0435: "Purity"

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0435: "Purity"

Postby GuitarFreak » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:10 am UTC

Image

Alt text: On the other hand, physicists like to say physics is to math as sex is to masturbation.

Hah, my science teachers always say their science is the central science etc. But math rules!
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby nekodromeda » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:12 am UTC

Dammit, it may be right on the money, but everyone still has value, dammit!

(Former bio major-turned-psych major)

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Scigatt » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:13 am UTC

I really want to invoke Godwin's law on this one...

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Drake Zure » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:13 am UTC

Anyways, I found this one highly amusing. It's another one of those undeniably true things.
Darn you, Randall, and your undeniably true things!
And you think biology/psychology is hard to admit that from? Try being a writer!
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Megums » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:15 am UTC

Yay math!

Then again, my interests lie at both ends of the spectrum.


(though math undoubtedly pwns all)

edit: The psychologist looks like my math teacher. Just throwing that out there. o.o
Last edited by Megums on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:17 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby nekodromeda » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:16 am UTC

Drake Zure wrote:You failed to comment, OP.

Anyways, I found this one highly amusing. It's another one of those undeniably true things.
Darn you, Randall, and your undeniably true things!
And you think biology/psychology is hard to admit that from? Try being a writer!


I think I heard a story about a guy who started college as an English major and left as a math major. His rationale was that English and by extension, literature was just all psychology, really....and psychology was just all biology....and biology was all chemistry....and chemistry was all physics...and since physics was just all math, that's where he ended.

Though I have to wonder- where does CS fall?

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby espire » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:17 am UTC

I love the glasses and goatee to signify the psychologist, but why not give everybody a face, or at least something to designate their profession? A bit of polish could go a long way...
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:18 am UTC

Math is just applied language arts.

Using our powers of semantic representation to add stuff together.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:19 am UTC

So true... I tease all my friends going into engineering, chemistry, life-sci etc. that it's just applied physics.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby jmorgan3 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:20 am UTC

nekodromeda wrote:I have to wonder- where does CS fall?

And engineering?
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby The Rumpled Academic » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:20 am UTC

What is this "pure" nonsense? Numbers are human inventions.
Last edited by The Rumpled Academic on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:21 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:20 am UTC

fenrir_darkwolf wrote:So true... I tease all my friends going into engineering, chemistry, life-sci etc. that it's just applied physics.


Yeah, because something being applicable is so pejorative.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Dark Shikari » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:20 am UTC

This reminds me of a discussion I had with a coworker about where the hell video encoding and compression technology falls on the spectrum of various sciences and college majors.

Its mostly done by electrical engineers, but that's only because they're the signal processing gurus; they often don't know crap about writing a good program. The most interesting algorithms are always written by CS majors, but they're often overly mathematical. There's a lot of core theory done by mathematicians, of course. And then in the end, one can make a valid claim that the entire subject is really just psychology, because its all about optimizing for the human visual system rather than any mathematical metric.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:21 am UTC

Well, once we have the intelligence and/or computing power to predict the emergent properties of complex systems, maths and physics will be all we need. Until then, the lesser sciences will be permitted to survive.

nekodromeda wrote:I have to wonder- where does CS fall?

Computing is applied electronics, which is a branch of physics. So probably about the same level as Chemistry.
Last edited by phlip on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:25 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:21 am UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:Math is just applied language arts.

Using our powers of semantic representation to add stuff together.


I said something along those lines, but I was thinking more logic.

I guess I must've crossed some social boundary, for my post was deleted.

Edit: my mistake, it was a mis-click of my own that lead to its demise.
Last edited by pliny on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby thebandit » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:22 am UTC

The psychologist IS my English teacher.

Good touch making the mathematician a woman.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Drake Zure » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:22 am UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:Math is just applied language arts.

Using our powers of semantic representation to add stuff together.

Is it wrong in some way that that's the single sexiest thing I've read all day, despite the fact that all communications that I have with my significant other are online?
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Robin S » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:23 am UTC

nekodromeda wrote:Though I have to wonder- where does CS fall?
CS falls under Maths, but in a different direction from the other sciences.
jmorgan3 wrote:And engineering?
Well, being not pure in the slightest, it would presumably be at the point at infinity.

Who hasn't thought about this hierarchy at one point or another? It was also nice to see a preview of today's comic. It reminded me a little of "Certainty".
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:25 am UTC

phlip wrote:Well, once we have the intelligence and/or computing power to predict the emergent properties of complex systems, maths and physics will be all we need. Until then, the lesser sciences will be permitted to survive.



And what will become of them? When you use a computer to apply math to a biological problem, you're still doing the same thing as before, only with a computer. The "lesser" sciences will remain, because they are more convenient names for "mathematical applications in the realm of psychology/sociology/biology/etc".
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby digitrev » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:26 am UTC

And I'm a math physics major. Masochists bridging the gap.
Together we will make the octopus nervous.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Drake Zure » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:27 am UTC

Robin S wrote:
nekodromeda wrote:*stuff not relevant to this post*
It reminded me a little of "Certainty".

same mathametician.
benjhuey wrote:
IceMod wrote:The fingers did surprise me though.

That's what SHE said.
And then she left. I wonder why...

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Gammashield » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:28 am UTC

One truism of that scale I've found is that pretty much anyone considers their step, and one step to either side "real" science. Anything higher up is just playing with numbers and/or too abstract to apply to the world around us, and anything further down is is too fuzzy and hokey to be real, rigorous thinking.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:28 am UTC

The Rumpled Academic wrote:What is this "pure" nonsense? Numbers are human inventions.


Whoops, I missed this before. Agreed!

The concept of discrete, quantifiable increments would not arise in a universe devoid of discreteness of incrementalness.

It's just convenient for us.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby mopatop » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:29 am UTC

This comic = made of truth

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Lumpy » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:29 am UTC

Reminds me of that episode of The Big Bang Theory when one of the physicist characters went into the engineering lab and called them the little "Oompa Loompas of science."

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:30 am UTC

Drake Zure wrote:
GodShapedBullet wrote:Math is just applied language arts.

Using our powers of semantic representation to add stuff together.

Is it wrong in some way that that's the single sexiest thing I've read all day, despite the fact that all communications that I have with my significant other are online?


Nah.

My number one aspiration when I post is to be sexy.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby timt » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:30 am UTC

Funny, where i live your be riddled for doing the subject with the least amount of applicability as they are less effective in the "real world".

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:30 am UTC

mopatop wrote:This comic = made of truth


But truth is just applied thought.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby wingie » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:31 am UTC

This strip reminds me of a joke that my old differential geometry professor told me in grad school:

Sociologists want to be psychologists, because if you understand the brain you can understand society.
Psychologists want to be biologists, because if you understand life you can understand the brain.
Biologists want to be chemists, because if you understand matter you understand life.
Chemists want to be physicists, because if you understand the universe you understand matter.
Physicists want to be God.

God wants to be a mathematician.

He cited this joke as the reason why he left physics and became a mathematician.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby DoubleAW » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:31 am UTC

This is one of those comics that makes you think "oh SNAP" when you read it to the end. Brilliant as usual.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Nomenclaturist » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:32 am UTC

As both a chemist and a mathematician, I find this comic to be full of nothing but win. Thank you Randall, thank you *single tear*.
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*Fails*

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:32 am UTC

Math is just philosophy?
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby rwald » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:34 am UTC

I actually didn't like this comic, mainly because having been a biologist at a technology school, this spectrum was basically an assumed fact of life, understood by everyone. This is like if xkcd did a comic on one of those "an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician" jokes; funny the first time you heard it, less relevant after everyone's told it, heard it, and gotten sick of it.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:34 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Math is just philosophy?


And philosophy is just thought and opinion.

We should all become philosophers? Watch the world decay. :- D
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Dynastic » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:35 am UTC

Obviously the analogy mentioned in the Alt-Text is the opposite of the truth. The satisfaction from math is much moreso than that of Physics, and I'm sure most normal people would agree that the satisfaction from sex is much moreso than that of masturbation.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby AstralRunner » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:36 am UTC

Biology is only partly applied chemistry. The main part of it, evolution by natural selection, is not dependent on the physical nature of the replicators in question: it applies to any conceivable or inconceivable system of randomly varying replicators under non-random selective pressure. Indeed, genetic computer programs have been made which compete for CPU cycles, and the principles of evolution apply to life there just the same as to that arising on Earth.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby pliny » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Dynastic wrote:Obviously the analogy mentioned in the Alt-Text is the opposite of the truth. The satisfaction from math is much moreso than that of Physics, and I'm sure most normal people would agree that the satisfaction from sex is much moreso than that of masturbation.


But math in and of itself isn't anything. It may provide the basis for all of whatever, but it has no reality until it is applied to something. I don't think the alt-text was referring to satisfaction, but rather to interaction, and the satisfaction from that.
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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:39 am UTC

pliny wrote:
Dynastic wrote:Obviously the analogy mentioned in the Alt-Text is the opposite of the truth. The satisfaction from math is much moreso than that of Physics, and I'm sure most normal people would agree that the satisfaction from sex is much moreso than that of masturbation.


But math in and of itself isn't anything. It may provide the basis for all of whatever, but it has no reality until it is applied to something. I don't think the alt-text was referring to satisfaction, but rather to interaction, and the satisfaction from that.


And you could carry that analogy all the way back to sociology or whatever kind of science Physicists and Mathematicians are too snooty for.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby wingie » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:39 am UTC

Dynastic wrote:Obviously the analogy mentioned in the Alt-Text is the opposite of the truth. The satisfaction from math is much moreso than that of Physics, and I'm sure most normal people would agree that the satisfaction from sex is much moreso than that of masturbation.


I think of mathematics as loving coitus with all of existence (and non-existence), while physics is like a visit to the womb of the diseases infested prostitute known as "the real world" in the back alley between Heaven and Hell.

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Vinz » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:40 am UTC

edit : What I wanted to say was already said :P sorry
Last edited by Vinz on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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