## Tuesday, January 04, 2000

### My Beté Noires

Pet Peeves;
Grand & Otherwize

1. Which will fall faster;
The hammer or the feather!
This experiment supposedly dates back to the experiments of Galileo...
or Newton... or Bill Bixby... ( ??? )
Anyways; i'm sure you're familiar with the basic premise;
If you were to drop a hammer & a feature ( in a vacuum to be especially accurate )
Which would fall faster...?
The Populist Answer is that they would fall at the same rate...!
Which is Completely Wrongity Wrong, and Wrong, Wrong, Wrong...!!!
It couldn't be more Wrong.
The Hammer.
The confusion is brought about by the substantially greater size of The Earth than either The Hammer or The Feature...!!!
The Difference between The Accumulative Gravitational Attraction of The Earth & The Hammer, and The Earth & The Feather...
Is Very, Very, Very, VVVEEERRRYYY TINY...!!!
But the sum of the Earth & hammer is greater...
This would be alot easier to see if you were dropping The Moon & The Feather on The Earth, Rather than the hammer & feather...!!!
Because it's teaching children ( and many adults ) to THINK BADLY...!!!
2. The Problem of Zero...!
Another of my pet peeves is teaching children that our modern mathematical system was brought about substantially by the introduction of the ZERO...!
Without the Zero, so it is said;
We would be unable to Add & Subtract with the ease that we do...!
i would be willing to concede that if we were choosing between the Roman System of Alphanumerics & our current Middle Eastern collection of actual numbers...
The numbers win.
But if you instead took the numbers and simply removed the Zero...
Allowing for one between 1 & -1...
and that's all...!
You could still have a perfectly viable system of mathematics,
and be able to add & subtract, multiple & divide, and use nondecimal fractions with the same ease that we do now...
( allowing for a few months of getting used to it...! )
It's a little confusing trying to demonstrate this system with numbers,
So; instead, i'll give you a brief introduction using the alphabet,
because you don't have any ( preconceived ideas about how alphabetic characters should behave as quantitative symbols...??? )
For this example; The base we'll be using will have 26 numbers;
A through Z
A will be One, B will be Two and so on...
Until Z equals TwentySix.
THEN; Without the Zero; TwentySeven will be AA.
Using the same method as we do with a base ten system of 'Numbers';
You can break this down into columns with The lefter most A being equal to One Set of TwentySix's,
and the Righter most A being equal to one set of One.
TwentySix Plus One Equals TwentySeven...!
TwentyEight would then be AB... and so on.
Natureally; You can then create a Table of Addition & Multiplication,
which would be memorized as Decimalians memorize theirs and off you go.
The Necessity of Zero is A BIG FAT MYTH...!!!
3. Think Dang It...!!!
Refute all that crazy nonsense that they've filled your head with...You'll be far better off, if you simply recall various items that you've been taught,
and Believe Exactly the Opposite...!!!
( The exceptions to this rule are so few that when you encounter one, it will be immediately obvious & reversible before extensive monetary damages should occur. )
4. The Seven Simple Machines!
The Seven as they are commonly listed are:
The Lever / & Fulcrum ( Counted as One )
The Incline Plane
The Wedge
The Screw
The Pulley
The Wheel & Axel ( Counted as Two...!? )
Some Revisionists would like to add: Gears...!!!
Clearly; The Incline Plane and The Wedge are the same tool.
It's only that one moves through the material being separated,
The other remains stationary while the material moves on one side of the Wedge.
It's basically a topological problem...
Likewise; The screw is an Incline Plane/Wedge,
that is wrapped around an Axel.
And why does the Wheel get an Axel,
while The Pulley, which is the same tool, does not...!
Again; The Wheel moves along a Track,
While the Track moves around a Pulley.
And if you include Gears as an elemental Simple Machine, they are clearly just wheels that extend the efficiency of Pulleys ( by means of Ratio Interactivity ) by means of their teeth...
This is a slight & marginal improvement of the Basic Functionality...
It is absolutely not a new category...!!!
As For the Lever; It's a self contained Inclined Plane,
and isn't a Wheel a Circular Lever,
where as the Fulcrum is the axel...
Visualize a ball being thrown essentially horizontally...
vs- being thrown so hard that it reaches orbital velocity...!
The Wheel as a Lever demonstrates the same relationship...!
It seems to be that The Seven Simple Machines are Actually manifestations of a single principle,
While there are countless other Machines that are not mentioned...
Just what is a Machine anyways...???
Is a Diode a Machine,
A Hole...???
A Sphere...?
A Plane...?
A Hollow Space...? ( Daoists & Buddhists would say: Yes! )
A String...?
An Axel is Clearly a Machine in itself...
Can a Simple Machine have parts...???
How many Parts...???
If you allow a Lever to have a Fulcrum,
( A stick; which is an independent machine, with a vertice )
Then why not Let 5 or 6 parts form a simple machine...???