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## #1 2014-06-07 05:35:24

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi;

A huge regular polygon has been constructed in the desert with 100 sides. Each side is 1 mile long.  A pursuit robot of the type talked about here http://www.mathisfunforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=20067 but greatly enhanced is made to run perfectly along the perimeter. When it begins each side the robot increments its speed by1 mph. So at side 1 it will travel at 1 mph, at side two 2 mph, at side three 3 mph etc. At the last side the robot will be traveling at a dazzling 100 mph.

191 technicians are in a bunker close by to observe the pursuit robots performance. They must remain inside the bunker because if they are sighted by the robot it will pursue them. The test begins and the robot performs perfectly. 1 mph for the first side, 2 mph for the second side, 56 mph for the 56th side and 100 mph for the last side.

When the test is completed, the chief engineer/instructor comes into the room. He begins to ask the technicians questions about the robot's performance. The technicians want to impress the questioner so they raise their hands eagerly with their answers. The questions continue, some tough, some very easy.

The questioner asks what was the average speed of the robot. 190 hands shoot up with answer and one guy in the back says, "hold it, I need a bit more time." The rest turn around to stare at him for his stupidity. The questioner immediately to their dismay dismisses the 190 and begins questioning the "stupid guy." We do not know what he says to him because we have been dismissed.

The question is what happened here?

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #2 2014-06-07 07:46:58

anonimnystefy
Real Member
From: Harlan's World
Registered: 2011-05-23
Posts: 16,037

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi bobbym

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.
Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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## #3 2014-06-07 08:39:54

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi anonimnystefy;

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #4 2014-06-07 09:30:32

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

The last guy did not have a CAS, that is what happened.

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #5 2014-06-07 09:54:21

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hmm... the technicians would not likely fall into the "50 mph" trap, so we may assume their answer is technically correct.

So "stupid guy" must be including some other fact.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #6 2014-06-07 13:25:56

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Maybe he was working on a generalissd formula for a polygon with n-sides

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #7 2014-06-07 13:31:02

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,592

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi Bobby,

Last edited by phrontister (2014-06-07 14:00:52)

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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## #8 2014-06-07 13:57:03

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Its v=d/t by the way

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #9 2014-06-07 14:02:01

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,592

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Oops...thanks! >blush<

I've corrected my post.

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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## #10 2014-06-07 20:43:12

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #11 2014-06-07 20:58:23

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Shall we consider the robot to be a point sized object?

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #12 2014-06-07 21:01:52

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

I would consider it horse sized. Check out the vids and watch it do the horsey dance.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #13 2014-06-07 22:26:31

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Funny but a non-point size object has a problem. Consider the vertices at which the robots make a turn: a point on the robot nearer to the interior of the polygon moves a lesser distance as compared to a point situated further from it.

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #14 2014-06-07 22:53:23

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,592

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi Agnishom,

That reminds me of this.

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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## #15 2014-06-07 23:26:06

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

That is nice but do you have any idea on what 'brittle math' reffers to?

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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## #16 2014-06-08 02:26:22

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,592

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

No, I've never heard that term before. Googling it didn't turn up anything that helped enlighten me, either.

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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## #17 2014-06-08 05:24:35

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

It is brittle and like all things that are brittle...

Funny but a non-point size object has a problem. Consider the vertices at which the robots make a turn: a point on the robot nearer to the interior of the polygon moves a lesser distance as compared to a point situated further from it.

You are actually attempting to apply reality to that story?

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #18 2014-06-08 06:14:26

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,592

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Yes, when I first saw the thread's title I knew there would be some significance in the meaning of 'brittle' ("apt to break, easily broken; frail; curt, edgy, sensitive; unstable") as relating to the puzzle, but then, as now, I haven't been able to make the connection.

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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## #19 2014-06-08 06:19:29

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Have you read brittle math 1? They are connected, part of an aptitude test. There will be more.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #20 2014-06-08 09:56:47

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Length of robot?

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #21 2014-06-08 11:57:39

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi;

Length of robot?

I am not following you.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #22 2014-06-08 15:26:27

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Just trying to think of everything. I meant that perhaps the length of the robot needs to be factored in, but it would be negligible compared to the course, and we could assume the front of the robot as the reference point for calculations anyway.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #23 2014-06-08 17:02:59

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

Hi;

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #24 2014-06-08 19:16:13

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,838
Website

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

bRittle math 1 is not asking any question. How can I answer that?

Has brittle math 2 got anything to do with relativity?

Last edited by Agnishom (2014-06-08 19:17:16)

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

Offline

## #25 2014-06-08 19:24:42

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Brittle math 2: Generalizing is a disease.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline