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The universal paradox of infinity

From my 11 year old student
  [vote for,

While explaining things like triangles, light years and the ever expanding universe, an 11 year old student of mine asked:

1. If the universe can be proven to be moving out from a single center, then everything in our universe must be finite, with a finite time/distance of everything from the center.

2. But if the universe is finite and is all expanding, that means there is something beyond everything in the universe, something that defines "the beyond". So the universe cannot be finite. It must be infinite.

3. But if the universe is infinite, it cannot have a single center (or any finite number of centers, for that) from which everything is expanding.

Interesting thoughts.

pashute, Feb 12 2018

Why start with a "Big Bang", why not just believe something like the Casimir force exists if you've got a math space to put it in; the thing that mostly piles up everywhere is photons. Enough time you get matter then a gravitational singularity? https://www.quora.c...u-get-matter-then-a
[beanangel, Dec 18 2020]

What are some great math memes for people 11-13? https://www.quora.c...es-for-people-11-13
[beanangel, Dec 18 2020]


       Your student's thoughts are indeed interesting. The important facts missing from her* thinking include the following:   

       A. The word "finite" and its cognates have come adrift from their original metaphor. Originally, "finite" meant "having a boundary" (implying something else beyond the boundary). Nowadays, it doesn't.   

       B. The curvature of space-time.   

       But she's definitely asking the right sort of questions, and should be encouraged.   

       *or, as it might be, his
pertinax, Feb 12 2018

       The universe is not moving out from a single point, though. It's expanding from everywhere. It's like the surface of an inflating balloon. Imagine you're an ant on the surface of a balloon - it starts out tiny, and then gets bigger, but not from any single point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2018

       Nice, probing the possibilities is definitely a sign of an opened mind and adds to the expansion of our universe. Contrarily, //The universe is not//
wjt, Feb 13 2018

       So my expanding stomach can be explained by the expansion of the universe?
RayfordSteele, Feb 13 2018

       The twists and turns of a mandelbrot diagram are encapsulated in a finite space, yet are infinitely windy and, from the perspective of someone zooming in at ever greater precision, ever-expanding. That expansion happens irrespective of which point you zoom in on - so this example fits all the starting assumptions, and yet manages to skirt the third conclusion. It is a fairly well studied pocket- example of an object that is both finite and infinite at the same time.   

       Plus, you can express it, and all the complexity contained within as:   


       (along with some contextual stuff about complex numbers and counting how quickly the equation at each point z zooms off to infinity)
zen_tom, Feb 13 2018

       [pertinax] is right - go back to your student and ask them to tell you the difference between 'unbounded' and 'infinite'. Try and move the conversation to a 2D rather than a 3D universe, as it's easier to think about. For example, the surface of the Earth is basically flat and 2D. It is unbounded (i.e. doesn't have an edge) but is not infinite. Likewise, if 3D space was wrapped around on itself in 4D (like the 2D surface of the Earth is wrapped around in 3D) what would that be like? If you carried on in a straight line through space in your spaceship would you return to where you started?
hippo, Feb 14 2018

       // probing the possibilities is definitely a sign of an opened mind //   

       It's important that talent, curiosity and intellect like that are identified as early a possible, so that they can be nurtured and encouraged.   

       And also carefully noted for future reference as potential troublemakers....
8th of 7, Feb 14 2018

       I think this illustrates why that way of looking at the expansion of space is mistaken. I keep saying this, so I may have done so on here, and if so I apologise:   

       Space is not a thing, containing locations. It's a relationship between items which combines distance and direction which seems on a small scale merely to involve a limitless increase in distance and constancy of direction between two items, which are locations. However, what it in fact involves is an increase of distance to a maximum in any given direction, beyond which the directions in which the locations concerned reverse and the distance between them reduces. Also, the maximum potential distance between two locations is increasing.   

       The idea of an inflating universe expanding from a point into pre-existing unoccupied hyperspace is metaphorical (unless brane theory turns out to be true I suppose).
nineteenthly, Feb 14 2018

       Give them a few more years of schooling and will make them stop asking such interesting questions
dev45, Feb 14 2018

       Where do you end up if you go north from the North Pole?
Wrongfellow, Feb 14 2018

       You should beat your impudent student with a stick, pashute. Then send them to work down a mine. That's what the education system is for.
DrBob, Feb 14 2018

       No, it's for teaching them to beat one another, without knowing why - just blindly obeying orders.   

       // Where do you end up if you go north from the North Pole? //   

       Santa's Magic Kingdom ?
8th of 7, Feb 14 2018

       This student is clearly in need of behavior modification drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall.(tm) This will calm the inquisitive soul and quash the troublesome spirit. Asking questions, playing, smiling, laughing or straying at any time from being blissfully, foaming at the mouth happy every waking hour of the day may be signs of "Inquisitive Spirit Disorder", "Independent Thought Syndrome" or "Subjugation Rejection Disease".*   

       Signed: Your fellow Halfbaker friend and not a major drug company at all.   

       *Side effects include zombieitus, glazed eyes, voting Democrat, caring about what happens in this weeks episode of any major network TV drama and pretending to like modern music. Ask your doctor of mind numbing life squashing drugs are right for you. Doctorremulac3 and " Your fellow Halfbaker friend and not a major drug company at all." are registered trademarks of Merck and their subsidiary companies. All rights reserved.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Diseases do not have side-effects, by definition.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       Voting Democrat has some VERY nasty side effects ...
8th of 7, Feb 14 2018

       //Diseases do not have side-effects, by definition.//   

       Putting the asterisk was at the end of the paragraph was my attempt to loosely follow the format of a drug commercial where statements about the product and imagery of its users are followed by a warning about the drug. Those warnings are not about being a happy elderly couple walking on the beach, being a grey haired person petting at a dog, or being a now cured middle aged man laughing at his salad.   

       So if you see such a commercial, know that you may suffer a potentially fatal brain aneurysm because you took the drug, not because you were playing checkers with your grandson while smiling.   

       On the other hand, I've always just made that assumption. Maybe they're showing all the activities you should avoid while taking that drug. "I'm sorry, were you holding hands while walking on the beach while taking clidoprhophilozill? Didn't you see the commercial? I'm afraid we're going to have to deny your claim." :)
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Ask your doctor if becoming part of a mindless hegemonic swarm is right for you...
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       LL. I won’t lie, if a commercial offered me that I wouldn’t discount it without hearing them out. This “rebel till the day I die” shit gets tiring.   

       Do we get ice cream?
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Yes, but not necessarily cookies. Or milk. Milk and cookies can keep you awake.   

       // mindless hegemonic swarm //   

       Evil, relentless and overbearing, yes. Mindless, definitely not.
8th of 7, Feb 14 2018

       Firstly, I add my vote to those saying "encourage", "nurture", and other such words. The world needs more people who think deep thoughts like these.
Second, the idea of multiple dimensions should be introduced to the conversation (as others have mentioned). If (some of) the expansion is in a direction you can't really perceive, it's hard to grasp.
Third, (as per [zen_tom]), the Mandelbrot set is my (as yet un-used) argument against the usual creationist "you can't get complexity from simplicity" anti-evolution schtick.
More calculations (ie. more time) = more complexity and detail.
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 14 2018

       The only thing I have against creationists is that they are all absolute cunting morons.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2018

       Not even considering signing up 'til the implants come in brass, leather and canvas. Just sayin'.
FlyingToaster, Feb 14 2018

       //cunting morons//   

       At the risk of being one of those, what exactly is "cunting"? I hope it's not what I think it is because if so, I've been very guilty of it.   

       "Where you going Doc?"   

       "Eh, me and the guys are going out cunting."   

       "Oh, well, good luck! Have fun."   

       I think whenever I hear an Englishman use crude slang I take it as a challenge. "Hmm, can I take this any lower?"   

       I'd like to say I get shocked and my monocle drops in my gin and tonic splashing my tunic but, well, never been accused of being highbrow.   

       As for creationists, not sure I've ever met one. At least not that I know of. If I do, I'll ask them if they've ever been cunting.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       You can't swing a dead cat around here and miss a creationist. And for the record, they all vote Republican. They're what's "special" about Indiana and the rest of the Midwest.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       Well, my additude is, somebody can believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, all combined into one bizarre monster with multiple heads as long as it doesn't affect me.   

       My main problem is with people who have so much knowledge about the way thing are supposed to be that I have to submit to their version of reality. Even that wouldn't be a big deal but I always get to pay for it. Our benevolent government sucks more money from me every year than I made my entire working career as a teenager, and I started working at 13, making good money at the time.   

       That being said, seems like the country has more than its fair share of creationists and communists. Not a fan of either. They both do far too much cunting.   

       And stop trying to change "cunting" into "cutting" spell check. Don't get me started.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       But what you're missing is that it does affect you. Being in a nation surrounded by idiots most definitely affects whether or not you move forwards or backwards or sideways as a whole, and brain cells devoted to theological nonsense could be doing more useful tasks like inventing a cure to the common cold or something.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       <high fives [Rayfo]>
<wonders if high fiving is still hip>
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2018

       Not sure. My hips are pretty old.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       //could be doing more useful tasks like inventing a cure to the common cold or something//   

       These people obviously don't have high IQs so there's not much brainpower to be freed by convincing them the universe didn't spring out of some superbeings boredom on a Saturday night.   

       My point is, these simple superstitious people don't seem to want my money, the intellectual supermen do.   

       But if you want to cure stupidity, good luck. Stupid people have more kids than smart people and that's just going to get worse. Doesn't matter what tag you give one side or the other. The big stupid just rolls on getting bigger and bigger while we quibble about which part of the snowball is the stupidest.   

       It's all the stupidest.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Stupid is a relative term that implies intelligence existing somewhere.   

       In countries that are less preoccupied with stupidity, the rising tide raises all boats. My guess is that there are few libertarians, communists, and creationists in countries with high satisfaction of living.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       Is there such a thing as a "I-don't-want-to-be-part-of- any-group-itarian"?
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Poor Pachute. What was the original idea again?
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Some-one (I forget who...) once said (paraphrasing...): "I will only join a club that refuses to have me as a member".
Umm, sorry [pashute], I sort-of derailed the conversation there. Back to universes!
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 14 2018

       Yo Pash, are you at least enjoying your hijacked idea chain? Want to join in? I just suggested stupid people shouldn't have so many kids so we're probably coming up on Godwin's law pretty soon, that's always fun.   

       Pash? Are you there?   

       He left. Oh well.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Being a rebel against everything because it exists is a pretty foolish position as well.   

       Wanna get a creationist all flummoxed? Quote some of C. S. Lewis's more socialistic statements to them sometime.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       Who's a rebel against everything?   

       Sometimes people make self deprecating jokes to lighten things up. Gotta watch that I guess.   

       But religion and communism aren't "everything". In my opinion they're two simplistic life manuals for foolish people who can't think for themselves.   

       But that illustrates my problem with this whole left/right paradigm. Believers in both sides think that's the entire world, it's everything, there are no other ways of looking at the world outside of the Republican or Democrat view.   

       Thinking for youself and evaluating the complexities of life on a case by case basis is looked at by some as "foolish".   

       I disagree.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       Precisely my point. My other point is that some tasks take groups, and groups involve compromise.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       That's fine, I just don't see the Republicans OR the Democrats as doing much that I like. When either side points to the other and says "They're horrible!" there's a reason that they're usually right.   

       All the good stuff in the world comes from motivated, smart people who come up with better ideas, new approaches and processes or works of art, not from the leadership class.   

       They just turn us against each other for fun and profit. Me and you for agree on a lot of stuff, but you've got the D on your uniform and I don't have any insignia at all so that comes to the forefront more often than not.   

       The only thing that's good about two horrible political parties fighting for power is that one keeps the other in check. It's when they agree on something that I get nervous.   

       Luckily that doesn't happen very often.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018


       There's something I've always wondered. What - in the American context - is a libertarian? Wikipedia defines libertarianism as "a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle", which sounds basically good to me. But I am guessing that the term has some other connotation in the US?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2018

       In my opinion, it's a political doctrine of minimal government and free markets.   

       They get a bad rap as being anarchists but they believe in laws and regulations, just laws and regulations that do more good than harm.   

       The left thinks of them as wanting to let industry sell poor people's body parts for profit before they're done with them and the right thinks they're a bunch of godless heathens.   

       I'm not very good at representing them or any other group especially since there are a wide spectrum of views in this group, like in any other political party.   

       Sometimes it's helpful to keep in mind that in both or our countries we have libertarian, socialist, theocratic and all sorts of political forces running things in various measure at all times. It's not just who's in power now having total say on the way we do things.   

       For me, I might favor a libertarian approach to allowing a kid's lemonade stand to make money without a license and a socialist approach to housing for those who can't work due to physical or mental limitation.   

       But this case by case approach gets boring. We want to line up on either side with our swords and shields and charge at the other side.   

       Hey, I want to do that too, I just have yet to pick a side. Maybe I'll just stand in the middle with a sword in either hand and see what happens. It might work out.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       // Who's a rebel against everything? //   

       Jim Stark ?
8th of 7, Feb 14 2018

       I think it's good to be a rebel sometimes.
doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2018

       In the US, libertarians generally embrace private market solutions to all problems be they feasible or infeasible, distrust any sort of national solution, and tend to see government as an evil to be destroyed or minimized. They tend to exchange religious devotion to theology for a religious devotion to theory and ideology involving distrust of all authority, for which the obvious irony tends to be lost, although there are religious libertarians as well who would want the church and/or God to obtain or show more power. They are typically for deregulation in all directions, but for some reason trust private enterprise to always do the right thing, despite all evidence to the contrary.   

       Like anarchists, they underappreciate the value of community, except for some sacred devotion to the Constitution as a near religious document.   

       Because of the undercurrent of distrust for authority, they tend to be a nexus point accumulating anti- vaxers, conspiracy theorists, drug freedom proponents, Christian triumphialists, and anti- scientific community types of all stripes. Any sort of authority vexes them as an evil to be eliminated. Social safety nets of any type be damned as a perpetuating disease with a flawed premise.   

       The D on my uniform is not a permanent ink-job. It was placed there as a reaction to the uncivility that I saw growing in the R side. You don't mess with the credit rating of the US as a political bargaining chip and start leaning against the scientific community and not endure my wrath.
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2018

       Well, now that we've established that the southern striped Libertarian has scales while the northern Libertarian warbler has horns, let's look at an actual Libertarian vs Democrat scenario.   

       The way we get around in the modern world is by taking Uber or Lyft, two private companies that allow citizens to act as taxi drivers using modern technology to hook up with customers. It's revolutionized the way we get around. Before this, one time I went on a day hike with my family along the ocean in San Francisco. We waited at the beach for hours for a taxi to pick us up and take us back to our hotel. The cab company that had a monopoly on transportation in this Democrat controlled city kept saying "Tha nu ter yut?" (They're not there yet?) Finally, tired and hungry, we were forced to hike miles back to our hotel as the sun began to set and it started getting cold. We luckily came across a museum that sold little sandwiches so we didn't starve, but the system was clearly broken.   

       Enter Uber and Lyft. The first big battle was getting past the Democrat cronies of the cab industry. The cab industry keeps competition out by very high license fees. Costs about $100,000 if you want to drive a cab I've heard. This keeps the competition away. In New York, there was a big battle with the New York politicians backing the cab companies as they fought to keep their monopoly safe from competition and new, more effective approaches.   

       But like the steam engine eventually wins over the horse drawn carriage, the better way won out, but the battle's not over. Democrats having failed to shut down the competition of their cronies and payola dumpsters have filed hundreds of regulation lawsuits in various cities saying they need to get their cut.   

       Now I'm sure the spin is "We just want to make sure we don't have axe murderers driving people around." but I was watching during the early battles. The Democrats fought tooth and nail to shut this thriving, vibrant and important industry down because the existing cab industry paid them to do so.   

       So I think in the overall battle of who has the stinkiest butts, I'll concede that I don't have that information on hand so if the Democrats say it's the Libertarians, ok, I'll give them that one. But if after establishing the ranking on the stinky butt scale we're to talk about specific instances and issues, THAT I can do.   

       Need to say again though, while the Democrats are now fighting to get their cut of these businesses, only THREATENING to shut them down, but having followed this battle from it's beginning, I can tell you that the Democrat party did everything in its power to destroy these companies at the behest of the democrat donor cab companies, not regulate them, shut them down.   

       As far as Libertarians wanting to repeal drug laws, THAT is true. Drug laws are stupid. They should be replaced by civil liability laws as I've suggested. If you sell somebody heroin and they die, you get to pay their family in a ten million dollar lawsuit. Or we could just keep drugs off the streets by regulation as we have so effectively all these years. By the way, I'm very against recreational drug use. I'm also against over use of alcohol, tobacco and sugar but I think education is the way to fight these health scourges, not laws that people won't follow anyway.   

       But what if you're a big drug company that wants to get their share of all that sweet drug addict money out there? Want to know how to have the Democrat regulators give the ok to whatever poison you're selling the public? Nothing says "I'm a good Democrat who wants to work within the system." like a suitcase full of cash.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       We’ve all got a million stories about how this political ideology failed or that one failed and look at what this lead to. Trust me, I live in the original UAW union state.   

       You want to see a Republican cloud up and rain all over you? Say something against whatever industry they’re protecting. Try the coal industry, or saying that tobacco causes cancer, or the sugar industry, or the farm corn subsidy, or going after oil subsidies sometime. You’re going to need more than a suitcase for the cash that trades hands there.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       And the Democrats DON'T take their orders from big business?   

       I think they target the occasional industry like coal as a warning to other industries to make sure that cash arrives on time and without question, but the Democrats get their money from big business and they deliver what those businesses tell them to.   

       I'd love to see a study of who's more corrupt. In fact, I'd love to see a little more scientific method applied to all the issues we face but that gets complicated. Much easier to just point out that the enemy has an orange face as further proof that anybody who agrees with him on any one issue is inferior. Battle over.   

       But if I absolutely have to defend someone, I'm a registered Libertarian, not a Republican so I'll answer for some of their sins, but the Republicans are on their own.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       So, what's the standing of egalité and fraternité in the US?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 15 2018

       A pox on all their houses.   

       While [Ray] is right that Libertarians attract their own brand of fringe (as of course do the left and the right), the credo of "first, leave people alone" is ultimately key to letting more people live the way they want to live.   

       Community is great. Commune? Not so much.
theircompetitor, Feb 15 2018

       //and the Democrats don’t...//   

       See my first paragraph..   

       “Living the way you want to live” is one of those conflicting goals that requires a few common but easily-disrupted things, namely, air, water, food, safety, and some type of shelter.   

       Too much of “leaving people alone” can result in the disruption of any of the above at times.   

       Hence the problem.   

       What are those strange single quote things above the e’s? We don’t have to deal with those foreign-looking things in this country. I’ll bet some immigrant brought snuck them in.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       //So, what's the standing of egalité and fraternité in the US?//   

       We're engaged in a sort of "cold civil war" right now so there's none of that. Speaking of the French revolution though, we've revived the popular guillotine show. We don't actually cut off heads, we just say "J'accuse!!" and hoist the transgressor up on the public stage. I'm talking about all the dirt being dug up on sexual harassers from years, sometimes decades old transgressions. Granted, many of these guys deserve it, and I don't necessarily think the prosecutions should stop. Yet. But I'm a little concerned about how excited our society is about ruining people. I don't know how much is prompted for the concern for victims and how much is just a blood lust to see heads roll. The peasants want blood, and we're seeing a sort of purge that needs victims from all sides. The left, interestingly enough, has lost the most leaders in this.   

       After Trump won the election the left promised blood and revolution but being un-able to perform it seems that the masses are being given a sacrifice show completely un- related to the election results that caused this war.   

       Anyway, I believe there's a link. The promise of revolution wasn't realized so an easier target gets chosen. Can't get the Republicans so let's get the Harvey Weinsteins.   

       To be clear, let's let the guillotine do its job, but let's keep an eye on who we're lining up for this thing. Letting the accused defend themselves in a court of law is still a good thing. If they're found to have done something wrong, let the heads roll, but if there are false accusations, those need to be addressed as well.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       The reaction of each side to the sexual scandals has been rather telling. From my perspective I’ve seen the R’s do anything in their power to discredit the stories and women while the D’s with some exceptions largely own up and offer up.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       Such as time marching backwardsdrawkcab gnihcram emit sa hcuS
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       // “Living the way you want to live” is one of those conflicting goals that requires a few common but easily- disrupted things, namely, air, water, food, safety, and some type of shelter. //   

       Why is it so hard to understand that "we'll give you law an order", or "we'll get rid of immigrants" is a scare tactic, but "without us, you won't have roads" is also a scare tactic?
theircompetitor, Feb 15 2018

       Because we’ve been through periods in history where the scary has happened primarily as a result of a lack of more thorough investigation into the downstream effects, and because as the world gets more crowded, it becomes more fragile to abuse.   

       Because ecological disasters like Delhi, Beijing, and Centralia Pennsylvania exist.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       //The reaction of each side to the sexual scandals has been rather telling. From my perspective I’ve seen the R’s do anything in their power to discredit the stories and women while the D’s with some exceptions largely own up and offer up.//   

       With all respect Ray, I fail to see what that has to do with the universal paradox of infinity.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       Blame 8th. He started it...
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018


       Dissent, suspicion and controversy... our work here is done.
8th of 7, Feb 15 2018

       //as the world becomes more crowded//   

       We're a pimple -- perhaps a festering one -- on a dog's ass as far as the world is concerned. And if I remember my Cosmos, the planet is pretty insignificant as well.   

       Worry about human happiness. Primarily your own.
theircompetitor, Feb 15 2018

       //as the world becomes more crowded//   

       We're a pimple -- perhaps a festering one -- on a dog's ass as far as the world is concerned. And if I remember my Cosmos, the planet is pretty insignificant as well.   

       Worry about human happiness. Primarily your own.
theircompetitor, Feb 15 2018

       Sorry that's just me. I cannot be happy simply worrying about my own happiness while the world goes to hell.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       What you're suffering from, [Rayfo], is "hope". If you can abandon that, you will find that the world is much more tolerable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 15 2018

       No, I swam around in that swamp for awhile. Didn't like it there.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       at least admit Ray that it's an anthropomorphic view of the situation, even if you're right. If the world was overrun with rats and roaches, it would still be heaven for them.   

       But of course Pinker and others have proved this is nonsense, the world is not going to hell, and the messaging that it is, from the left or from the right, is primarily about making you concerned enough to check in.
theircompetitor, Feb 15 2018

       As a bit of a history dork, I'd say the world is coming from hell, not going to it.   

       For one thing, if you had the opportunity to switch places with one of the pharos of Egypt you'd be a fool to do it. (One idiot I tried this on said he'd do it in a minute because of all the women and slaves who would serve him hand and foot, so I'll assume for this exercise you're not a sociopath like this guy was.)   

       You've got central heating, air conditioning, a wide variety of delicious, safe foods, drinking water that won't kill you, medicine and of course, telecommunications that allow you to learn as much about the world as you want. Unlimited entertainment, unlimited access to all the information man has ever known, the entire world at your fingertips.   

       Would you trade that to sit in a massive stone building sweltering in the heat while some slaves wafted palm leaves at you in a futile attempt to stop the perspiration from dripping out from under your crown? Watching your children die because "Osiris" got pissed off at you? Being entertained by somebody plucking some one stringed instrument for hours? Again?   

       And if you did enjoy the trade, enjoy it quick, because you're dead at 34 years old. Yup, just about the time you start to really figure things out it's mummy time. You're guts are in a jar, they turn you into beef jerky and then put you in a cave with some golden nicknacks.   

       We've been at war with radical Islam for 17 years. In that time American casualties are at around 9 thousand. In the Civil War, the 12 hour battle Antietam 3,650 men were killed. In the 4 month long battle of the Somme in WW1, one million men were killed or wounded. Even war is safer. (Except for our enemies, which is a good thing.)   

       Since only 1980, child mortality rates have fallen from 1,288 per hundred thousand to 588 in 2014. When you go further back families would lose half their kids to various diseases that aren't a problem now.   

       There are always challenges in keeping this civilization afloat and we're all striving to make a better world for all, but the good old days weren't.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       I am not pining for the good old days. I'm simply trying to keep the current days from becoming the bad new ones.   

       Eliminate the worship of "cool" guns like the AR15 by eliminating it altogether, and you make a dent in the preoccupation with them.   

       Maybe I've seen too many nature shows, but I worry about ecological disaster. I get really pissed at willful ignorance in the face of virtually limitless access to knowledge. I've suffered too many personal tragedies to wave them off when they happen to someone else.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       If you're worried about the environment, fight the socialists who are waging a war on nuclear power in favor of taxable, money producing carbon fuels with a windmill stuck on top of that pile of money for decoration.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       I do. But I find the conservatives just as troublesome in that regard.
RayfordSteele, Feb 15 2018

       //I do. But I find the conservatives just as troublesome in that regard.//   

       Then fight them too. I'll join you.   

       //maybe the universe is inside a triangle...or a pyramid...although all the heavenly bodies seem to be spherical...but who says the ultimate boundarie(s) are spherical?//   

       Who was the guy who spent years trying to fit various shapes together to build a model of how the universe was arranged or something? He'd put a cube in a pyramid in a sphere etc looking for some kind of pattern. I believe he got famous for doing something else that actually worked.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       [doctorremulac3], that would be Kelper. He positted that the 5 Platonic solids fit between the orbits of the planets (only 6 known way back then, of course) ie: the sphere that corresponded to an orbit was inscribed by one solid, and circumscribed by the next. It did'nt work, but the precise measurements he needed/made while attempting this (and other astronomical stuff) eventually led to the Kepler Laws. Look up the "Mysterium Cosmographicum" for more.
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 15 2018

       Oh yea, very cool. Kind of a message for the rest of us in there. "Sometimes you find diamonds when digging for gold." or something.   

       I'm a big fan of stuff discovered while somebody was looking for something else. The search for refrigerant that led to teflon, experiments with the cathode ray tube leading to x- ray images etc.
doctorremulac3, Feb 15 2018

       Then the mind leans out over the cliff, how did it start rotating? what is it rotating in? are we just an Ad man's spin?
wjt, Feb 16 2018

       >But if you want to cure stupidity, good luck. Stupid people have more kids than smart people and that's just going to get worse. Doesn't matter what tag you give one side or the other. The big stupid just rolls on getting bigger and bigger while we quibble about which part of the snowball is the stupidest. [Dr Emulac III]   

       I think I wrote something about that paradox. And a seriously intriguing one it is too.
pashute, Dec 08 2020

       The earth isn't really finite is it? By the time I walked the whole globe, parts have changed, some lost, some gained, a new highrise with record floors has been constructed.The surface is no no longer the same. Isn't that infinite? I suppose It comes down to the definition of the box being looked at and whether time is included. Human centric, a newly launched aircraft carrier is an engineered part of the earths surface.   

       As for the infinitiness of the universe, we are a bit chained to the EM field, more data is needed. Parts might be a mirage and the universes shape is totally different.
wjt, Dec 12 2020

       Unless new matter with mass and volume is constantly being created, the universe is finite, in as much as it now contains an unchanging measurable amount of material.
xenzag, Dec 12 2020

       Stupid people can have smart kids on occasion, and vice-versa.
RayfordSteele, Dec 13 2020

       [xenzag]; there's also matter/energy equivalence. Since the universe is cooling down, it's possible that the energy being lost is becoming matter. Then there's Hawking radiation creating particles too.
neutrinos_shadow, Dec 13 2020

       Now that she's 13 she is asking even better questions.   

       Actually, consider the Casimir effect and vacuum generation of particle pairs. Some person on Quora says they have not merely measured it, they have isolated actual spontaneously created photons out of it.   

       Quick guide to the Casimir effect:Things spontaneously appear out of nothing, in pairs, wipe each other out, and on average its a zero; sometimes one of the created things gets away. It's real and they've measured it.   

       So revisiting Pashute's student's interest in a center and also a perimeter, what if the bulk, middle, or cortex because of the proven Casimir effect actually has more matter generation capability then an "originating center event"? I have no idea of course. Sort of in appreciation of the student's questions it's an Instant Quora question[link].   

       It's nifty how a reflexive kind of human mental construct, a perimeter, a bulk or middle, and a center could be replaced with so many other things. Math is amazing and mathematicians know so much (and increasingly know more). Here's another reflexive human mental construct: minimax curve   

       You may have seen a minimax curve (link), it's kind of like two 3D maxi pads crossing center and pointing opposite to each other [link]. The big thing about minimax curve is that the only place things are stable is at the crossover. It's very simple as reflexive human explainer-geometries go, and you can use if for a lot. I have not heard, and have no reason to believe there are things and people at the crossover of a minimax curve.   

       I have an urge to mention things being up or down on the minimax curve but with the math version there is just curve. There is acceleration though, and only at the entire groovy 3D shape's least curvy part can things stick around. Otherwise everything accelerates away. I'm not completely sure, but because it is a math function, the minimax curve has an inverse, (just tell it to graph minimax^-1 and look at the pretty shape) and if you were using a math program you could graph it.   

       Anyway, now that she is 8th grade she can use math graphing software and learn up through trigonometry pretty ably. If she likes math at all show her how to do operations on matrices. Very mind widening.   

       Pashute, if you see her again pull up a picture of the orbitals of hydrogen and mention that "people like to make reflexive analogies and metaphors like "in and out", but check out this thing (hydrogen orbitals) that is supposed to have a reason to be simple! (blobs quatrefoils, spheres, rings, maltese popcorn kernels, etc). Show her the more math she learns the more analogies she's got.   

       I missed out on quite saying what I meant, so I will try again: If she gets good at math, she'll have a grasp of say 100-1100 functions as either math things or graphs. If she likes, she can use any of those 1100 functions to enquire about the state of the universe. She may even be so good at math where can figure out which math function the universe is Not. Huge piles of functions make hypnotizing analogies.   

       Anyway [pashute] The thing I remember about 6th grade is my friends. If I were teaching 11 year olds I would be like, "text your friends memes about graphical math functions." So, um, keeping it practical I asked on Quora: "what are some great math memes for people 11-13?" [link] Others have generated similar content there.
beanangel, Dec 18 2020

       So if the Universe is indeed expanding can we look forward to the time when the furthest expanded bits hit the outside wall and start moving back inwards? This would be very convenient as those bits that we could never seem to see very well due to their extreme distance and speeding away would now be coming back, reciprocal course, such that all we'd need to do is sit tight and wait for them to hit us. This would make planetary exploration so much more convenient than having to peer at them as they are running away.
whatrock, Dec 18 2020


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