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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    Bob's not dumb. It's just as a literalist and physicalist he doesn't do abstract reasoning except, I'd suppose, with mathematics. As a compensation he denigrates philosophy and extols science. Science, however, rests on philosophy even into the ethics, aka integrity.


    Science parted company with metaphysics  over 100 years go.  The only philosopher  that  physicists mention without spitting is Carl Popper. 


  2. On 1/6/2019 at 2:05 PM, Jonathan said:

    The point of my post wasn't to get you to open up about your feelings for your ex-boyfriend, but to get you to recognize that he and others, who are infinitely more intelligent than you, long ago grasped the solutions to the puzzle that you, so far, have been too stupid to grasp.


    which puzzle is that?


  3. 34 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

    I'm reading consecutively from where I last posted yesterday.  Ninth's post ends a page, so I've had no glimpse of what, if anything, Bob responded.

    If he's responded in true-to-form fashion, he'll have said something along the lines of his having a high IQ, therefore not being a "knucklehead."

    However, Mr. Brilliant - especially at math - doesn't seem to be able to grasp that about .159... miles north of the South Pole, one could circumambulate the globe walking one mile west. (Also on smaller circles the circumference of which is a whole-number fraction of one mile.)


    if he starts out from a pole he will end up back at the same place. Look at case 2 where he starts at at a non polar point.  Unless step 2 of his journey ends at exactly the same point step  1 ended he does not get back because terminates step 2 and a different meridian of longitude  form the meridian he was on at step 1. 


  4. 3 hours ago, Jonathan said:


    Bob, you like Elon Musk, right? In fact, you kind of have a bit of a crush on him, if I recall correctly.

    Anyhoo, did you know that this puzzle is one his favorites, and that he is alleged to have used it in job interviews?

    You won't listen to us because we're common trash dunces, but what about listening to your genius hero Musk?

    It's even in his authorized biography.

    No? Still too stubborn?


    It was a brief infatuation. I have come see that E.M.  is a Crony Capitalist and his management of Tesla Motors is an abomination.  It is true that his is brighter than most old line corporate capitalists,  but his intellectual glitz cannot hide two things   1. He lusts and longs for government funded projects  and 2.  His intellectual reach  exceeds his intellectual grasp.   

    I regard  Captain Bullshit  as an entertainment, not the second coming of John Galt. 

  5. 5 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

    According to the original problem Bob is right except for the one mile walk near the South Pole. Everybody is right about the North Pole.

    Some busybody moved the goal posts.


    to make it more interesting


    59 minutes ago, Max said:

    The last leg IS on the same line of longitude as the first leg, because following a line of latitude over its total length brings you back to the point were you started, lines of latitude are circles! If you follow the equator westwards for about 40000 kilometers you'll be back again at where you started. However, the green circle in the picture is very close to the South Pole, so in this case you have only to walk one mile, but the principle is the same.


    1 hour ago, Max said:

    The last leg IS on the same line of longitude as the first leg, because following a line of latitude over its total length brings you back to the point were you started, lines of latitude are circles! If you follow the equator westwards for about 40000 kilometers you'll be back again at where you started. However, the green circle in the picture is very close to the South Pole, so in this case you have only to walk one mile, but the principle is the same.

    The original problem was walk a mile south walk a mile west (was it east -- no matter)  walk a mile north.  The east-west walk  is less than the length of line of latitude  reached by the southword leg so that the return trip is along a  different line of longitude.   Let me give an example.  The coordinates of the north geographic pole  are (90, lon)  where lon can be any angle between 0 and 360.  The north geographic pole and the south geographic pole are the only two points on the earth sphere that do not have unique coordinate.  Now let me widen the problem out   Start at a  point, walk to the equator in a southerly direction, walk east along the equator  the same number of steps that one took to reach the equator  then march in a northerly direction  the same number of step.   

    Two cases:   

    Case 1  the starting point is the north pole.   Assume the first leg is south along the Greenwich meridian, that is to say 0 longitude.  This gets us  down to (0, 0) on the equator.  Walk west the same distance and we get to (0, 90).  Now walk north the same distance and we get to (90,90) which is the same point as (90, 0)   the north pole.

    Case 2.  The starting point  is   (x-lat, x-long)  where x-lat is greater than 0 and less than 90.   Assume  x-long = 0 without loss of generality.   Now leg 1: (x-lat, 0)  to (x1, 0)  where x1 < x-lat  and greater or  equal to 0.   Leg  2  (x1,0)   (x1, y1)  where  y1 > 0  but < 360.   That means leg2 moved us to a different point with the same latitude.  Now leg 3  northward by the same distance.  This gets is to (x2, y1) because going north means following a meridian of longitude.   Notice that x2 not = x1.   The final destination is (x2, y1)  which is different from (x-lat, 0).  So we do not end up at the same place if we started out from a point that was not the pole. 


    Forget drawings.  The proof is abstract and mathematical.  Drawings are crutches for the logically feeble. 


    • Haha 1

  6. 17 hours ago, Max said:


    In this case the line of longitude "intersects" itself over its whole length, you travel namely twice the same line of longitude. Again: the same line of longitude. When it is the same line, it doesn't have to intersect another line of longitude to arrive at its starting point. That is the point!

    That last leg is NOT on the same line of longitude as the first leg.  Why? Because the second leg  is a traverse along a line of latitude  which changes the longitude.  

  7. 17 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    False. That does not logically follow, and we've shown it to be false with examples.

    Bob, what you need to do is to slow down, actually read and comprehend what we've written and illustrated, and carefully consider what we've said. Our presentations of solutions near the south pole comply with the conditions of the exercise.


    ALL  northbound travel is along a line of longitude.  Any other path or direction is NOT  north or south.  Since the last leg of this three part journey is north along a line of longitude different from the first leg the end point must lie on the intersection of the two lines of longitude, hence it is a pole.  Given the conditions of the problem it is the north pole.  


  8. 2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    Bob, here's the same image but with longitude lines added.


    Does this make it clearer? Understand now?


    No. The problem state that the traveler started at a point, went a mile south then a mile west and then a mile north and ended where he started. That means his end point had to be on  the intersection of two lines of longitude.   Travelling North-South means travelling on a line of longitude.  Travelling  East West means travelling on a line of latitude parallel to the equator.  


  9. 2 hours ago, Max said:

    Bob, look at the picture in your own post. You start walking at the yellow point at the right, you walk along a meridian (the red line) southwards, to the South Pole (indicated by the barber pole). After 1 mile walking you arrive at the small, green latitude circle. There you start walking to the west, always keeping the South Pole to your left. After walking one mile westwards, you are back at the point where the red line meets the green circle, as the circumference of that latitude circle is exactly 1 mile (a very small latitude circle, you are really very close to the South Pole!). Now you walk back along the red meridian, and after another 1 mile you're back at your starting point. Voilà!

    You have fulfilled all the conditions of the exercise: walked 1 mile southwards, then 1 mile westwards, then 1 mile northwards (along the same meridian as when you went to the south) and you are back again at your starting point. Any questions?

    Since two legs of the walk, the first and the third are along lines of longitude one must end up where the lines of longitude intersect.  Under the conditions of the puzzle that would be the north geographic pole.  The three logs are along a line of longitude, a line of latitude and a line of longitude  the conditions of the puzzle require that the journey begin and end  at a pole. 


  10. 13 hours ago, Mark said:

    Judging from the recent thread “Where are you?” some people here are interested in spherical geometry, so you might be interested in a curious fact about space discovered by the English theoretical physicist P.A.M. Dirac (1902-1984) – specifically the “space” of rotations in three dimensional space.

    At the bottom of the following webpage you’ll find a link to a computer program (Windows) that generates movies illustrating his discovery in various ways:
    How a Spinning Object Can Remain Connected to a Stationary One

    It can also show a movie that illustrates the principle behind the spinning jenny used to twist fiber into thread. 


    A disk mounted on a mathematically thin axle with a bearing one point thick at the center. 

  11. 21 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    The striped pole is the south pole. The yellow sphere is your beginning point. You follow the red path south. It's exactly one mile. Then you head west on the green circle. Its circumference is exactly one mile, which brings you back to the red path, which you take north for one mile back to your yellow sphere starting point.



    North mean North a line of longitude.  Longitudes all intersect at exactly two points. The geographic north pole and the geographic south pole.   Walking north-west is NOT  walking north.


  12. 23 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

    Watch what Michael Palin does:

    He actually travels east instead of west, but no matter, just assume he walked west instead.  It looks like the circle he's walking in is about 20 feet in circumference, so let's assume it's precisely 20 feet.  If, to satisfy step 2, he were to do that walk 264 times (exactly one mile), his end point would be exactly the same degree of longitude as where he started.  He could then walk north one mile to satisfy step 3. 

    I don't do You Tubies.  How about a latitude and a longitude?

  13. 13 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

    Places that allow the northerly walk to occur on the same line of longitude that the southerly one did.

    Max told you yesterday:

    You ignore the possibility that going south and going north can be done on the same line of longitude, while going west between these two displacements.”

    Please provide the latitude and longitude of a point other than the North Pole which satisfies the conditions.


  14. 9 hours ago, jts said:

    Sometimes the universe is 'benevolent', sometimes 'malevolent', sometimes something between, using those words metaphorically, not literally. For example if you are a zebra being eaten alive by a pack of lions, you might have difficulty at that moment believing the universe is benevolent. Bad things can happen to humans too -- earthquakes, tornadoes, giant ocean waves, hereditary disease or disability. You can avoid most of these things by rational and intelligent thinking but I suspect that even the greatest Objectivist super heroes (with cape and the sign of the dollar on their chest) are not always in complete control of reality. For example even the greatest Objectivist super hero would get old and die.


    The universe has no intentions nor does it "will" any actions.  The universe is not a conscious entity.  However conscious entities inhabit parts of the universe.


  15. 21 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Good things come from academia, and a whole lot of rancid shit does, too.

    Here is the big problem with elitist clubs like academia--they protect the rancid shit with the same zeal they protect the good stuff.

    They have no fundamental reality and/or truth standards (except for show), only standards for joining or staying on the outside.

    And once inside, rancid shit has the same value as genius.


    A lot of the "good stuff"  is considered heresy by the  Church of Social Justice.  Fortunately most of math and physics is so abstract that the SJW's do not understand it well enough to condemn it, so much of it gets published.  However any physics research that casts even a scintilla of doubt on anthropogenic global warming is treated as propaganda bought and paid for by the Evil Oil and Coal  Corporations.


  16. 23 hours ago, Max said:

    You ignore the possibility that going south and going north can be done on the same line of longitude, while going west between these two displacements.

    North means a 0 degree geometric heading with respect to the poles at wither end of the axis of rotation. This is slightly different from 0 degree heading wrt  magnetic north.  The magnetic poles wander about.


  17. 22 hours ago, Max said:

    I agree, those terms were badly chosen. Further, the idea of a beneficial (let alone "benevolent") universe is a bit of a tautology: man evolved in such a way that he could survive in his environment. It's the anthropic principle again: we shouldn't be surprised that the universe makes intelligent life possible, we wouldn't be there to be surprised if that had not been the case.  

    Bacteria in those hot springs could also wonder that their local universe is so beneficial to them. while they of course evolved in such a way that they could survive in that environment (which would be lethal for humans).

    But beneficial or not, it won't continue endlessly, one day, when that big asteroid comes, we're finished, probably long before the sun finally kills us. Even the dinosaurs (OK, with exception of the birds) were wiped out, while they had existed for some 100 million years, so they were exceptionally well adapted to their environment, and yet the universe decided one day to be no longer benevolent to them, to borrow for a moment the anthropic view of the universe. 



    I think we can agree that the cosmos (during some of its evolution) operates in such a way the living things such as we are  and such as exist on earth  can and did evolved and can maintain their existence for extended periods of time.  Nature  does not love or favor us (in a manner of speaking).  We and living things like us are here and flourish and also die and are destroyed.  The Earth went through at least five major intervals of extinction during which life was vastly reduced and could have been destroyed. 

    A day will come (not soon) that the earth will become hot and dry  so that the seas dry up and life perishes.  Then the hydrogen in the sun is all fused the Suns gravitation will fuse helium into carbon. This is a hotter process than fusion of hydrogen into helium.  The Sun will be 40 percent hotter (higher temperature) than it is now.  The seas will evaporate and life will perish (first on the surface, then deeper down). This should be about a billion and a half years in the future.  Eventually enough of the "fuel"  of the sun will be fused and mass will be lost so the the outer layer of the Sun's plasma will be blown away and the sun will swell up, most likely consume the 4 rocky inner planets   Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Only the outer gas giants will remain. 

    Nature does not favor the living in the very long run.  The cosmos  is expanding and cooling down. Eventually all activity in the cosmos will reach a very cold equilibrium.  The cosmos as a domain of life will cease to be.  Entropy is increasing, the Cosmos is "dying"  (i.e. heading to a cold equilibrium state where nothing much happens).  

    Live long and well while you can.


  18. Ayn Rand's excoriation of  academia  was totally on point.   Hugh Prichett is alive and at work in America, currently and woe unto us.

    The proof of intellectual degradation  was solidly given by the famous  Sokal Hoax.  And if  this were not enough there was a follow-up with the Sokal Squared Hoax.

    Please read the following articles:  and

    If Sokal did not give us a righteous scare, then Sokal Squared should have us pooping in our drawers. 


    Live long and Prosper  \\//

  19. On 12/29/2018 at 8:31 PM, Jon Letendre said:

    The North Pole works.

    Other places work, too.

    Nope.  The only places where two longitudes intersect are at the poles.  Heading North means moving on a line of longitude  in the direction of the North geographic pole. 


  20. 23 hours ago, trying to think said:

    Where can I find the Objectivist arguments that we do not live in a malevolent universe?

    Definition of "malevolent"   is  having or showing a wish to do evil to others. 

    The universe does not intend or wish anything. The universe is not an entity that intends or wishes so the term "malevolent"  does not apply to it.  Better to use the term "harmful". 

    If the universe were totally harmful then we would not be here  to ponder  whether to use the term  "malevolent". If the universe were totally harmful  then living things could not evolve and survive.


  21. "benevolent" and "malevolent" should only be applied to entities capable of  intentions.   The better words to  use  are   "beneficial"  and "harmful" (resp.)  which can be applied to any entities  capable of producing  beneficial (harmful)  results or effects.    "volent"  indicates will or intent.