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### [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:43 pm**
by **Astrogirl**

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3279#comicI'm a mathematician, too ... and I don't quite get it. Maybe I don't understand the English right. What's the point of the wishes to be considered separately? The "absolute" part results in having 1-1000 => +999 wishes or something like that (maybe Zach means it's now 0 - 1000 => +1000).

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:04 am**
by **hello**

I thought the point of considering wishes separately is that the genie can't change the order in which he executes the wishes.

He can't grant "1000 fewer wishes" as the first wish, before he grants "calculated in absolute value," because that would leave the mathematician with -998 wishes after the first wish.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:27 am**
by **Guest**

I also thought the point fo the wishes being considered separately is so the genie couldn't say "Nope, the absolute value wish and the fewer wishes wish is the same end result as just asking for more wishes. Which isn't allowed"

Making him consider them separately means he has to acknowledge that the absolute value wish isn't asking for more wishes. And then wishing for fewer wishes (without considering the absolute value) isn't the same as wishing for more.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:31 am**
by **Khamelean**

The absolute value of a negative number is the equivalent positive number. So the result is 999 wishes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_value

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:35 am**
by **Liriodendron_fagotti**

Too bad this is just a re-hash of the Genie vs. Economist one.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:19 pm**
by **Jerrrr**

I think it would have been funnier if it ended with the angry genie face. The "It's not the only reason" joke has already been used at least once, here:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3104#comicI really liked that one!

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:47 pm**
by **Sahan**

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:Too bad this is just a re-hash of the Genie vs. Economist one.

Actually, I think the comics are completely separate and that we should have an argument about this on this thread that will never die, because eventually other people will find it and bring the pointless debate back to life by openly stating their own opinion.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:08 pm**
by **kingmonkeyv**

This is why the only rule should be "no metawishes".

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:38 am**
by **Jimmy**

Except that objects and events in the world are different from abstractions that might be used to represent them, like numbers. There's no such thing as i number of apples or the cube root of a handshake. So there's no such thing as a (mathematically) negative quantity of wishes. Since there is no such thing, there is also no such thing as the magnitude (or absolute value) of that thing.

Just putting words and concepts together doesn't make a coherent idea e.g. squared-circle, four-cornered triangle.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:03 am**
by **Guest**

Jimmy wrote:Just putting words and concepts together doesn't make a coherent idea e.g. squared-circle, four-cornered triangle.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:15 am**
by **jerrrr**

Not a circle, not a triangle.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:31 am**
by **Kimra**

No, it's not a circle, it's a squared-circle. No, it's not a triangle, it's a four-cornered triangle.

Can't you read?

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:48 pm**
by **ididthemath**

1. wishes are to be considered separately

2. wishes are calculated in absolute value

3. 1000 fewer wishes plz

(1) allows us to wish for more wishes over two wishes, where neither of the two would individually secure more wishes. Either (a) this is unneccesary, since wishes are already considered separately, or (b) this cannot work, since (1) + subsequent wishes are intended to produce more wishes, which is forbidden.

(a) + (2) + (3) results in n_wishes = | 0 - 1000 | = 1000.

(b) + (2) + (3) results in n_wishes = 1 (since the result of (2) and (3) is null.)

(a) + (1) + (2) + (3) results in n_wishes = 0 ( the odd wishes are subracted from 0, n_wishes = |0 - 1| = |-1| = 1; even wishes from 1, n_wishes = |1 - 1| = 0. Since we wish for an even number fewer wishes, the final n_wishes = 0.)

(b) + (1) + (2) + (3) results in n_wishes = 0.

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:17 pm**
by **Guest**

If P=NP was suddenly true would the universe implode on itself (red button)

### Re: [2014-02-25] Genie vs. Mathematician

Posted:

**Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:14 pm**
by **Astrogirl**

No. Just all our encryption and digital signatures would fail and we would have to work harder on quantum cryptography.