Things that don’t exist

Scott Aaronson has a great anecdote from a philosophy talk. The speaker makes up for the sheer implausibility of his claim with the cleverness of his response to an obvious counterargument.

6 thoughts on “Things that don’t exist

  1. Mason

    The speaker’s response is indeed awesome! I approve.
    By the way, I have seen Harvey Friedman give a talk, and he is extremely amusing. I believe he holds appointments in four departments: math, stats, philosophy, and religious studies. (I could look this up, but I’m lazy.) I think he also became an assistant professor at 18, so he’s one of those freaks…

  2. Josh

    The mathematical representation of “Zing!” should be separate from the physicist’s or chemist’s or biologist’s “Zing!” in the scientific community.

  3. Josh

    // \
    Zn-| ||-Gd
    My obvious chemical representation. Settled for “Zinged!”
    Obviously, apologies to anyone who knows anything about Chemistry and finds it ludicrous that I can pair two such elements into a ridiculous looking molecule like this. I’m sure they will come up with a better version for their community.

  4. Josh

    Stupid comments section and it’s left-justification.
    Should look like
    Zn- -Gd
    With a cute little hexagon in the middle.

  5. Josh

    Also, ideally for the mathematical representation, I’d include these elements in the equation:
    I preface this by apologizing now to the mathematical community, since I don’t remember anything since like 11th grade.
    X, being the ratio of (time elapsed before a comeback is delivered) to (amount of observers awestruck by the comeback) approaches Zing! as X gets smaller.
    I’m sure there’s a way to phrase this as lim x = Zing! But I don’t know how to do it myself.

  6. Mason

    Actually, the mathematical version of this is probably the “Zing theorem.”
    Also, if you really want to make something a mathematical representation of something, then you’ll probably want to look in an abstract algebra book first. :)

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