Difference between revisions of "899: Number Line"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(Explanation: Gird thy loins!)
(Explanation: That's better)
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*'''2.9299372''' is a President's Day reference. It is the average of e and pi just as the American Presidents' Day is always observed on the 3rd Monday of February (between {{w|George Washington}} and {{w|Abraham Lincoln}}'s birthdays). (For non-US residents, Washington and Lincoln were the 1st and 16th Presidents of the USA, respectively. Each has a celebrated place in American history.)
 
*'''2.9299372''' is a President's Day reference. It is the average of e and pi just as the American Presidents' Day is always observed on the 3rd Monday of February (between {{w|George Washington}} and {{w|Abraham Lincoln}}'s birthdays). (For non-US residents, Washington and Lincoln were the 1st and 16th Presidents of the USA, respectively. Each has a celebrated place in American history.)
  
*'''{{w|Gird}}''' could be a reference to any or all of:
+
*'''{{w|Gird}}''' is a purely fictional number. (The glyph that Randall uses seems to resemble an older shape of the digit 4, such as seen on [http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/large2296.html archaic maps].) Gird could be a reference to any or all of:
 
** [http://www.strangehorizons.com/2000/20001120/secret_number.shtml Bleem] - a fictional integer between 3 and 4
 
** [http://www.strangehorizons.com/2000/20001120/secret_number.shtml Bleem] - a fictional integer between 3 and 4
 
** iCarly's [http://icarly.wikia.com/wiki/Derf Derf] - a fictional integer between 5 and 6
 
** iCarly's [http://icarly.wikia.com/wiki/Derf Derf] - a fictional integer between 5 and 6
 
** George Carlin's [http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bleen Bleen] - a fictional integer between 6 and 7
 
** George Carlin's [http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bleen Bleen] - a fictional integer between 6 and 7
** [http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-033 SCP-033] - a fictional number that causes freaky things to happen.
+
** [http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-033 SCP-033] - a fictional number that causes freaky things to happen
    Interestingly, gird seems to resemble an older shape of the digit 4, such as seen on [http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/large2296.html this Ptolemaic world map from 1482].
 
  
 
*'''Site of the Battle of 4.108''' is another map joke, implying that 4.108 is an actual location, where an eponymous battle was previously fought. It may be a reference (or homage) to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wolf_359 Battle of Wolf-359], a famous military conflict in the fictional universe of Star Trek.
 
*'''Site of the Battle of 4.108''' is another map joke, implying that 4.108 is an actual location, where an eponymous battle was previously fought. It may be a reference (or homage) to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wolf_359 Battle of Wolf-359], a famous military conflict in the fictional universe of Star Trek.

Revision as of 19:33, 20 December 2013

Number Line
The Wikipedia page List of Numbers opens with "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it."
Title text: The Wikipedia page List of Numbers opens with "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it."

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect:
Please include the reason why this explanation is incomplete, like this: {{incomplete|reason}}

If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Once again, Randall seems to be just messing around, this time with a number line.

  • Negative numbers have the same magnitude as positive numbers but can only be used to represent the removal of that same magnitude (hence the term "difference" being used for subtraction).
  • The Golden ratio is the ratio of length to width of rectangles that are most pleasing to the eye. This number is called "phi", after the Greek sculptor Phidias, and its numeric value is approximately 1.61803. This ratio turns up in some very unexpected places in the natural and historical world: for example, the Parthenon is a perfect rectangle in size, and the number of left- and right-handed spirals on the head of Sunflowers are also related by this ratio. In this case, Randall is playing on the fact that the golden ratio is oddly ubiquitous by implying that its existence is the subject of a conspiracy or other "fringe" theory.
  • Forbidden Region and Unexplored are both map jokes.
  • e (Euler's number) is 2.71828... and π (pi) is 3.14159265...
  • 2.9299372 is a President's Day reference. It is the average of e and pi just as the American Presidents' Day is always observed on the 3rd Monday of February (between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays). (For non-US residents, Washington and Lincoln were the 1st and 16th Presidents of the USA, respectively. Each has a celebrated place in American history.)
  • Gird is a purely fictional number. (The glyph that Randall uses seems to resemble an older shape of the digit 4, such as seen on archaic maps.) Gird could be a reference to any or all of:
    • Bleem - a fictional integer between 3 and 4
    • iCarly's Derf - a fictional integer between 5 and 6
    • George Carlin's Bleen - a fictional integer between 6 and 7
    • SCP-033 - a fictional number that causes freaky things to happen
  • Site of the Battle of 4.108 is another map joke, implying that 4.108 is an actual location, where an eponymous battle was previously fought. It may be a reference (or homage) to the Battle of Wolf-359, a famous military conflict in the fictional universe of Star Trek.
  • It is often the case in the media that "It has been 7 years..." or "In the last 7 years..." etc. It is made to seem like a believable statistic but cannot always be true. Alternatively, it is intended as an absurd joke that the number 7 is just "not to be believed".
  • 8 is not the largest even prime. 2 is. A joke intended for those who clearly know that the claim is false.
  • The last entry seems to be a reference to discrete mathematics, which rarely deals with numbers higher than 9. It finishes off the tone of the comic that seems to be shaping the number line terms of what is commonly useful to certain areas of applied mathematics, rather than a complete, accurate version of the number line.
  • The title text is a literalist joke implying that Wikipedia would like its "List of numbers" page to include every number from negative infinity to infinity.

Transcript

[Number line ranging from -1 to 10.]
[Arrow pointing left, towards negative numbers] Negative "imitator" numbers (do not use)
[Line right before the number one] 0.99... (acutally 0.0000000372 less than 1)
[Line at the golden ratio.] Φ - Parthenon; sunflowers; golden ratio; wait, come back, I have facts!
[Line at a region between two and 2.2] forbidden region
[Line at Euler's number.] e
[Line a bit before 3] 2.9299372 (e and pi, observed)
[Line at π.] π
[Line at 3.5 with a ribbon as the numeral] Gird - accepted as canon by orthodox mathematicians
[Line a bit after 4.] site of battle of 4.108
[Blob between 4.5 and 6.5 labeled unexplored.]
[Line at seven.] Number indicating a factoid is made up ("every 7 years...", "science says there are 7...", etc)
[Line at eight.] Largest even prime
[Line at 8.75.] If you encounter a number higher than this, you"re not doing real math


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Discussion

Where does sqrt(-1) go? 67.78.183.206 19:07, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

It goes up (literally above 0). A number line can be extended to a complex plane with sqrt(-1) as the unit of measurement in the vertical direction. Or at least, that's where it actually goes. I don't know where Randall would put it. 75.69.96.225 01:04, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry...are you indicating the ACTUAL location for an IMAGINARY number? -- ‎74.213.186.41 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes, that's exactly where it is (up to switching clockwise for counterclockwise). There is nothing strange about providing a location for imaginary or complex numbers, the location described is logical, and the adjective 'imaginary' is an artifact of nomenclature and nothing more.173.48.140.216 20:40, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

In fact, complex numbers are nearly more real than real ones! Complex analysis really opened my eyes to how much "stepping out" can help in solving problems. The complex notion of analyticity yields fruit in real analysis. Extensions to hypercomplex numbers are weirder, however. --Quicksilver (talk) 20:27, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Analyticity must be an imaginary word, and therefore would be found one unit directly above any dictionary. 50.203.89.169 14:19, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Oh my god, I can't believe how hard I laughed at that. Would an imaginary friend actually be above you then? I'm going to use that sometime. 108.162.219.61 21:25, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
"I'm sorry, you have reached an imaginary number. Please rotate the phone by 90 degrees and try again."141.101.98.250 17:01, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Is unexplored a map reference? Halfhat (talk) 17:53, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Note that the digits 5 and 6 do not show up on any of the numbers in the comic, reinforcing the fact that the integers 5 and 6 are unexplored. Blitzer (talk) 02:34, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

So the 5th digit of pi can not be known either? Tharkon (talk) 03:56, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
The whath digit of pi? 108.162.215.119 01:59, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank God (or someone else, I'm not choosy) that the SCP link here still works. The rest of the site's gone private. 108.162.250.223 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It appears that Wikipedia had noticed the implications of the title text here. The message now says that it might never be complete, but can be expanded with reliably sourced articles. I'm not 100% sure it's due to Randall's involvement, but I like to think so. --141.101.104.17 22:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

I am not American, but the linked Wikipedia Article does not support the claims about president's day being observed between the 2 birthdays of Washington and Lincoln in general, but just that in some states Lincoln is also referenced on that day. Even if it was put as a day between these birthdays by definition and on purpose, I do not see the reference here... Especially as this number is given as specific, unlike presidents day, which can occur in a range of days... Someone who knows more of American culture, and also what "observed" (which would link it to holidays....) can mean in English language please revert this. --Lupo (talk) 12:41, 18 September 2019 (UTC)