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WheelsOfConfusion
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 13757 Location: Unknown Kaddath

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:18 am Post subject: 


It's the world's most perfect tapeworm!
Well, it is pathological. 

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Sojobo
Joined: 11 Jul 2006 Posts: 2477

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:24 am Post subject: 


bun bun:
To be honest, I was half expecting you to tell me that the pen didn't need an infinite amount of ink, since (infinite length)*(zero width) can equal pretty much whatever you want it to.
Usagi:
Very nice. Just plain fun to look at. 

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bun bun Guest

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:36 am Post subject: 


Sojobo wrote:  bun bun:
To be honest, I was half expecting you to tell me that the pen didn't need an infinite amount of ink, since (infinite length)*(zero width) can equal pretty much whatever you want it to.

*smacks forehead*
d'oh. 

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Fhqwhgads
Joined: 11 Jul 2006 Posts: 1337 Location: sfcaus

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:26 pm Post subject: 


I have no idea how I managed to miss this thread.
I have a question: We (humans) seem to like to use the concept of Infinity as a mathematical construct. Can anybody show me an example of something in our universe that is actually *infinite*? As opposed to just really really really really really really really really really big? Or small, or what have you. _________________ There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now. 

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WheelsOfConfusion
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 13757 Location: Unknown Kaddath

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:49 pm Post subject: 


There are an infinite number of points within a sphere. 

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Jinx
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 3656 Location: America, fuck yeah!

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:11 pm Post subject: 


I was going to add, "or on a line." Then I realized how much more elegant your answer is.
While there are an infinte number of points on a line, the line itself is infinite in length. Of course, there are also an infinte number of points on a line segment, but sphere's are just cooler for that.
Spheres also show how something finite can be boundless. The area of a sphere is finite, but has no bounds. _________________ The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
 Charles Darwin 

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WheelsOfConfusion
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 13757 Location: Unknown Kaddath

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:14 pm Post subject: 


I think he meant as in "an infinite amount of stuff" though.
Well, for starters it would be rather problematic to count all that stuff out and determine that it was, in fact, infinite in amount.
Secondly, the apparently finite nature of time, space, and energy would argue against an infinite amount of any "thing." 

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Usagi Miyamoto
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 2253 Location: wish I was here

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:28 pm Post subject: 


she _________________ The reward for a good life is a good life.
Last edited by Usagi Miyamoto on Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total 

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lily
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 1531 Location: worcester, ma

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:52 pm Post subject: 


Lemontree wrote:  I still believe our power of thought can affect the world around us though. Just like all the experiments that have been done with plants and positive and negative speech towards them. 
hate to break it to you, but no, plants don't respond to speech  positive or negative. at least, there has never been any serious research showing that they do. plenty of science fair projects have been done on the topic, though.
truth is, we're not as important or powerful as we like to think. 

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thewaitersitsondown
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 2673 Location: The walrus was Paul

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:02 pm Post subject: 


WheelsOfConfusion wrote:  There are an infinite number of points within a sphere. 
But only because a "point" only exists in theory, and not in reality.
To my knowledge, there is nothing in this universe that is infinite. Infinity, like a point, is a theoretical construct. Even pi, which has an infinite number of decimal places, must have a perfect circle to be properly derived (when we calculate pi, it is with the assumption that the circle we are measuring is perfect, when in fact it never is), or infinite time if one uses Buffon's Needle.
It's arguable that many things in the universe are effectively infinite, which is to say they are far bigger than anything we could hope to encompass. From a practical perspective, infinity exists. From a theoretical one, however, there is in fact an infinitely large difference between "very big" and "infinite."
I think reconciling these two perspectives, somehow, would be a very good idea. I haven't figured out how yet, though. 

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Michael
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 11028

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:52 am Post subject: 


thewaitersitsondown wrote:  WheelsOfConfusion wrote:  There are an infinite number of points within a sphere. 
But only because a "point" only exists in theory, and not in reality.
To my knowledge, there is nothing in this universe that is infinite. Infinity, like a point, is a theoretical construct. Even pi, which has an infinite number of decimal places, must have a perfect circle to be properly derived (when we calculate pi, it is with the assumption that the circle we are measuring is perfect, when in fact it never is), or infinite time if one uses Buffon's Needle.
It's arguable that many things in the universe are effectively infinite, which is to say they are far bigger than anything we could hope to encompass. From a practical perspective, infinity exists. From a theoretical one, however, there is in fact an infinitely large difference between "very big" and "infinite."
I think reconciling these two perspectives, somehow, would be a very good idea. I haven't figured out how yet, though. 
you cheat
First you say there's an infinite numer of points in a sphere theoretically and then you point out how the universe only has practical infinities in it, and no theorectical ones.
Shouldn't you look for practical infinities in the real (aka practical) world and theoretical ones in our theoretical representation? 

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thewaitersitsondown
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 2673 Location: The walrus was Paul

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:57 am Post subject: 


Well yes but I'm all about bridging worlds like that. It's sort of a hobby of mine 

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Fhqwhgads
Joined: 11 Jul 2006 Posts: 1337 Location: sfcaus

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:55 am Post subject: 


thewaitersitsondown wrote:  From a practical perspective, infinity exists. 
See, that's what I'm bumping up against. Does it? Are there an infinity number of stars, or (better) an infinity number of atoms or electrons? Just because a number is too big for me to count doesn't make it infinite. This website that someone brought up on a different thread brings up infinity a number of times while discussing the higher dimensions, but even when you pull the infinities out of the concepts, the concepts still stand. Actually they make even more sense without them. At least to me.
Blargh. I have no idea why I'm hanging on this. Mommy says I have an addictive personality type. _________________ There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now. 

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mantismag
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 81

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:51 am Post subject: 


human stupidity is infinite according to a quote widely attributed to einstein. 

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thewaitersitsondown
Joined: 09 Jul 2006 Posts: 2673 Location: The walrus was Paul

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:38 am Post subject: 


Fhqwhgads wrote:  thewaitersitsondown wrote:  From a practical perspective, infinity exists. 
See, that's what I'm bumping up against. Does it? Are there an infinity number of stars, or (better) an infinity number of atoms or electrons? Just because a number is too big for me to count doesn't make it infinite. This website that someone brought up on a different thread brings up infinity a number of times while discussing the higher dimensions, but even when you pull the infinities out of the concepts, the concepts still stand. Actually they make even more sense without them. At least to me.
Blargh. I have no idea why I'm hanging on this. Mommy says I have an addictive personality type. 
No, you're right, that's what I was saying. There is no true infinity. Doesn't exist. There is only really really big, which to us would seem like infinity. For all practical purposes, "really freaking huge" and "infinity" are the same thing, but for any theoretical purpose they are impossibly different. You are looking at things from a theoretical perspective, which is normal, so the truest answer to your question is "No. There is no infinity" 

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