## News:

PD.com: Better than a xylophone made out of live kittens that you play with a tazer.

## Weekly Science Headlines

Started by Kai, July 30, 2008, 10:04:06 PM

#### Brother Mythos

Deep Thought Might Be Right

Two Mathematicians Just Solved a Decades-Old Math Riddle — and Possibly the Meaning of Life

As per the article:

"In Douglas Adams' sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a pair of programmers task the galaxy's largest supercomputer with answering the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years of processing, the computer reaches an answer: 42. Only then do the programmers realize that nobody knew the question the program was meant to answer.

Now, in this week's most satisfying example of life reflecting art, a pair of mathematicians have used a global network of 500,000 computers to solve a centuries-old math puzzle that just happens to involve that most crucial number: 42.

The question, which goes back to at least 1955 and may have been pondered by Greek thinkers as early as the third century AD, asks, "How can you express every number between 1 and 100 as the sum of three cubes?" Or, put algebraically, how do you solve x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = k, where k equals any whole number from 1 to 100?

This deceptively simple stumper is known as a Diophantine equation, named for the ancient mathematician Diophantus of Alexandria, who proposed a similar set of problems about 1,800 years ago. Modern mathematicians who revisited the puzzle in the 1950s quickly found solutions when k equals many of the smaller numbers, but a few particularly stubborn integers soon emerged. The two trickiest numbers, which still had outstanding solutions by the beginning of 2019, were 33 and — you guessed it — 42."

Here's the link: https://www.livescience.com/diophantine-42-solved-meaning-of-life.html

#### chaotic neutral observer

Drawing significance from numerical equivalence when the numbers are in entirely different contexts is numerology.

There might be some interesting math going on, but that article is too obsessed with OMG LOL 42.  That hasn't been funny since about 1982.

If I'm going to read about math, I want meat.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

#### Brother Mythos

Feel free to post some red meat math.

Impress the shit out of me.

#### chaotic neutral observer

Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 13, 2019, 02:37:38 PM
Feel free to post some red meat math.

Impress the shit out of me.
I'll see about posting something after I get off work.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

#### Don Coyote

Bones cause anxiety.
There is but one solution.
Free THEM from your flesh.

#### altered

Did you know there is a skeleton near you right now?

In fact, most people will be near over twenty skeletons throughout their day, and never even see one of them.

It's no wonder people get anxious about skeletons, they're being stalked by them.

(No but seriously that's pretty cool.)
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

#### chaotic neutral observer

#1236
Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 13, 2019, 02:37:38 PM
Feel free to post some red meat math.

Impress the shit out of me.

It doesn't really belong here, so I tossed it in my junk thread.

Really, my complaint about the posted article was that it didn't explain why effort was being spent on that particular problem, and it didn't tell me anything interesting about how it was solved.  It was fluff science reporting.

Edit:  If not satisfied with meatiness of product, ask me to go into Galois field extensions personally, rather than just posting a link.  That stuff approaches my cognitive limit, so it will be an interesting, not to say traumatic, exercise.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

#### Brother Mythos

Quote from: chaotic neutral observer on September 14, 2019, 03:23:50 AM
Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 13, 2019, 02:37:38 PM
Feel free to post some red meat math.

Impress the shit out of me.

It doesn't really belong here, so I tossed it in my junk thread.

Really, my complaint about the posted article was that it didn't explain why effort was being spent on that particular problem, and it didn't tell me anything interesting about how it was solved.  It was fluff science reporting.

Edit:  If not satisfied with meatiness of product, ask me to go into Galois field extensions personally, rather than just posting a link.  That stuff approaches my cognitive limit, so it will be an interesting, not to say traumatic, exercise.

I changed my mind.

Take your coolness unto death attitude and fuck right off.

#### chaotic neutral observer

Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 14, 2019, 05:59:29 AM
I changed my mind.

Take your coolness unto death attitude and fuck right off.
If you post a link that is just pop-science fluff, I will say so.

If you don't like this, you have options.  You can fight me, you can ignore me, you can block me.  You can tell me why you think my reaction is unwarranted.

Telling me to fuck off?  Not likely to work.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

#### altered

Honestly, that definitely seemed unwarranted.

The first article was interesting in that we solved a problem, but uninteresting in that the problem only existed to be a problem. The article sold itself on the strength of a pop culture reference.

CNO's reaction was justified there, in the same way that an article that examined Trump's political history to talk about astrology and his star sign would justify a broadly similar reaction. E.g. "You can do better, and if you can't then you should not have done it at all."

Meanwhile, CNO actually stepped up when you told him to, and shared an area of math that is legitimately awesome and vital to the modern world, and explained in depth why it was awesome without resorting to "Ha Ha remember This Old Joke fellow humans? Wasn't that Just The Funniest?"

And you tell him to fuck off.

As I said before: unwarranted.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

#### Brother Mythos

Quote from: chaotic neutral observer on September 14, 2019, 03:13:57 PM
Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 14, 2019, 05:59:29 AM
I changed my mind.

Take your coolness unto death attitude and fuck right off.
If you post a link that is just pop-science fluff, I will say so.

If you don't like this, you have options.  You can fight me, you can ignore me, you can block me.  You can tell me why you think my reaction is unwarranted.

Telling me to fuck off?  Not likely to work.

Take your "I'm the smartest guy in the room" shtick, and go fuck yourself with it too.

#### Brother Mythos

Quote from: nullified on September 14, 2019, 04:20:48 PM
Honestly, that definitely seemed unwarranted.

The first article was interesting in that we solved a problem, but uninteresting in that the problem only existed to be a problem. The article sold itself on the strength of a pop culture reference.

CNO's reaction was justified there, in the same way that an article that examined Trump's political history to talk about astrology and his star sign would justify a broadly similar reaction. E.g. "You can do better, and if you can't then you should not have done it at all."

Meanwhile, CNO actually stepped up when you told him to, and shared an area of math that is legitimately awesome and vital to the modern world, and explained in depth why it was awesome without resorting to "Ha Ha remember This Old Joke fellow humans? Wasn't that Just The Funniest?"

And you tell him to fuck off.

As I said before: unwarranted.

See my above post.

#### altered

I'm very sorry that you took a legitimate criticism of modern STEM journalism as an attempt to make you personally and specifically feel unintelligent?
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

#### chaotic neutral observer

Quote from: Brother Mythos on September 15, 2019, 08:04:35 AM
Take your "I'm the smartest guy in the room" shtick, and go fuck yourself with it too.

As I just said, telling me to fuck off is not likely to work.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

#### Fujikoma

And many fucks were given. Take your fuck off and fuck it with my dick.