
tox
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Thoughts on Infinity
#383677  09/02/01 12:02 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


I was going through one of the many writing notebooks I kept in high school, relaxing and remembering that nasty envoronment I was in, and how it just nurtured my creativity. In my senior year alone, I had filled 5 1subject notebooks with sketches, streamofconsciousness writings, short stories, philosophies, etc.. Anyone, one thought I had elaborated on quite a bit, but had totally forgotten about, were the possibilities of infinity. We all know that infinity exsists in the negative and positive directions. this is a given. What I came upon on my own (without any drugs) was that, just as it exsists in that form, it also exsists between numbers as well. Consider the number 2. Now divide it in half. 1. Repeat. .5, .25, ....and so on. This quandry will go on forever, the decimal value becoming smaller, but never 0. The act of this digit constantly becoming smaller, but never reaching 0 is, by all my calculations, infinity. If this has been said before, than by who? AS far as I know, I've conjured all this in my own mind. Make any sense to anyone?
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phrozendata
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#383682  09/02/01 12:19 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


pie (3.14) never stops Did you know that: National Pi Day is March 14, at 1:59. (3/14 1:59) The billionth digit of pi is 9?
 "There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that's your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people"  Aldous Huxley

tox
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: phrozendata]
#383683  09/02/01 12:21 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


After watching 'Pi', I can really appreciate how math governs nature, but I just dont have the technical head for that type of thinking. My math skills dont go beyond what I can physically hold or see.
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gnrm23
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#383858  09/02/01 09:11 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


in carl sagan's novel _contact_ (made into movie w/jodie foster) it is stated that there are infintely more transcendental number than nontranscendentals... and at the end of the novel, she was decoding the first message buried deep in pi... a circle...
old enough to know better not old enough to care
 old enough to know better not old enough to care

Pynchon
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: gnrm23]
#383877  09/02/01 09:51 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


Still more impressive is the phenomena of fractal dimensionality... Take an equilateral triangle. Add new equi. triangles symmetrically on the sides of the original(Star of David). Repeat(snowflaketype pattern) and so on ad infinitum. The end product is a curve with an infinite number of infinitisimal kinks  the socalled "Koch curve"(snigger)...no tangent here, cos the curve changes direction at every point....magnify any portion of the curve and it looks the same as the whole, on all scales... Seems the curve is trying to be a "surface", tho the perimeter has zero area. According to Hausdorff, the curve has dimension of 1.2818...this is actually used in the real world as a model for measuring the length of coastlines...strange stuff.

Kid
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#383921  09/02/01 11:47 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


> If this has been said before, than by who? AS far as I know, I've conjured all this in my own mind. Make any sense to anyone? Actually, I believe that I just went over this in my zero and infinity post. The 19th century mathematician, Georg Cantor, prooved that the set of rational numbers was infinite. He then used this to try and proove that because rational numbers are infinite, but not the entirety of numbers, that there is a hierarchy of infinities.

NextGenHippie
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: Kid]
#383953  09/02/01 12:27 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


hmm... I don't know about the mathmatecian, but Ursula K. LeGuin wrote something like that in 'The Dispossessed'.
'The fool on the hill sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see the world spinning 'round' The Beatles
 [pot]Think left and think right[pot] [pot]and think low and think high[pot] [pot]Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try[pot] Dr. Seuss

tox
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well, my first casings should be ready in a week or two...it'll be my first mushie trip, so maybe I'll delve into the thought a bit deeper.
 Feed Your Head.
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Kid
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384050  09/02/01 03:49 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


ehhhhh, psychedelics don't really help your math skills ;P but looking at the infinity sign next to zero might be interesting.

mountainbiker
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384104  09/02/01 05:38 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


i read a book (can't remember name) on infinity that includes your idea of infinity between numbers. This section of the book delt with the paradox of infinity, and illustrated it with a situation: Imagine sitting in a room. You get up to walk out the door. When you get to the door  behold! it has taken you an infinite amount of time to cross the room! because any measurement of spacetime, that is, number, can be infinitely divided.

tox
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Logically, that statement is correct. It also raises the question; Is the concept of time a hman invention? Somethimes I feel like I'm Mickey in Fantasia, battling the brooms. For every question I ask, there's 2 more that pop up along with it, and they're that much more difficult to answer.
 Feed Your Head.
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feign
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384262  09/02/01 10:50 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


Mountainbiker, that's why motion isn't real, and everything is the same size. Since the concept of infinity between any two numbers/points has already been explained, I'll just go from there. You see, if there are an infinite number of points on, say a worm, and an infinite number of points on a skyscraper, they are actually the same size, we just percieve them differently. As for motion, if I move from point A to point B, I have crossed an infinite series of points in a finite amount of time, which is not possible. My movement was just an illusion. So movement is an illusion, if that's true, then what's actually going on? Well, let's take this idea of infinity, and apply it to the number of universes that exist. This idea has been thought up before, and it's called the multiverse. The idea is that there are an infinite amount of individual and separate universes, all with different laws of physics governing each one. Since there are an infinite number of them, any situation you can dream up, by the laws of probability, is happening in at least one of those universes. So, according to this one physicist (forgot his name), time isn't actually real, it's simply a "stream" of universes which act as "snapshots" of moments in what we perceive as a timestream. There is no movement in any of them, we only think there is because our conciousness is streamed through them. That also means that in another universe somewhere, there is another me typing this exact same thing at this exact same "time" (which doesn't exist, of course). And there is another universe out there where solipsism in it's truest form exists, and I am the only real conciousness. Hell, for all I know, that's this universe, no one here can tell me otherwise, that's for sure, hehe.
Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool
 Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool

Kid
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That's the same thing as Zeno's paradox, with Achillies racing the Tortoise. That's why in infinite series, they came up with the idea of limits. When you break down the series of the half plus a fourth plus an eight... it _approaches_ a limit (meaning it gets infinitely close to its limit). The limit in this case, would be the door, at whatever time limit. That's how Zeno's paradox was solved. Use a limit and you don't have to fuck around with infinite series.

tox
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: Kid]
#384293  09/02/01 11:37 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


I've never thought of the worm/skyscraper correlation, but it makes perfect sense. My mind is officially blown, yet I think that someday I can understand it. 3 years of philosophy have done more for me than 16 years of christianity. I've never felt so comfortable pondering exsistance. I hope that someday it will lead to some higher degree of understanding. ...but then again, according to what we've discussed so far, 'someday' will never come, being that time is not real outside of our own minds.
 Feed Your Head.
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feign
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384307  09/02/01 11:46 PM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


Kid, well, yeah, but it's fun to imagine that time isn't real, hehe. But still, take an asymptotic graph, it gets infinitely closer to either the X or Y axis, but never reaches it. The greatest paradoxes come from quantum physics, though. Like Schroedinger's Cat. Until you actually look into the box, the cat is both dead and alive, or neither. Or how about this one, particles don't exist until they are directly observed by an observer. Normally this is reserved for the subatomic, but it's interesting to think about on a large scale. As I drive down the highway, when it disappears out of my rear view mirror and I can no longer observe it anymore, it ceases to be. Then when I come back and I observe it, it exists again.
Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool
 Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool

Kid
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: feign]
#384318  09/03/01 12:01 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


I don't remember much about Schrodinger's (sic) cat. Refresh my memory please. Quantum physics is awesome stuff. So is math. Every heard of the Golden Ratio? The greeks loved it. Nature has many examples of it (eg// the grooves on a pineapple), and it was thought by the Greeks to be the most beautiful ratio ever. x^2  x 1 = 0 which yields the roots (1 + _/``5)/2 and (1  _/``5)/2 of course, only the positive value made sense to the Greeks (since they used math for geometric purposes, not abstractions) so the Golden Ratio is approximately 1.618

feign
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: Kid]
#384322  09/03/01 12:14 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


Oh yeah, the Golden Ratio is pimp. The Discovery Channel just did a show a while back about how percieved beauty was based on the Golden Ratio and stuff, I didn't see it, but it looked cool. Schrodinger's cat is a real mindfuck. Basically the setup goes like this: There is a cat inside of a box. The box is opaque and soundproof, there is no way of observing the inside of the box without opening it up. Now, inside the box, there is a bottle of concentrated HCl. The HCl is rigged to spill all over the cat's head and melt him if a certain quantum event happens. It can really be any quantum event, but the easiest to describe is a photon passing through a halfsilvered mirror. It has an equal chance of bouncing off, or passing though the mirror. If the photon passes through, it triggers the acid, thus killing the cat. If it bounce off, the cat lives. So, assuming the cat can't tip the acid itself, if one photon is aimed at the mirror and released, then until the box is opened and the situation examined, the cat will be dead and alive, and neither at the same time. Of course, this is just a large scale example of subatomic scale things in quantum mechanics. Basically it amounts to a simple(r) description of why a particle can be in two places at once. And it gives me headaches, hehe.
Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool
 Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool

hunterthompson
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384323  09/03/01 12:15 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


the whole idea that if you kept gettin one half closer to something you would never get there. From 6ft to 3 ft to 1.5ft ect.....

feign
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: feign]
#384324  09/03/01 12:17 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


http://www.bridgewater.edu/~rbowman/phys420/matt/schrodinger.htm That's a much better explanation of it, hehe. Same idea, just a different quantum mechanical trigger.
Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool
 Remember I'll always love you as I claw your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. Tool

sylo
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Re: Thoughts on Infinity [Re: tox]
#384331  09/03/01 12:31 AM (22 years, 7 months ago) 


The concept of a finite number having an infinite number of halves dates back to an ancient Greek named Zeno and he came up with a problem called Zeno's Paradox. If I want to walk from home to the store, I must first walk half the distance, then 3/4 the distance, then 7/8 the distance, then 15/16 the distance... So how can I ever get to the store if I must cross an infinite number of half distances?

