0599: "Apocalypse"

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dennisw
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:29 am UTC

Master Gunner wrote:While I doubt I have an Erdos number, I do have a Bacon number of 3. I appeared (thanks to pre-recorded footage, but still), with the guys from http://www.loadingreadyrun.com in this bonus video. Several of the people present there appeared two videos with Wil Wheaton (here and here). Wil Wheaton appeared with Kevin Bacon in She's Having a Baby. Thus, Wil has a bacon number of 1, the LRR guys have a Bacon number of 2, and I have a Bacon number of 3.

Now I just need to find a way to connect myself to Paul Erdos....


I have a (proxy*) Bacon number of 3 via my brother then multiple paths.

* I've never been in a movie.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby videogamesizzle » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:38 am UTC

It took me a minute to fet it, but it was great when I did.

I think I have a Bacon number of...5? I forget.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby anyone » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:46 am UTC

Let's define the Bacon-Erdős number [imath]N_{BE} \in \mathbb{C} = B + iE[/imath], where [imath]B[/imath] is a person's Bacon number and [imath]E[/imath] is a person's Erdős number.

Now, I have some questions.

Can we find people whose [imath]N_{BE}[/imath] is neither pure real nor pure imaginary?
Of these people, whose [imath]N_{BE}[/imath] has the smallest modulus ([imath]\sqrt{B^2 + E^2}[/imath])? This person is the winner.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby phlip » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:08 am UTC

anyone wrote:Can we find people whose [imath]N_{BE}[/imath] is neither pure real nor pure imaginary?

I don't think you can find anyone where NBE is pure imaginary by that definition... because the only person with a 0 Bacon number is Kevin Bacon, and I don't think he's authored any mathematical papers.

Erdos, on the other hand, does have a finite Bacon number (though what that number is depends on exactly how you define the number), and thus is the only person to have a pure real NBE by that definition.

Everyone else with a defined NBE would have one that isn't purely real or imaginary.

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Kailen
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Kailen » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:16 am UTC

The real question is, what is Kevin Bacon's Erdős number?
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby thejapanesegeek » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:37 am UTC

For those still a little confused, here's Randall explaining things in some other dude's comic.

http://www.chrisyates.net/reprographics/index.php?page=842

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby hthall » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:42 am UTC

Excellent. Still waiting for the paper to come out that will reduce my Erdős number from 3 to 2; beyond that I'll have to await the apocalpse--either that or hope to uncover some of his unpublished notes in an attic somewhere and expand then into something worth publishing. No Bacon number for me (yet) since being an extra doesn't count.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Tanuki » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:54 am UTC

I have a Bacon number of 3 (I totally didn't realize this until this comic made me think about it! And this doesn't even invoke "extra" roles or non-speaking appearances, bitches!), and I came this close in college to getting an Erdös number of 4. Anybody with a finite Erdös number wanna coauthor a paper?

And, perhaps even better, I have a Colbert number of 3^^

Edit: I miscalculated, and actually have a Bacon number of 4...I was thinking Kevin Bacon had a Bacon number of 1, and that's just silly...

Edit 2: Found a closer connection!
Last edited by Tanuki on Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:12 am UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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randytayler
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby randytayler » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:54 am UTC

I'm still reeling from this notion that people write math papers. And stranger yet, that somebody else would read them. What's it like in that world, mathophiles? Isn't it scary there?

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:55 am UTC

Zombies? Quick, call Gordon Freeman! (Or hope for HL2 Ep3)
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Link » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:58 am UTC

Kailen wrote:The real question is, what is Kevin Bacon's Erdős number?


Kevin Bacon has, to the best of my knowledge, never co-authored any mathematical papers.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Lunch Meat » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:10 am UTC

thejapanesegeek wrote:For those still a little confused, here's Randall explaining things in some other dude's comic.

http://www.chrisyates.net/reprographics/index.php?page=842


Am I the only one who had never seen a picture of him before and...um...sorta thinks he's kinda cute? Is that creepy and weird? Is it any creepier and weirder than thinking an actor is cute? Is everyone going to shun me now? Should I run away? *runs away*

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:14 am UTC

Do Amphetamines work on zombies?
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Slayers » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:22 am UTC

My discrete math professor for next year has an Erdos Number of 1. Apparently, he's also a brilliant lecturer. Cannot wait!

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby dorkomatic » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:28 am UTC

How about Kibo? Is he dead? Is he even real?

(There are Kibo numbers, just like Erdos & Bacon)

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Byrdman1324 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:31 am UTC

Ahh the zombie apocalypse. I can't wait, i have my survival plans well thought out. Crossbows and beer. And maybe a moat...
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby TobiasF » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:53 am UTC

There is this Center of the Hollywood Universe webseite. http://oracleofbacon.org/center.php

They are trying to find a better center then Bacon. I recall that some years ago Christopher Lee came out as a good center.
Is there something like this for Erdos-Numbers? Or better yet for E-B -Numbers.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby za4ra4 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:14 am UTC

Next stop: co-stonership with Zombie Feynman!

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby xatm092 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:22 am UTC

The first comic in a long time that I had to research to understand.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby flamingspinach » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:30 am UTC

anyone wrote:Let's define the Bacon-Erdős number [imath]N_{BE} \in \mathbb{C} = B + iE[/imath], where [imath]B[/imath] is a person's Bacon number and [imath]E[/imath] is a person's Erdős number.


I think you mean [imath]\mathbb C\ni N_{BE} = B + iE[/imath], don't you?

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Pietro » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:34 am UTC

Daniel Kleitman, a combinatorialist at MIT (not a consultant), is famous for having solved more than a handful of problems proposed by Erdos(*), and in the process acquired an Erdos number 1. He also consulted for "Good Will Hunting", which gave him a Bacon number 2 via Minnie Driver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kleitman

It is a bit sad that the only substantial paragraph in his Wikipedia page is devoted to this fact, instead of his work. For example, he settled the following fascinating conjecture from combinatorial geometry, which stood open for a good 25 years:

(*) Let N be a normed vector space (think of it as the plane, or 3-space, or R^n if you want), and let v_1,...,v_n be vectors of N, each with norm greater than 1. Form the 2^n sums Σ (e_i * v_i), where each of e_1,...,e_n is either -1 or +1. For example, for n=2 one would form the 4 sums v1+v2, v1-v2, -v1+v2, -v1-v2. Now the question is: at most how many of these sums can lie on any single closed ball of radius 1? The conjecture is: n choose n/2, the middle binomial coefficient at level n (coefficients if n is odd).

This is nontrivial already in 1 dimension, but doable (basically Sperner's theorem on antichains in the power set of {1,...,n}). Erdos proved a small generalization of the 1-d case, and used that to provide a partial solution to the 2-d case, in his 1945 paper "On a Lemma of Littlewood and Offord", where he also posed the general problem. Kleitman solved it in 1970 with a beautiful one-page argument. (In 1966, Katona had solved the 2-d case in full by a completely different, but, I daresay, even more beautiful argument.)
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Adhemar » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:12 am UTC

(On the “Cemetary” sign and its spelling)
suso wrote:Why is everyone telling Randall this? If its misspelled then you should let the cemetery owner know about it. :roll:

On October 21, 1996, in accordance with his last wishes, Paul Erdős’ ashes were buried in his parents’ grave at the Jewish cemetery on Kozma street in Budapest.
— Source: In Memoriam Paul Erdős; Journal of Approximation Theory 94, 1—41, at 1 (1998)

The cemetery is in Hungary, so the sign probably says “Temető” anyway.
And apparently, when the dead will walk the Earth, Erdős’ cremated ashes will reintegrate themselves into a body, which facilitates walking the Earth tremendously.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby eaglef2 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:17 am UTC

does i start at zero or one in the math paper?
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Adhemar » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:24 am UTC

eaglef2 wrote:does i start at zero or one in the math paper?

There’s an unnumbered photo front page in the pdf, although I’m unsure if it’s part of the journal.
If it is, that page would be page 0.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:32 am UTC

dorkomatic wrote:How about Kibo? Is he dead? Is he even real?

(There are Kibo numbers, just like Erdos & Bacon)

I'm guessing that Kibo is more esoteric than Erdos, but I could be wrong.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Amarsir » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:58 am UTC

Didn't get it until the alt text (Erdős numers aren't something I contemplate often).

Not bad though. :)

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby mattme » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:26 am UTC

SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Erdős isn't dead! He left, but he never died.

:) He's been sitting for 13 years listening to someone reading him The Book, all the time nodding approvingly.

All of you should read The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, by Paul Hoffman. Aspire to hear as many Erdős stories as possible. Yes, all of you.. Reading about mathmos is much more accessible (also entertaining) than reading maths.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby mtc » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:34 am UTC

I read an article about Paul Erdos when I was a kid by Karl Kruszelnicki, and all I remember is that he functioned really well under the influence of caffeine.

Oh, and that his last name is pronounced "air-dish".

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:56 am UTC

I really like the artwork in the first panel - very cool. It was interesting to read about Erdos as well.
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby dsriharsha » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:29 am UTC

I signed up just so I could comment on the brilliance of this comic..
The best yet..

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:33 pm UTC

Eversist wrote:Fuck yeah, I understood this because I learned about him last semester in Graph Theory.
I feel awesome. 8)

You talked about signing a baseball in Graph Theory?

I got bored and quit going to Graph Theory half way through the semester.
And I'm -2.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby axlemn » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:53 pm UTC

Instead of zombies, like inferi and living dead being so creepy, I always thought it would be awesome to meet certain people. Ever see Corpse Bride?

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby stellar q » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:01 pm UTC

Based on the first panel, I thought this was going to be similar to a "Calvin and Hobbes"-type comic fantasy. And it was (but with math, sarcasm, romance and language.) ...Minus everything but math.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby rowanmikaio » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:07 pm UTC

mattme wrote:
SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Erdős isn't dead! He left, but he never died.

:) He's been sitting for 13 years listening to someone reading him The Book, all the time nodding approvingly.

All of you should read The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, by Paul Hoffman. Aspire to hear as many Erdős stories as possible. Yes, all of you.. Reading about mathmos is much more accessible (also entertaining) than reading maths.


What else do you expect from a two and a half billion year old man? I <3 that book.

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eleniy86
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby eleniy86 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

i have a bacon number of 4, and a erdos number of at most 8 (least 5). cool! i didnt even know this stuff existed!

with a little googlepedia searching, this made sense! :D thanks for clearing some stuff up!

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby togo1960 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

randytayler wrote:I'm still reeling from this notion that people write math papers. And stranger yet, that somebody else would read them. What's it like in that world, mathophiles? Isn't it scary there?


Yes. Terrifying. No zombies, though; they can't compete with math when it comes to sucking out brains.
It's probably best that you not enter this world . . .

*edit: Sorry, that was smug and unkind. Math is very cool, and nothing to be afraid of.
Last edited by togo1960 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

wad
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby wad » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:17 pm UTC

At least, give him his glasses! He can't be seen without his glasses!

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby kurogane765 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:18 pm UTC

this comic is my new desktop background
http://imgur.com/qmrLW.png

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Schmorgluck » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:22 pm UTC

I want to thank Randall for having me learn something today, and for having me chuckle while reading Wikipedia when I finally got the joke, and then a second time when I got the other joke.
Image

aray
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby aray » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:24 pm UTC

I've only published one paper and I already have Erdos number 5. :twisted:


FYI: You can calculate them here http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/collaborationDistance.html


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