo is out, which would be a black mark on my record.

My only major complaint is that there's over a month between the release in Japan and the release in America. As such, we'll probably know all the secret characters before we even get our hands on the game.

Accordingly, I'll cease to pay attention to any news outlets likely to reveal such facts, with the exception of the official page. That's unless the official page decides to have a blowout the day of release and crush my hopes and dreams.

What about the bullocks?

I find this extremely humorous. While there's interesting stuff you can do with black and white or pure silence, ultimately it's helped the medium to change those from arbitrary to voluntary restrictions.

I'm sure that in 60 years, I'll be looking back on the video games industry with similar contempt.


Brawl, 300 and Co.

The Bad News: Super Smash Brothers has been delayed (again) to the 9th of March. Alas.
The Good News: This is my 300th entry in this pit of insanity!
The Bad News: That calls for some parody in ill taste concerning Spartans.
The Good News: I'm not going to do that.
The Bad News: Instead, you get to see how many times a politician can dodge the same question! (Answer: Not 300)


Prognostication: Captain Olimar

My prognostications have had a couple of low points, not in the sense that I didn't want specific characters to scream out of nowhere and sully my record but just in the sense that I incorrectly ruled them out. Actually, I ruled Sonic out based on a false assumption. I had thought that as the Olympics wouldn't be held until 2008, the game for the Olympics would come out until 2008. I might have thought differently had I known the truth.

In any case, here to restore your faith in my predictive capabilities is Captain Olimar. It is mete and right that he of all the "Others" I mentioned here has been announced as a character in Brawl. I placed him as "Probable", and low and behold here he is.

His fighting style will be incredible to be hold I'm sure. It sounds like there's very little he can do without pulling Pikmin out of the ground. In a sense, he's bound to feel like Mr. Game and Watch did, rather wonky and strange, yet still intuitive (somehow).

In one month's time, Brawl will be released. That sounds incredible, and it is. I expect that over the next month, the nature of the information posted to the website will be increasingly deep and exciting. Remember, we're still waiting for official announcements for characters as obvious as Captain Falcon, Ganondorf, Sheik and Luigi.

I'm looking forward to 1up'n you all.



My favorite part? The people were credited as Pixels.

There are more of those from the same user/project, so check them out.


If Memory Serves...

I had a random philosophical whim and thought to share it.

Imagine if we remembered the future, but never the past. This kind of existence has all sorts of mind-warping possibilities, the most obvious of which would be a working knowledge of everything that would happen to you until the day you day. We could spend endless amounts of time exploring the viability of free will or predetermination in these circumstances, but those are somewhat obvious compared to other interesting facets of such an existence.

Instead, let us think about how people define themselves. In our current mode, we view people as an extension of everything they've ever done. People evolve and change overtime to become what they are in the present, and their memories are a sometimes clear, sometimes fuzzy map of that. How we shape ourselves is determined by what has happened before, and what is happening now.

Supposing that we instead live in a backwards world where we remember things that are going to happen rather than things that did, defining ourselves would be rather different. As memory remains a fickle thing, we would still likely be unable to clearly remember anything but the reasonably near future, with smattering of random thoughts and moments strewn throughout the greater future, and perhaps a few far flung ones toward the end of life.

However, in stark contrast we would have absolutely no working knowledge of anything we'd ever done. The past would be an fearsome black hole of lost existence. Horoscopes would prognosticate what you had already done, rather than what you would do. Alfred Hitchcock's works would drive their suspense not by surprising events but by fear of the unknown past, a plethora of super-Memento films. It would be a very different world.

I could probably write a science fiction novel in which at some arbitrary date everyone's memory switched between these two modes. Then again, writing such a novel would be excruciatingly difficult. How does someone who only remembers the future think? Can one even have a train of thought under such circumstances?

I have mused enough for now, but it'd be a fun topic to explore further with someone able to stand the constant paradigm destruction.


Stupid stupid stupid...

I managed to forget my Nintendo DS on the plane.

I'll find out after 2:00 tomorrow whether it ended up in Cancun.

I feel stupid.

UPDATE: I called today and they didn't have it. Supposedly it can take 72 hours for them to get items, more potentially as it is the holidays. While that seems a ridiculous amount of time, I will keep calling them just after 2:00 each day until Wednesday of next week.

I probably won't look much to hope past Friday, but stranger things have happened.