0944: "Hurricane Names"

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JohnTheWysard
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

Hey, we've got it easy. You could be on Saturn. There was a storm that formed early this (Saturnian) Spring, a little dot about the size of France. It expanded to wrap completely around the planet, has supersonic winds, and the lightning is so fast and furious that the satellite radio receivers are unable to keep up (over 20 bolts/second for months on end).

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 10205.html

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

Hey, we've got it easy. You could be on Saturn. There was a storm that formed early this (Saturnian) Spring, a little dot about the size of France. It expanded to wrap completely around the planet, has supersonic winds, and the lightning is so fast and furious that the satellite radio receivers are unable to keep up (over 10 bolts/second for months on end).

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 10205.html

Cervisiae Amatorem
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Cervisiae Amatorem » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

We already solved this problem!

http://www.xkcd.com/936/

If we have 1000 hurricanes per second, we don't double up on Hurricane CorrectHorseBatteryStaple for 550 years. Also, if we start having 1000 hurricanes per second, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

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eculc
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby eculc » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

and I was really looking forward to hurricane screw-it-let's-just-trash-florida-again.
Um, this post feels devoid of content. Good luck?
For comparison, that means that if the cabbage guy from Avatar: The Last Airbender filled up his cart with lettuce instead, it would be about a quarter of a lethal dose.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

I'm just dreading the day when hurricanes attain sufficient complexity to become sentient, and demand to choose their own uber-kewl user names.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:If hurricanes are becoming THAT common, maybe they should just be assigned serial numbers unless they do enough damage/become big enough to become noteworthy.

According to the comic's {alt|title} text, they tried that. It worked until an uncountably infinite number of hurricanes appeared...

nekolux wrote:Wouldn't cantor's diagonals actually provide an infinite numerical system for naming with?

Coyne wrote:See, I don't agree with the conclusion in the tool tip. Cantor diagonalization ensured that they would always have a new number for the next hurricane.

I think you're misinterpreting it. If a distinct hurricane appeared at every mathematical point on the Earth's surface, then the number of hurricanes is the same as the number of points in the real line, which Cantor's diagonalisation argument proves cannot be fully mapped to by the set of integers. In other words, in this context the diagonalisation argument would say that for any countably infinite list of hurricanes you'd generated (i.e. for any assignment of all the integers to hurricanes), we could find a hurricane that wasn't on your list. As has been mentioned, the only way we could give them all numbers would be to use infinite-precision reals. And you know that's going to be a pain for the evening newscast.

Besides, if we ever get that many hurricanes we're completely screwed anyway, so who cares what they're called? :)

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby E_H » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

2011 is actually shaping up to be a well-below normal Atlantic hurricane season. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_Cyclone_Energy . The ACE index would have to nearly triple before it would be above average.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Tirian » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

Randall hit on the right solution two weeks ago.

Hurricane Correct Horse Battery Staple!

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby TaylorP » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:I'm just dreading the day when hurricanes attain sufficient complexity to become sentient, and demand to choose their own uber-kewl user names.


And then they'll demand moderator privileges, at which point we're all doomed.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby drachefly » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

Well, if there's a hurricane at every point on Earth, then everyone's in the eyes of the local set of hurricanes, so it's actually pretty good weather.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby avocadohead » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

MCab wrote:I always thought that hurricanes should be named after villains. That way, the Katrinas, Ritas, and Betsys of the world can be spared.

'Irene' is the Greek word for peace. Just saying.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby robot123 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:20 pm UTC

Uzh wrote:
rpgamer wrote:Hurricane comics are fun.

I just hope it doesn't devolve into, "Irene wasn't that bad" from everyone that wasn't horribly affected by it.


It reminds me of a tweet of Der Spiegel (one of Germany's most renown news magazine): "#irene in Manhattan: disappointing so far" http://bit.ly/nTEsu5

Georg


Schadenfreude

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby umanwizard » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

Guys, unfortunately there is a finite number of atoms in the universe, and so an infinite (let alone uncountable) number of hurricanes forming is impossible.

In general, the real numbers haven't been shown to correspond to anything in the real world, and nor has any uncountable set.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby silvermorph » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

Global hurricane Steve is the biggest PR disaster for Steves since Urkel. So on behalf of steves everywhere, I would like to apologize. It is our sincere hope that after we have survived this disaster we can work together to repair our homes and the trust you had placed in us.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby vortmax » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:47 am UTC

Ptharien's Flame wrote:
Brilliand wrote:Nerdbait: How many hurricanes can theoretically cover the Earth's surface without instantly destroying one another?

In any case, the number is finite, so Cantor's diagonals don't apply. I'm sure it's more than 21+sizeof(Greek alphabet), though.

I don't know if it's even possible to solve this without observation. My best guess would be that all but a few would be wiped out by chance, and the ones that stayed would then partially regenerate the original system. I don't think they would all simultaneously destroy each other (that would require an actual decrease in entropy, or at least not as much of an increase as some surviving). Then again, I'm a programmer, not a meteorologist. Go ask one of them (there must be some hanging around). :lol:


That many wouldn't grow large enough to destroy each other. Hurricanes are essentially heat engines. The ocean surface is the warm reservoir, the upper atmosphere is the cold reservoir and water vapor is the transport medium. The ocean isn't an ideal reservoir, so the developing hurricanes would deplete the warm reservoir, AND the cloud cover from them blocks the solar heating that would keep the SST's high. You can actually see the drop in SST left by a hurricane. They are aptly called cold trails.

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a0 ... index.html

For what it's worth, hurricanes have collided without destroying each other. The October '91 storm nicknamed "the perfect storm" is an example where an unusually strong extratropical cyclone ate hurricane grace before turning south and intensifying to ridiculous proportions, finally forming a convective core and strengthening to hurricane strength (but since it didn't originate in the tropics, it wasn't named).

(yes I am a meteorologist)

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby prosfilaes » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:45 am UTC

E_H, I don't know why you claim it's shaping up to be a below average storm season. If you sort by number of storms on the page you gave, 2011 is already at the middle of the pack, with the two big storm months yet to go. (24 out of 60 years had fewer tropical storms the whole year then we've had so far.) Many years haven't been nearly this active at this point, and still came up average; 2007 was up to Felix by now, with one hurricane (major), (we're up to Jose, and one hurricane (major)) and come out average.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby strake » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:58 am UTC

By my reason, a (theoretical) hurricane at every point on the earth's surface would be total calm:

We can define the strength of a hurricane by the circulation at the eye wall. An ideal hurricane, a pure spinning storm, has calm at its centre. For any hurricane in such a system, every point at the eye wall is the centre of a hurricane, so wind velocity is zero; thus each hurricane is the null hurricane (zero circulation at eye wall).

I'm not sure whether this would work if we allow other, non-cyclonic winds and whole hurricane motion.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby ducklets6 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:51 am UTC

Surely Cantor's diagonalization is flawed. Diagonalization would only work for a square set. (same number of rows and columns), but the sets of all possible combinations of a given number of items would be the number of options of each numeral to the power of the number of items -
Anyway, an order of magnitude at least greater than the number of items in the sets.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby A_of_s_t » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:14 am UTC

glasnt wrote:Steve is a good name. I like Steve.


Spoiler:
Over the Hedge reference



Spoiler:
may be (sic)

Steve is always a good go-to name.

Always.

No exceptions.
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby prosfilaes » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:04 am UTC

ducklets6 wrote:Surely Cantor's diagonalization is flawed. Diagonalization would only work for a square set. (same number of rows and columns), but the sets of all possible combinations of a given number of items would be the number of options of each numeral to the power of the number of items -
Anyway, an order of magnitude at least greater than the number of items in the sets.


The question in Cantor's diagonalization is whether the number of real numbers is more than the number of integers. "Order of magnitude" is meaningless here; any assumption about whether it's greater or not is assuming the answer. Cantor's diagonalization takes a square set; the number of digits in a real number between 0 and 1 after the decimal point is countably infinite, and a countably infinite list of real numbers between 0 and 1, and proves that there must be real numbers between 0 and 1 not in the list, and thus the number of real numbers between 0 and 1 is not countable.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scarletmanuka » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:12 am UTC

strake wrote:By my reason, a (theoretical) hurricane at every point on the earth's surface would be total calm:

We can define the strength of a hurricane by the circulation at the eye wall. An ideal hurricane, a pure spinning storm, has calm at its centre. For any hurricane in such a system, every point at the eye wall is the centre of a hurricane, so wind velocity is zero

I think all you're saying is that the concept of a hurricane at every point on the earth's surface really doesn't stand up, to which I would agree. :)

If it were to make any sense, though, you'd have to define a hurricane in isolation from the effects of other hurricanes. So each hurricane would contribute a certain amount of motion to air masses at various points, and the air velocity at any given point would be the sum of the contributions from all the hurricanes covering that point (massive, totally unfounded, and probably extremely wrong assumption here, but how else are we going to do it?). Then, even supposing the eye of each hurricane to be perfectly still, the air velocity at any point would be made up of the residual components from all the other hurricanes around it. Given that these hurricanes could vary in intensity and size, you would have non-zero resultant winds almost everywhere.

From what I've read, though, in (real) hurricanes even the eye is not exactly particularly calm, just calmer than the other bits.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby ConMan » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:53 am UTC

What would happen if the coordinates of the hurricanes formed a Cantor dust? Uncountably many (Hello, Steve) but measure zero ...
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby ducklets6 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:07 am UTC

prosfilaes wrote:
ducklets6 wrote:Surely Cantor's diagonalization is flawed. Diagonalization would only work for a square set. (same number of rows and columns), but the sets of all possible combinations of a given number of items would be the number of options of each numeral to the power of the number of items -
Anyway, an order of magnitude at least greater than the number of items in the sets.


The question in Cantor's diagonalization is whether the number of real numbers is more than the number of integers. "Order of magnitude" is meaningless here; any assumption about whether it's greater or not is assuming the answer. Cantor's diagonalization takes a square set; the number of digits in a real number between 0 and 1 after the decimal point is countably infinite, and a countably infinite list of real numbers between 0 and 1, and proves that there must be real numbers between 0 and 1 not in the list, and thus the number of real numbers between 0 and 1 is not countable.


Well, I confess, I'm working from the info in Wikipedea, and that I have problems with a discipline that insists that x=x^2 is true for x=>infinity.
The proof given there starts with the (inversed) diagonal of the set of all possible sets of infinite length binary numbers S10= [0 1 0 0 1 0... ] the idea being that the diagonal cannot be part of the set. Then goes on to use that proof on real numbers.
For the case of n=2, the sets are [0 1] [1 0] [1 1] [0 1], a 2X4 matrix. The only value of n which gives a square matrix is the set of values of '0', the diagonalization of which is [!0] which is uncountable within the definition.
The issue I have is defining a proof that is only valid for one special case, and insisting that it is valid for a size of infinity.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Elfedlied4 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:24 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:I'm just dreading the day when hurricanes attain sufficient complexity to become sentient, and demand to choose their own uber-kewl user names.


And they shall be known as Drizzzzt, assuming that they're just barely sentient enough to use the internet.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby nyth » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:06 am UTC

Cantor Diagonalization is used to show that would be impossible to define the location/name of an uncountable number of hurricanes.

There is obviously no flaw in the argument itself, although it contradicts the physical definition of hurricane, whatever it is.

See, I do not know what a hurricane is, although I'm certain that it implies the physical movement of particles in the air, in some way or another.

Since there exists a finite number of particles in the air, only a finite number of hurricanes might exist at any given time, and as such, for a specific time instant, you cannot apply cantor diagonalization to show that it is impossible to name them.

Of course, if one makes the argument "but what about the whole hurricane season?", one could appeal to quantum mechanics and use the "quantized" nature of time to show that at least there will still exist a finite number of observable hurricanes.

Moreover, one also could appeal to quantum mechanics directly and use the quantized nature of space to show that there exist only a finite number of locations for the observable hurricanes to spawn, but that would be complete overkill.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby jeremybub » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:44 am UTC

Okay, I know it's a bit pathetic that I registered just to post this comment, but...

Suppose there is a hurricane at every single point on the surface of the earth. At this point quantum mechanics kicks in. More specifically, the uncertainty principle. That is to say, if we consider a hurricane at every point on the earth, then in any finite time frame (even a picosecond or less), the uncertainty of all these hurricanes will make them not only practically indistinguishable from each other, but *literally* indistinguishable from each other, if we are to believe the common interpretation of quantum mechanics. That is, it is impossible to track the movement of the hurricanes on this level, without their labels not only getting mixed up, but becoming entirely meaningless.

In fact, the best we can do is make a measurement of *a* hurricane. So to identify a hurricane, we need not identify which hurricane we are measuring (as that does not make any sense in this scenario), but rather, we can simply specify the coordinates at which it was measured to any desired degree of accuracy. Thus, given a maximum uncertainty which we desire to have the position of a hurricane (of course it would be ridiculous to request *no* uncertainty), we can describe the measurement we took using some rational pair of coordinates to be accurate within the desired uncertainty. Thus if anyone speaks of an even occurring which involved one of these uncountably infinite hurricanes, they could simply determine the uncertainty in both time and position and then express this information up to the relevant degree of accuracy using a terminating decimal. Even though there might be other hurricanes which would be assigned those coordinates, those hurricanes are quantum mechanically indistinguishable from the one which we specified in this interaction, so they therefore are the "same" hurricane. Thus you can use a finite number of bits to describe any interaction which occurred with any hurricane, and not ever worry about the uncountably infinite number of them. People will just be talking in really long decimal coordinates.

EDIT: nyth's post above me addresses the same issue from a slightly different perspective. I feel satisfied.
Last edited by jeremybub on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Uzh » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:10 am UTC

robot123 wrote:
Uzh wrote:It reminds me of a tweet of Der Spiegel (one of Germany's most renown news magazine): "#irene in Manhattan: disappointing so far" http://bit.ly/nTEsu5


Schadenfreude


Nah. Rather the disappointment that you got your story, got your reporters abroad, got even the connection right and the commercials booked and then the breaking news don't fill the needs. *g*

For those unfamiliar to exotic languages: "Schadenfreude" means glee.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby RogerB » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:14 pm UTC

Uzh wrote:For those unfamiliar to exotic languages: "Schadenfreude" means glee.


A better definition is "taking pleasure from the misfortunes of others"

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Wopple2 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

No, it means you can't give them all numbers at all.

For example, the series 1, 2, 3, 4... to infinity is "countable" even though it is infinite because you can easily map it to the infinite set of natural numbers (f(x) = x).

Say you had a series of .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, .... etc to infinity. Is this countable? Yes, because you can map it to natural numbers (f(x) = 2x)

Basically, any countably infinite set you could just count (or in this case, name) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... forever. Of course, since it is infinite, you'd never finish, but you would have a name for them. For example, what is the name for the 1500th element in the .5, 1, 1.5 series? Easy, 3000!

But certain things, most easy to prove continuous sets, cannot possibly be mapped to the infinite set of natural numbers. If the hurricane in your living room is 1400, and the one one inch to it's left is 1401, what is the one 1/2 inch to it's left? Etc.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Cosmologicon » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

nyth wrote:Cantor Diagonalization is used to show that would be impossible to define the location/name of an uncountable number of hurricanes.

There is obviously no flaw in the argument itself, although it contradicts the physical definition of hurricane, whatever it is.

See, I do not know what a hurricane is, although I'm certain that it implies the physical movement of particles in the air, in some way or another.

Since there exists a finite number of particles in the air, only a finite number of hurricanes might exist at any given time

You seem to be assuming that because hurricanes involve the movement of air particles, that any given air particle can be part of only a finite number of hurricanes at a time. I don't see why this is necessarily true.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby sjorford » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

Cosmologicon wrote:You seem to be assuming that because hurricanes involve the movement of air particles, that any given air particle can be part of only a finite number of hurricanes at a time. I don't see why this is necessarily true.

But if a hurricane is defined by its particles, there can only be a finite number of hurricanes.

I'm going to call the real number line "Steve" from now on.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby ProverbialNoose » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

You made a Cantor joke. I would go under the knife in order to become capable of having your babies.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:55 pm UTC

MCab wrote:I always thought that hurricanes should be named after villains. That way, the Katrinas, Ritas, and Betsys of the world can be spared.

Hurricane Vader
Hurricane Harkonnen
Hurricane VonDoom
Hurricane Galacticus

Well, to be fair, a Vader (in a galaxie far away, as opposed to, say Germany) is kind of like The Hand of The King, and theoretically is simply a powerful advisor. It's just those damn insurgents who label him a villain.
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby cream wobbly » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:02 pm UTC

umanwizard wrote:Guys, unfortunately there is a finite number of atoms in the universe, and so an infinite (let alone uncountable) number of hurricanes forming is impossible.

In general, the real numbers haven't been shown to correspond to anything in the real world, and nor has any uncountable set.


Are there an infinite number of points in space, directions, sizes, and energy levels too? Even if there was only one atom in the universe, there could still be an infinite number of configurations of that one atom. Heck, no atoms still gives limitless possibilities.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby cream wobbly » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

sjorford wrote:
Cosmologicon wrote:You seem to be assuming that because hurricanes involve the movement of air particles, that any given air particle can be part of only a finite number of hurricanes at a time. I don't see why this is necessarily true.

But if a hurricane is defined by its particles, there can only be a finite number of hurricanes.

...at any one time.

Each year has its own hurricane season, which is (to my knowledge) not a static snapshot.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Ephemeron » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:59 pm UTC

I'd like to think they would use this Random Name Generator when they start to run out of real names. Then the Atlantic hurricane season for 2057 might look something like this...

Tropical Storm Asmen
Hurricane Briuliethhugi - category 1
Hurricane Drepoiksoi - category 3
Tropical Storm Eedut
Hurricane Fukcemie - category 4
Hurricane Giuksu - category 1
Hurricane Iehej - category 5
Tropical Storm Kirfu
Hurricane Ocu - category 4
Hurricane Pleuposo - category 3
Tropical Storm Sploogego
Hurricane Tsinishoo - category 2
Tropical Storm Uflochoi
Hurricane Wreuyjeerfob - category 3
Hurricane Xoundu - category 5

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby xtifr » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

You could argue that there are currently an infinite number of hurricanes covering the earth's surface, but most of them are of sufficiently equal stature to counterbalance the others and render them ineffective and undetectable.

(This ignores the fact that some of them should properly be called typhoons.)
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby paramecium » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Wopple2 wrote:No, it means you can't give them all numbers at all.

For example, the series 1, 2, 3, 4... to infinity is "countable" even though it is infinite because you can easily map it to the infinite set of natural numbers (f(x) = x).

Say you had a series of .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, .... etc to infinity. Is this countable? Yes, because you can map it to natural numbers (f(x) = 2x)

Basically, any countably infinite set you could just count (or in this case, name) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... forever. Of course, since it is infinite, you'd never finish, but you would have a name for them. For example, what is the name for the 1500th element in the .5, 1, 1.5 series? Easy, 3000!

But certain things, most easy to prove continuous sets, cannot possibly be mapped to the infinite set of natural numbers. If the hurricane in your living room is 1400, and the one one inch to it's left is 1401, what is the one 1/2 inch to it's left? Etc.


Surely (f(x) = 2x) should be (f(x)=x/2) and the 1500th element in the .5, 1, 1.5 series is 1500/2 = 750 ?

Code: Select all

//

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Retsam » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
MCab wrote:I always thought that hurricanes should be named after villains. That way, the Katrinas, Ritas, and Betsys of the world can be spared.

Hurricane Vader
Hurricane Harkonnen
Hurricane VonDoom
Hurricane Galacticus

Well, to be fair, a Vader (in a galaxie far away, as opposed to, say Germany) is kind of like The Hand of The King, and theoretically is simply a powerful advisor. It's just those damn insurgents who label him a villain.

Yeah, like those insurgents that he choked to death.

Wopple2
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:15 pm UTC

Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Wopple2 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:40 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:You could argue that there are currently an infinite number of hurricanes covering the earth's surface, but most of them are of sufficiently equal stature to counterbalance the others and render them ineffective and undetectable.

(This ignores the fact that some of them should properly be called typhoons.)


Wouldn't matter if only one inch had a hurricane at every point, still would be uncountable.


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