Soul destroying - Issola Spoiler

Maximilian Wilson wilson.max at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 22:24:20 PST 2005

On 11/11/05, Davdi Silverrock <davdisil at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/11/05, Jon Lincicum <lincicum at comcast.net> wrote:
> >
> > However, I would posit that Dragaeran aging is not simply a
> > mathematicial formula away from human aging--they just mature at
> > different rates and times than we do.
> But that is exactly what a proper mathematical formula decribes!
> It might be a somewhat complicated mathematical formula (so that
> perhaps different formulas would be used between different life
> stages), or mathematical formulas with some factor that ranges between
> certain values, but it should still all come down to math.

Kind of, I guess. But describing interacting physical systems is going
to involve inventing a lot of new operators and terminology and
definitions; you can describe a falling ball's motion with a simple
equation, but once it hits a floor and bounces you have to
mathematically describe the bouncing and *then* re-run the free-fall
equation. To describe it in a single equation you'd need a notation
that expresses discontinuities in a function and its several
derivatives. Maybe such notations exist, but I don't know them. People
seem to be okay with breaking systems up into separate parts, where
separate equations apply. Anyway, Dragaeran aging will obviously not
really conform to a simplistic formula like my original proposal;
which doesn't mean it can't be a decent approximation for *expressing*
equivalent ages.

> When you have one set of values that goes between 0-100, and another
> set of values that goes between 0-3000, and are told that there is a
> certain relationship between those values (in this case, age), then a
> mathematical formula, with certain accepted limitations, describes
> that relationship.

A fair point. I might argue that we're less interested in fitting the
actual function than in minimizing both error and formula complexity,
in a sort of MDL- (Minimum Description Length) ish fashion.

Max Wilson

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.