Imladil

12-23-1999, 04:59 AM

Infinity. Existence going on without end. Forever. These are concepts which don't fit into our human minds very well. We insist on believing, somewhere in the backs of our minds, that there is an end to everything...and edge to the universe. Scientists and theologians can argue the matter over till the cows go to college, but the real human mind in the here and now will always have difficulty accepting the idea of infinite.

Allow me to help. All you need is a ruler, a magic marker, and a table...and I can demonstrate infinity for you. It's easy, it's fun, and it might just blow your mind. Hang on. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay. Place the ruler on the table and draw a line half its length: a distance of six inches (if 12" ruler.) Next, you will extend the line by half that distance: three inches. Now you simply repeat the same step, extending by half the length of the previous extension each time...half of three is one-point-five, half of one-point-five is point-seven-five, etc...to infinity.

You can repeat that process an infinite number of times without reaching the end of the ruler. You will wind up making lines atoms across and smaller, but you can always refine the scale down to resolve that there is still a distance to go. You now have a realistic, everyday demonstration of infinite regression, and a ruined table.

Hide table with tablecloth or refinish it. Depends on what you can get away with... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

I used to be a pretty good chess player, until my accident left me with an unreasonable fear of horses.

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"The entire universe is simply the fractal chaos boundary between intersecting domains of high and low energy."

--Imladil the Wanderer

"If Jupiter obeys liquid rules of physics, wouldn't it be teardrop-shaped?"

--Little Jimmy

Allow me to help. All you need is a ruler, a magic marker, and a table...and I can demonstrate infinity for you. It's easy, it's fun, and it might just blow your mind. Hang on. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay. Place the ruler on the table and draw a line half its length: a distance of six inches (if 12" ruler.) Next, you will extend the line by half that distance: three inches. Now you simply repeat the same step, extending by half the length of the previous extension each time...half of three is one-point-five, half of one-point-five is point-seven-five, etc...to infinity.

You can repeat that process an infinite number of times without reaching the end of the ruler. You will wind up making lines atoms across and smaller, but you can always refine the scale down to resolve that there is still a distance to go. You now have a realistic, everyday demonstration of infinite regression, and a ruined table.

Hide table with tablecloth or refinish it. Depends on what you can get away with... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

I used to be a pretty good chess player, until my accident left me with an unreasonable fear of horses.

------------------

"The entire universe is simply the fractal chaos boundary between intersecting domains of high and low energy."

--Imladil the Wanderer

"If Jupiter obeys liquid rules of physics, wouldn't it be teardrop-shaped?"

--Little Jimmy