Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WILATU #31: Singularities

"Honey, I'm hooooooome!" sings Pickles the Duck, "How's your post on singularities coming?"

"Uh..." I stall.

"You didn't figure it out yet, did you..." Pickles replies, tossing my keys at me. "By the way, you need an oil change."

"No, I didn't figure it out. All I can find is some information about the way drapes hang on statues or how a piece of string tied into a circle would somehow fold over on itself when falling. I'm pretty sure infinity is involved somehow."

"Why don't you write a haiku about it...that way you can be vague enough to demonstrate the essence of singularities without actually saying anything that would reveal you don't know what the hell you're talking about."

"I'm not sure I could even 'demonstrate the essence' without sounding completely stupid." I frown, reading. "Ah! See...from Wikipedia...' a moveable singularity [Egad! they move?!?] is a point where the solution of the equation behaves badly in the sense that its location depends on which particular solution of the equation is chosen.' That sounds so Evil."

"Still sounds like haiku territory to me," Pickles says, digging in to a pudding cup while considering a set of blueprints.

"Hmm...listen to this: 'Singular points commonly occur where a graph crosses over itself'...OK...and 'the singular points are those at which all the partial derivatives simultaneously vanish'! Aha! I'm on to something. I'm sure EEG picked this for his WILATU list because he was being purposely obtuse (see item 18)."

"Write the damned haiku and get out of my way so I can fix my chair!" he says, throwing his pencil at my head.

"Fine."

What I Like About The Universe Number 31. Singularities: The Haiku
Singularity
The universe knows your name
I don't have a clue.

6 comments:

Dale said...

That Pickles is a taskmaster! You have many more clues that I ever will!

SkylersDad said...

I would be happy to help you with the oil change, because the rest of what's written here is well over my head!

Evil Genius said...

Well done! Well done indeed. Haiku is actually a perfect medium to convey the crux of this mind-fuck.

If I may just add that I was referring to gravitational singularities more so than mathematical singularities. They are God's giant middle finger sticking in the face of the finite nature of human knowledge.

Flannery Alden said...

Dale,

You should see the bruses...

Skylers Day,

I'll take that help!

Evil Genius,

It sounds like this post needs an addendum.

Red said...

I remember once
When I was a kid in school
I wrote haiku, too.

pistols at dawn said...

Seeing as how it was invented by a very calm, tranquil people, writing haikus fills me with rage.