Things that have irritated me this week

Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban although we don’t have the full story as the original only mentions things and doesn’t actually say what was in the profile. Still it seems just generally crappy behaviour.

And secondly some crap about Cerrie Burnell a disabled presenter on the Beeb whose only got one arm, apparently parents are worried that this will scare children, and that they’ll have to explain to them what real life actually is. No actual reports of children being in any way more than curious and then going to get on with other things.

In other news I had a nice afternoon helping (badly) to tidy up the Faraday machine room, which we got done (we’ve replaced about 15 servers with 1 blade server that runs VMs, cuts the power consumption and heat generation to bits) and I got educated by kind mathematicians about how .999 recuring to infinite length was 1. Initially it offended my innate logic, until I realised I was being a dick and failing to grok what infinite really meant.

Also my order from sofawolf arrived, so expect to her me squeeing about ky00te for a while.

13 thoughts on “Things that have irritated me this week

  1. mr_jez

    Yeah, infinite is kinda more than really big.

    I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to infinite space… ;o)

    Reply
    1. mostlyfoo

      Thats the point, if you just think of it as fantastically big you fall into a trap, the key is that its iiiiiiiiifinite and hence breaks normal thinking about really big things.

      Reply
  2. moradrel

    Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

    …but while 1 – 0.999· is infinitely close to being 0, it isn’t – it’s there but infinitely small. It is a point, which can have characteristics, like the volume of an electron: infinitely small, but there. I’d defer to a mathematician telling me this approach is useless here, and I’m dredging my memory of some techniques from my fyp, but if something’s a point, and actually there, then complex analysis can be used to tell you more about it, but this can only happen if it’s there. And by there, I mean not equal to zero. Ergo 1 ≠ 0.999·.

    ;)

    Reply
    1. mostlyfoo

      Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

      I’d suggest talking to Baz and Adam, they made a convincing case (Baz seemed to have argued this one before) but I’d muck it up trying to reproduce it.

      Reply
      1. moradrel

        Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

        Hmm… #grins and strokes chin#

        I think I can see how Baz may have arguments against it. I’ll bring it up next lunch I’m at if people won’t throw things at me.

        Reply
        1. mr_jez

          Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

          I heard he did it with algebra…

          If x = 0.999·
          Then 10x = 9.999·
          And 9x = 10x – x = 9.999· – 0.999· = 9
          So x = 1

          S’just what I heard mind, I wasn’t there, so I can’t quote the experts.

          For my money, infinites and physical systems just don’t mix well… ;o)

          Reply
          1. mostlyfoo

            Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

            That just didn’t win me over, step 2 seemed like a pointless logic trick.

            The end argument was something to do with the line of integers.

            if you want to find a number between two numbers add them and divide by 2, so whats the number between .999r and 1 and how do you find it?

            At which point I went Hmmmm…. er…. oh crap I fold.

          2. mr_jez

            Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

            That just didn’t win me over, step 2 seemed like a pointless logic trick.

            Welcome to algebra! … :op

            The end argument was something to do with the line of integers.

            if you want to find a number between two numbers add them and divide by 2, so whats the number between .999r and 1 and how do you find it?

            At which point I went Hmmmm…. er…. oh crap I fold.

            Sounds cool, I’d love to hear more, I haven’t played with this sort of crap in years! … :o)

    2. pen_pen42

      Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

      For “classical” electrons you can assume they are a sphere of charge and use the Compton radius to find a number for volume… for quantum electrons even thinking what the volume really is makes my brain hurt. :(

      Regarding 0.999r I was thinking just now:
      1/9 = .11111r
      2/9 = .22222r
      etc.
      8/9 = .88888r
      9/9 = .99999r

      But 9/9=1, hence .99999r=1

      I’m sure I recall reading somewhere online sometime about proving it using geometric progressions, but now it’s time for me to attempt sleep methinks rather than go find it.

      Reply
      1. mostlyfoo

        Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

        That argument also works on my brain, I just found the original bit of algebra not very convincing. Not because it wasn’t true, but because my brain couldn’t grok it.

        Reply
      2. moradrel

        Re: Without wishing to drag the debate out further…

        I must say that thinking about what 1/3 actually is is swaying me towards the proven equality, but there’s still something in my upbringing that’s telling me that it’s important that there’s a difference between something being infinitely small and not being there…

        Reply
  3. idlemuse

    I’ve heard the blade servers are pretty good; you like?

    Jez pretty much gave the definitive proof for the maths thing a couple of replies up, so I don’t really need to repeat it.

    Reply
    1. mostlyfoo

      I don’t really get to play with them much, what I have seen is good, webbily management interface to install the blades, check their okay and diagnose issues, which is nice as it gets you a serial console. ISTR you can also SNMP it so that makes life good for monitoring.

      As for the definitive proof I still don’t get it, it seems truncated far too much to make sense to me.

      Reply

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