07 August 2007

why singularities are bad

What happens when you divide by zero. [edit: apparently the image isn't there any more; I didn't realize that would happen. The image was in the style of the Successories motivational posters or parodies thereof. A man stands wading in a body of water, not from an apparently infinitely deep whirlpool. Underneath, the text says:

You divided by zero again, didn't you?

It's possible I don't have this exactly right; I'm doing it from memory.]

[edit again: Mark Dominus pointed me to another source for the image, which is linked to above; I think they allow hotlinking, but in case they don't, see http://macrochan.org/get.py?sha1=QOMEULLMJLINOMIA4L2FUAEQNHRMCC7O. Several dozen images on the same theme are available here.]

One can only imagine the more serious consequences if one, say, takes square roots or logarithms.

It's quite fortunate that doing incorrect mathematics does not actually have disastrous consequences in the physical world. Otherwise the area around any calculus class would implode.


Mark IJbema said...

The problem with 4chan is that:

a) they don't support hotlinking
b) they get so many uploads, images disappear quite quickly

In other words, the image is gone :(

Harald Hanche-Olsen said...

Oh. Well that explains why I didn't get the point at all.

In the physical world, unfortunately, doing wrong math can in fact cause explosions.

Anonymous said...

That's why you never link directly to 4chan. Save the image on photobucket or something, then post it. If anyone knows where to find it, please get it back. This is a great image.