Posted: Apr 09, 2010 1:41 am
by Someone

Off topic mathematical discussion continued from this thread.

This begins a sequence of posts by me without reference to what is said in the interim. Therefore, if there are opinions, questions, or comments, they should be held off until I announce that I am done with what I am setting out to do, which may be upwards of a day to completion. Continue with other subject matter between yourself and someone else, if you like. I will read that later, and I hope that I will not find that you have been badgering thin air with your remarks toward me.

The basic problem in the following quote from Calilasseia (the complete text addressed to me--with this new internet-forum style I'm learning interspersed--from a post first addressing someone else) is twofold in my opinion: 1) A jadedness towards extraordinary claims, and 2) Differing views on what should be taken as clear English, mathematics, and computer programming to the educated reader.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:
Occam's Laser wrote:
Someone wrote:I'm sure there've been plenty of half-intelligent things said since I last posted, but I just want to add to the math post something I forgot to mention: 365 starts the tenth on the list. Even out of the context of all of the other coincidences I know, most discovered by me, this one big one is a challenge to really describe as anything wholly organically derived from the work of one mind using a computer. A non-mathematician wouldn't be qualified to even try, and I don't think there are mathematicians here, so I'll wait a while before reading to see if you've found one who can meet me head on. I'm looking into whether, or really to what degree, other mathophiles have also been mediating. It's a lot of work because of the novelty of the question, so I don't have time for a whole lot of BS here or elsewhere.

I am a mathematician, and I can verify that nothing you've said here makes any sense at all.

Then why didn't you?

Oh, I see one fallacy about my veracity is in question. I took the AHSME in years 1979-1982. My name is James G. Merickel. I received the highest 9th grade score in 1979. 105 was my score. 112 was the score of Noam Elkies, an eighth grader who skipped 9th grade and was one of the other three people who achieved 4-year National-Honor-Roll Status in years '79-'82, qualifying being a score of 100 or better.

Hmm, what a pity the online archives only go back as far as 1997 ...

Would you be the same James G. Merickel cited in this page from Vol 105, No.4 of The American Mathematical Monthly perchance?

I haven't done much, and you can find even less online.

Someone wrote:The mathematical statement I have presented is partially published online at Prime Curios at the bottom of the entry for 4. I don't have to do anything. A good mathematician with a modicum of programming ability would seem to want to check it and could do it him- or herself.

Hmm ... I'm still waiting for those precise algorithms I asked for ...

Asked? Try badgered, and what I said was unambiguous mathematical language dealing with an obscure type of number theoretical question. It was elementary, however obscure, and a little thought on what I could possibly have meant from a neither blinkered nor jaded perspective by Calilasseia--who is obviously smart enough--would have revealed a single simple statement.

Someone wrote:I could be assuming there are no old-Earth creationists without enough doubt to call themselves agnostic, but I think this is a strawman theistic position you're erecting to balance against your atheism.

The evidence available suggests that it is far from being a strawman.

The fact that Calilasseia apparently doesn't believe that such agnosticism exists, doesn't mean his experience is the last word. On the other hand, I haven't actually spoken to people one-on-one on much about the notions involved. All I have are things like the discussion of the Moon/Sun apparent-size coincidence in Leonard Susskind's The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design (referring to debate with friends).

Someone wrote:In the interest of making this easier, I'll rewrite the program I wrote to generate the result, and you can check it. This will take about a half an hour. Make that two programs, one for the list and one to input number and base for the checking of the facts beyond that, and it will take an hour.

Oh good. I can hardly wait.

Someone wrote:Here's the first program, written in PARI/GP, and the second you won't need for a while, but I'll get that to you shortly:

This will generate a list. The first number comes out in a few minutes on a fast computer, and then you have to wait quite a while for the second and so on. A newer model computer should get you to the 44th in the sequence in under a day. Of course, someone has to set up PARI/GP if nobody has it. Use the wikipedia article link, like I did.

That looks like execrable C code of the sort that would have led me to receive an automatic fail if I had submitted it in any of my classes. Don't you know the first thing about formatting programs in a readable manner?

The problem here really is that the English language applied to elementary number theory wasn't clear to Calilasseia. If there was a specific problem with the code in reality--which I remind the reader was written in more like in-class exam conditions (by my choice, as preferable to a) just leaving Calilasseia and others struggling with--or, more likely, continuing to ignore--my clear mathematical statement and b) my doing another three hours of work explaining steps)--then pray tell exactly what it was. The answer to the question is that I am only recently self-taught aside from one single-semester course taken about thirteen years ago and not used. In high school, I did not have anything to do with the two overcrowded computers we had, and I have known an older mathematics professor with a good reputation who actually acted almost afraid of computers. Getting into my full background is not what this is about right now, but that shouldn't be all that hard to picture if you know the breadth of mathematics and its history.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:Cali--whatever: I calculated on my own that to the nearest star at 1g acceleration averages half the speed of light approximately.

Actually, at the end of a year of accelerating at 1g, you would have reached approximately the speed of light. Given that g=9.81 m s-2, and there are 31,536,000 seconds in a 365 day year, then an elementary calculation yields a final speed of 309,368,160 m s-1. However, since this is faster than the speed of light in vacuo, actual acceleration would become negligible by the time your speed had reached 299,752,000 m s-1 (which is a little short of the actual valid of c, namely 299,792,458 m s-1). Over the year during which you were accelerating, your mean speed would indeed be approximately 0.5c, but then the journey to Alpha Centauri would take 4.3 years. You would spend one year accelerating, 1 year decelerating to arrive at your destination, and 2.3 years coasting at a speed close to c, which means that your average speed for the duration of the entire flight would be (3.3/4.3)c, or approximately 0.767c.

This has been discussed at length, and for those who have followed what-all I and Calilasseia said and not been willing or able to correct either of us on anything here, :naughty:

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:I assure you I am not an ignoramus on science.

My above calculation suggests otherwise.

In the end, you disappeared. Your classical calculation was good enough to show both of us wrong in reality.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:You placed an unreasonable demand on my time, and I fulfilled it.

The symbolic mess you presented above is even less decipherable than the Easter Island boustrophedonic script. I'm supposed to spend time trying to make sense of that?

Someone wrote:I expect that you will be saying that my calculations are correct but don't mean anything next.

At the moment, I'm still waiting to see a legible presentation of the precise algorithm.

Someone wrote:You're not qualified

I'm certainly qualified to judge the legibility of your code. Which is practically zero. Plus, I really love it when people claim I'm somehow "not qualified" to evaluate woo.

Someone wrote:and as Occam's Laser has proven he doesn't know bleep

Actually, he's established both here and at RDF that he's probably forgotten more substantive knowledge than you will ever acquire.

The fact that my clear English presentation of an unambiguous claim in elementary arithmetic was incomprehensible to everyone here is just evidence of lack of qualifications, but I'll grant either or both blinkeredness or jadedness as alternatives.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:I suggest you look up someone like Imre Leader at Cambridge and tell him I said Hello and that I claim to have discovered using mathematics that I am the Anti-Christ, within some reasonable approximation.

Is this some sort of in joke that he'll appreciate, or will he regard this merely as facetious on your part?

Calilasseia made me pretty mad for me to have blown my identity for anyone to read like this. ;) Actually, this is just the trickiest thing to discuss. They all expect someone except for atheists, it seems. This subject will not go anywhere over the internet.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:He'll check out my question on mathematicians mediating with me, hopefully, because it's going to be a pain in the ass.

Not half as much a pain in the ass as deciphering that modem line noise you posted as code.

And how exactly would he know that?

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:Edit: I don't need to sound as unfriendly as you, so I take back the negative implications of this post. If you turn out to be interested, you could possibly be objective. I see what you're doing generally, and it's mostly overkill against a lot of people who aren't reading what you say anyway.

I'm used to supernaturalists not reading the facts when those facts contradict their mythology-based wishful thinking, so if you think you're telling me something new, then you're not.

Like I said, I don't have to be as unfriendly.

Calilasseia wrote:
Someone wrote:Example: 151 (in base 10)=10010111 in base 2 and 10010111 in base 4 is 16661, so the number 151 could be said to translate into 16661 in going from base 2 to base 4, to use one of my favorite little examples. Holding base ten as the overall context, 151 is the first number (prime or not) to translate as primes from bases less than 4 to bases greater than it up to base 4 all three ways, and happens to also translate all three of the ways to base 5. 911 is one of the other primes generated.

Oh, I see now. What you're doing is the following:

[1] Select a prime number;

[2] Generate the digital representations of that prime number in different number bases, from base 2 to base 10;

[3] Take those digital representations, and treat them as completely new numbers in base 10;

[4] Test these new numbers to see if they are primes.

So, to take a simple example, let's take the number 5.

510 = 1012, 10110 is prime
510 = 123, 1210 is composite
510 = 114, 1110 is prime
510 = 105, 1010 is composite
510 = 56, 510 is prime
510 = 57, 510 is prime
510 = 58, 510 is prime
510 = 59, 510 is prime

Why didn't you say that in the first place?

You could speed this process up enormously by simple recourse to a large database of precomputed primes on a DVD-ROM. Which would be capable of storing 4.7 gigabytes of data, which would give you the first 293,750,000 prime numbers if you stored them as 128-bit integers (and you'd probably need to go all the way to 128 bit integer arithmetic to maintain precision whilst still maintaining decent computation speed). On a 32-bit PC, this would involve getting your hands dirty with multiple precision arithmetic routines. I'd sidestep high level languages for this sort of work and skip to assembler, because while it would take longer to debug, the end result would run a lot faster - you could speed up your code by a factor of 10 at least, and that's working with multiple precision integer arithmetic.

I do believe that Calilasseia disappeared at this point, pretty much. This is partially a change of subject from the coincidence that was provided. I am guessing that the implication is on the one hand I'm a computer nincompoop, and, on the other, the results could have been achieved by data-mining. I can't argue with the first.

Now, anyone who hasn't seen it should read the claims of the first post of the thread in this division entitled "List 3 Coincidences You Know Of (For Debunking?)" Here is something to add to that mix that was more recently discovered: In base 8, the whole part of (555+1/5)5 is the product of 22*3*5*7(=644=42010) and the prime 163171555655. 5558=365 (I disagree about the need to put subscript 10 here). More about the 365 stuff just before the end of this sequence of posts. This number stuff mostly (The last of of this series will begin by explaining 'mostly' a little bit) starts in my experience with the discovery (365+1/4)4=17797577732+72/28.