I started reading the comic from the topmost line "Actually, measurements suggest it's flat." It seemed that he was talking about the planet, but it's also a response to the curved-space line from before. Upon further reading, I can't tell if the discussion is about a planet or a universe, and it looks like you can go around the circle twice and assume both. 22.214.171.124 05:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- It is about the shape of the Earth. The Earth exists in a curved universe. The alt text is referring to the fact that by being more and more specific you can always get the last word in but it may alienate you from your peers. 126.96.36.199 05:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- "Actually, measurements suggest it's flat." could mean two different things: the first would be in the physical sense, the second in the economic sense, if he is referring to the book "The World is Flat" from 2005. Tc18021188 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The transcript needs some way to show that Cueball is talking to the second Hairy in the end. 188.8.131.52 08:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- "show that Cueball is talking to the second Hairy in the end" -> Do you consider it done ? MGitsfullofsheep (talk) 08:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Fixed factual error about sum of angles of a triangle in a closed geometry. An example of closed geometry is spherical geometry, where sum of angles of a triangle is π < A + B + C<3π http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_trigonometry . Previous text wrongly stated that A+B+C would be smaller than π in closed geometry and greater in open geometry. MGitsfullofsheep (talk) 08:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
About the oblate configuration: why attribute it to centripetal force? Because centrifugal force is an "apparent" force? Well centripetal force from gravitational pull is actually balancing the centrifugal force caused by rotation of the earth. The whole "centrifugal force does not exist" thing is a misconception. It's an inertial force and writing the equilibrium equations for an object in the rotating reference frame (the one we experience everyday) at latitude phi you see: gravitational pull toward the center of the planet + centrifugal force away from the axis of rotation= mass*g(phi). This g(phi) is not the same in every spot of the earth, it changes in value and direction (does not always point exactly to the center of the earth) with latitude. 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I second this. The centripetal force would actually be the gravity of earth. Attributing the oblate shape of earth to this is just plain wrong, since it pulls inwards, not outwards. Actually all forces could be called "apparent" forces, since they're really just constructs to help you calculate the acceleration of a body. There's always a (local) reference frame where a particular force doesn't "exist". 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Sure, there is always such frame, but gravitation is real force anyway because we can measure the higgs field by detecting higgs bosons. At least I think we can. Failing that, electromagnetic forces are real because we can measure electromagnetic field by detecting photons, this I'm sure of :-). -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:23, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why the explanation assumes the top claim is at the start and end. I think that part of the explanation is a stretch and that the "flat" claim is not meant to be given twice. 18.104.22.168 17:38, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- It's a loop. Technically there is no "start". Each line is a direct "more specific" response to the previous remark. 22.214.171.124 20:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I highly doubt this pun is intentional, but this could be seen as a case of circular logic. 126.96.36.199 20:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Any significance to where they are standing along the circle? If we start with flat, the first three are right in a row, but then the rest are spread out further.188.8.131.52 21:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- Yes. They are standing close to the center of where their sentence is. 184.108.40.206 03:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Quick suggestion. Under the (first) "[Actually,] measurements suggest it's flat." explanation title, just have the first point given. Then continue through the other "Actually"'s and then have (under a second "Actually, measurements suggest it's flat." header) the "Finally, the first speaker comments again," point and then the "The arguments could continue around the circle," one at the end. 220.127.116.11 22:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- not a recursive loop
"Further statements could now continue to be interpreted as referring to the universe rather than the Earth, thus forming a recursive loop.". This phrase is awful. As far as I understood this long hypothetical sentence does not even wrap 2 times. Adding 'recursive' is totally pointless here. Am I right? 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I agree. It is not a closed loop. You can only move two more steps after Cueball says "the universe is flat". When Megan starts to talk about the EGM, then it could no longer be mistaken as being a comment on the shape of the universe! And even if it could, then the last comment before Cueball also does not make sense if they were already discussing the universe! So I would say the explanation is incomplete as long as the recursive loop part is here Kynde (talk) 14:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
- Actually, "... than whoever talked last." is correct, which puts you on the receiving end of https://xkcd.com/326/.
- Here, than is a conjunction, i.e. it joins two sentences where the second is the basis of comparison. Each sentence has its own subject and verb+tense. The first has You and can win. The second has whoever and talked. Who/whoever are the subject forms, and whom/whomever are the object forms.
- To use another example, would you say I am smarter than him is, rather than the correct I am smarter than he is?
- Seriously, please stop being an AGN and leave teaching to those who know. Now excuse me as I don't feel well.... However, I did have to fix this for all the ESL speakers who have enough problems without language incorrections. 22.214.171.124 16:07, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
- Bravo! Very well done! 126.96.36.199 19:55, 4 February 2014 (UTC)larK
As a Mathematician, I would just abstract the conversation using Category Theory and try to find an algorithm to be able to abstract any additional precision. Then I would hope that no one found that algorithm first. I still don't know what to call that algorithm though. This is the algorithm now. 16:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)