0468: "Fetishes"

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cherryfizwiz
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0468: "Fetishes"

Postby cherryfizwiz » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:02 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/468/

Alt text: They eventually resolved this self-reference, but Cantor's 'everything-in-the-fetish-book-twice' parties finally sunk the idea.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Ezzy » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:03 am UTC

I don't get it! At all!

On another note, I'm up this late watching the Phillies-Mets game, and, oh, how I hate Jimmy Rollins...

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby vaderdudenator » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:04 am UTC

I was super confused yet vaguely entertained by this. care to explain oh geniuses of the fora?

also, this is first time i've ever been this early in the discussion BTW.

EDIT: damn, beaten to the confused comment by the only other person to post thus far. damn.
Last edited by vaderdudenator on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:05 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:04 am UTC

The title text is really imaginative and inspired as far as "something that would make compiling the list impossible".

Pretty elegant, xkcd.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:05 am UTC

I get it!

It would be funnier though if I read that Godel, escher, someone else book. Right? I heard it was good.

This was weird. I went to xkcd at exactly midnight, just to go to the fora. I didn't realize a new comic was coming.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Alsadius » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:05 am UTC

This is the greatest comic from XKCD in months. Possibly going as far back as Bond on a centrifuge. Bravo!

And for the confused, it's a parody of math history. I'll dig up some links and edit this post.

Edit: Okay, basically, math up until the 1920s or so was a struggle for completeness - take a small number of axioms, extend them as far as is possible, and try to hit everything that the system has reason to consider. It was generally believed that this was possible. Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead were two guys fairly well known for a book called the Principia Mathematica(no, not that one). It was published just before WW1, and tried to push completeness farther than it had ever gone before, by some fairly ingenious methods of trying to prevent recursive paradoxes(a well-known failing point).

Kurt Godel saw this, and about a decade later published a little paper that absolutely demolished Russel and Whitehead's entire thesis, by proving that completeness was not merely difficult, but completely impossible for any system of any real complexity. It was an absolutely beautiful argument - the short version is that he figured out a way to make the statement "This statement cannot be proven in this system" a viable theorem in any system. This statement can be proven neither true nor false, and is therefore undecidable. Given one unprovable statement, the system is incomplete, and Russell and Whitehead's work, brilliant as it was, collapses entirely as regards their original goal.

The mouseover text is based around an entirely different issue - specifically, counting infinities. There are many "levels" of infinities, and Georg Cantor did a lot of interesting work defining and delimiting them. It's a bit more technical, and the best place to look is probably links off the Cantor article.
Last edited by Alsadius on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Zoris » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:06 am UTC

(Just read post after me, makes sense now)

Not the best comic, but it seems slightly interesting...
Last edited by Zoris on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Neck Bolts » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:06 am UTC

Ezzy wrote:I don't get it! At all!

On another note, I'm up this late watching the Phillies-Mets game, and, oh, how I hate Jimmy Rollins...


It's a logical impossibility. They want to include his fetish on the list, but when they do it no longer belongs on the list, and they must remove it.

It's an old Groucho Marx joke, "I would never want to be part of any club that would have me as a member."


Oh, and go Cubs.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby cherryfizwiz » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:07 am UTC

(woah, i actually got this up! :shock: )

i don't quite get it because i don't know many of the people he's referencing. Explanation?

/edit
i see it has been explained! thanks.
Last edited by cherryfizwiz on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Neck Bolts » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:07 am UTC

sje46 wrote:I get it!

It would be funnier though if I read that Godel, escher, someone else book. Right? I heard it was good.

This was weird. I went to xkcd at exactly midnight, just to go to the fora. I didn't realize a new comic was coming.


Bach is the other one.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby hashbrowncipher » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:09 am UTC

is it just me or should "Russel" in fact be "Russell"?

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby cyberia » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:09 am UTC

"Russel & Whitehead" is a reference to the authors of the Principia Mathematica. And the alt-text is a reference to Russell's Paradox which goes something like this:

Wikipedia wrote:Part of the foundations of mathematics, Russell's paradox (also known as Russell's antinomy), discovered by Bertrand Russell in 1901, showed that the naive set theory of Frege leads to a contradiction.

It might be assumed that, for any formal criterion, a set exists whose members are those objects (and only those objects) that satisfy the criterion; but this assumption is disproved by a set containing exactly the sets that are not members of themselves. If such a set qualifies as a member of itself, it would contradict its own definition as a set containing sets that are not members of themselves. On the other hand, if such a set is not a member of itself, it would qualify as a member of itself by the same definition. This contradiction is Russell's paradox.

In 1908, two ways of avoiding the paradox were proposed, Russell's type theory and Ernst Zermelo's axiomatic set theory, the first consciously constructed axiomatic set theory. Zermelo's axioms went well beyond Frege's axioms of extensionality and unlimited set abstraction, and evolved into the now-canonical ZFC set theory.


Also, sje46, the other dude is Bach.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby HistidineTheCat » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:13 am UTC

Simple, find someone who is turned on by everything. Then Godel's fetishes can be summed up by "nothing," and you're all set!

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby mightymouse1584 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:14 am UTC

Wouldn't this work better as Russell's Paradox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_paradox
I'm not familiar yet with Cantor but im gonna go wiki it asap

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby mightymouse1584 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:15 am UTC

OH! "Rusel had already failed"! nevermind :)

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby erpo41 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:15 am UTC

Comics like this make my bachelor's degree weep.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby frezik » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:16 am UTC

vaderdudenator wrote:I was super confused yet vaguely entertained by this. care to explain oh geniuses of the fora?


Russel and Whitehead wanted to redevelop mathmatics from basic axioms. Everyone was very excited about this prospect, until Godel came along and showed that there are things in any axiomatic system that can't be proven. Basically he said "This statement is false!", except he did it in terms of number theory so that other mathmaticians would take it seriously.

At this point, Russel's head exploaded and Whitehead became a Bearded Lady in a circus sideshow. Or so I'm told.

As to the comic, saying "I'm turned on by anything not on your list of fetishes" is an example of Godel's Incompleteness Theorum, albeit in a not so rigorous way.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby roc314 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:17 am UTC

Can I just say that everyone complaining about xkcd having too many internets memes comics is now officially wrong?

This one made me laugh.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby madhollywood » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am UTC

I am modestly surprised this conversation has yet to devolve into a listing of fetishes. I would have volunteered some of mine, but since nobody has volunteered theirs I will refrain. Who will be the first to demonstrate some courage?

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:25 am UTC

Neck Bolts wrote:
sje46 wrote:I get it!

It would be funnier though if I read that Godel, escher, someone else book. Right? I heard it was good.

This was weird. I went to xkcd at exactly midnight, just to go to the fora. I didn't realize a new comic was coming.


Bach is the other one.

Thanks (as well as to the other guy who answered me).

I'm surprised that so many people don't get it! Usually I'm the one who doesn't get these.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Alsadius » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:25 am UTC

madhollywood wrote:I am modestly surprised this conversation has yet to devolve into a listing of fetishes. I would have volunteered some of mine, but since nobody has volunteered theirs I will refrain. Who will be the first to demonstrate some courage?


Sure, I'll start: Attractive women. :shock:

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby suso » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:25 am UTC

Back in the late 90s during the tech boom, my boss and I were talking about crazy job salaries and joked that their might be some strange fetish newsgroup for alt.sex.fetish.job.offers.

So you'd have people there who would get turned on by rejecting large salary offers. "I just turned down 200K/year and it felt sooooo good." :twisted: Maybe that's were all the crazy resumes come from.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby AltoidAddict » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:28 am UTC

madhollywood wrote:I am modestly surprised this conversation has yet to devolve into a listing of fetishes. I would have volunteered some of mine, but since nobody has volunteered theirs I will refrain. Who will be the first to demonstrate some courage?


Mine's doorknobs.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby PatrThom » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:35 am UTC

Found a link to the image in question, if anyone is interested.


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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:37 am UTC

Alsadius wrote:
madhollywood wrote:I am modestly surprised this conversation has yet to devolve into a listing of fetishes. I would have volunteered some of mine, but since nobody has volunteered theirs I will refrain. Who will be the first to demonstrate some courage?


Sure, I'll start: Attractive women. :shock:

Whenever people ask me that (which is not often) I say "Naked women", and sometimes they laugh.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby fotoplasma » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:38 am UTC

That was an awesome strip among awesome strips.

I'm not quite sure if anyone else has made this explicit correction, but "Russell" is misspelled as "Russel" in this one.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:47 am UTC

Heh, this is like the Rule 34 predicament.

"If it exists, there is a porn fetish of it "

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby eboyce » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:57 am UTC

This was one of my favourite xkcd strips for 2008, and I was surprised that so many forumites didn't get the joke. Is the xkcd audience branching out from hardcore maths / CS types to people who don't appreciate recursion and Godelian self-reference?

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Sunsnail » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:00 am UTC

PatrThom wrote:Found a link to the image in question, if anyone is interested.


--Patrick


A few of mine aren't on there. :(

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A better fit

Postby Tualha » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:04 am UTC

Gödel is apropos, but I think Epimenides is a closer fit. No?

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Patashu » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:06 am UTC

Loved it, and learning that it also had historical significance (I recognized godel but not the other two) made it even better.

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby ATCG » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:06 am UTC

So Gottlob Frege must be the third figure in the cartoon next to Gates and Gödel.

EDIT: Oops! Totally screwed up the chronology here. Thanks to RouterBox (four posts below) for setting me straight.
Last edited by ATCG on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Oh my god.. I actually was 100% "I don't get it". I then read the explanations put earlier, then re-read the comic and crumble of laugher. That's a good one! (for the geeks)

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Shotglass » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:11 am UTC

Alsadius wrote:It was an absolutely beautiful argument - the short version is that he figured out a way to make the statement "This statement cannot be proven in this system" a viable theorem in any system.


bah this brings me back to those computer science classes that i absolutely detested

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby theta4 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:19 am UTC

Hah! I get this only because I've read "Godel, Escher, Bach." Had I not, I wouldn't have known Godel's Theorem, that any system can destroy itself with self reference or something. This is probably my favorite XKCD comic so far.

Actually, I'm reading GEB right now...a little warm fuzzy feeling came over me when I saw "Godel;" I knew I'd get this joke.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby RouterBox » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:20 am UTC

I'm so happy about this strip I created an account here just to say so. (lol looks like the same with the person above me.)

If anybody's mind is tickled by the strip, then they should read that Godel, Escher Bach book that people mentioned. It's absolutely brilliant, and not super hard to read. I think I learned more from that book than pretty much any other. Also Douglas Hofstadter, the author is pretty amazing in his other endeavors as well. Anything by him is good.

ATCG: I believe the three people in the comic are Godel, opposite Bertrand Russel and Alfred Whitehead.

Fantastic strip!

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby theta4 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:22 am UTC

HistidineTheCat wrote:Simple, find someone who is turned on by everything. Then Godel's fetishes can be summed up by "nothing," and you're all set!


I'd hate to be turned on by everything. That means everything.
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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Neck Bolts » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:27 am UTC

madhollywood wrote:I am modestly surprised this conversation has yet to devolve into a listing of fetishes. I would have volunteered some of mine, but since nobody has volunteered theirs I will refrain. Who will be the first to demonstrate some courage?



Descartes' fetish was cross-eyed women
He knew with all his heart that the human situation was a frightful botch, but it was such a logical, intelligently arrived-at botch the he couldn't see how history could possibly have led anywhere else.

--Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby Sceptre » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:27 am UTC

Randall is a dirty mind thief; I was searching for Gates' fetish roadmap last night.

Image

And for added bonus, a macho guy holding a Super Happy Fun Ball

Image

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Re: "Fetishes" discussion

Postby StochasticTemper » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:28 am UTC

XKCD is not just for CS/Math geeks... what about us biochemists? We know that science works (bitches) and have a sense of humor but, alas, never made it past multivariable calc.

I am probably not alone in that I only started reading the forums because I didn't get the intricate math/coding jokes.


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