1318: "Actually"

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cryptoengineer
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby cryptoengineer » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
cryptoengineer wrote:Actually, it's Earth-shaped.

The only accurate model would be another identical Earth.

ce



!This :twisted: Actually there can't be an identical Earth due to the Pauli exclusion principle. It might look the same but its quantum numbers will be different.


We don't have to put Earth and model-Earth close enough together for quantum degeneracy pressure to be an issue.

ce

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:48 pm UTC

Locoluis wrote:The lack of symmetry between the positions of each stick figure may be disturbing to people with OCD.


I was displeased by the uneven line lengths of the different characters. Also, five of the characters aren't standing below the midpoint of their lines.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby airdrik » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:01 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:I make a conscious effort not to use "actually" in any post I write because it's among the most overused words on the Internet. It's the first thing that comes to mind when you want to refute something someone said, which is what most posts on the Internet are for (the ones that are instead in agreement employ another overused word, "This."). Much like what I posted about in the "Photo" thread, I feel that it's lazy.

I challenge everyone reading this to step up your writing by finding alternatives to "actually" and "This." in your posting.

In actuality (wait, that's just a different form of "actually"), na verdade (while different, that's also a different language (It's been over a decade since I was speaking it regularly, but certain isms still pop up every once in a while), but we can translate that!) In truth (well, that's about as accurate as any statement made before or after an "actually") In reality (that one is about as accurate as "in truth", besides carrying the implication that their statement doesn't apply to reality at all. "In actuality" is really a variation on "in reality", but with less of the implication of distinguishing between reality and non-reality) Currently (that ism only really works in other languages where its use in this context has been modified to serve the purpose that "actually" fulfills in English) bah! whatever. "Actually" works. Just because something is used a lot doesn't mean that it is overused or that its use should be avoided; just look at common words like "a", "the", "of", etc. If something fits the job then go ahead and use it.
The problem comes in when people start to misuse a word like the literally most misused word "literally", or like the like excessive like overuse of like certain like words like "like" like that.
In the case of "actually", the problem isn't the misuse (overuse) of the word, the problem is the offensive nature of oneupmanship and insisting on having the last word that generally accompanies those who employ the word excessively.

I have been put on the spot for using "actually" a lot and have started guarding my use of it; usually by weighing the necessity to correct a certain incorrect statement against the potential offense taken by the one being corrected, or against the amount of energy consumed by issuing the correction (plus either supporting material or sufficient backbone to accept further correction in case of a backlash). In many cases, it just isn't worth correcting something that is only slightly flawed.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Klear » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Klear wrote:
orthogon wrote:Actually, English is the only language which uses "actually" in this way. Cognates are common in Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages, but as far as I know they all mean "currently". What do our non-native English speakers make of this comic?


In Czech, "aktuálně" indeed means currently, something which caused me a lot of confusion when learning English. The correct translation is usually "vlastně", from "vlastnit" - "to posses", though in this particular construction we'd say something like "In reality, ..."

Similar to this is the difference between "eventually", which means "in the end" and Czech "eventuálně", which means "alternatively".

What about "presently"? It means "in the near future" in EN-GB, whereas EN-US uses "momentarily" for that. In EN-GB, "momentarily" means "for a brief moment".


There is no "prezentně" in Czech, we just say "za chvilku" = "in a moment", or something like that. We do have "prezenčně", which is along with "absenčně" one of the two ways to borrow books from a library - either you're allowed to take it home, or you ave to read it in the library. No idea how these are called in English, but I'd bet it's something very similar.

Also, I guess I should visit the local linguistic subforum already...

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby mcdigman » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:46 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
cryptoengineer wrote:Actually, it's Earth-shaped.

The only accurate model would be another identical Earth.

ce



!This :twisted: Actually there can't be an identical Earth due to the Pauli exclusion principle. It might look the same but its quantum numbers will be different.
Plus Spock probably wears a goatee and intends to take over the identical Enterprise.


Actually, the Pauli exclusion principle would only say their can't be an identical earth at the same spacetime coordinates. What you're actually thinking of is either the Heisenberg uncertainty principle or the no clones theorem, but that would only make it impossible to determine the quantum numbers that future experiments will observe, meaning that an identical earth would only stay 'identical' until a classical interaction happened anywhere inside of it, but after that per indistinguishably you couldn't say which was the original earth and which was the copy.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby mcdigman » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:58 pm UTC

Wooloomooloo wrote:I do wonder though - if something looks like a sphere but it's in a part of space curved by its own gravity, what would it look like in a perfectly flat space (unmodified by gravity)...? Symmetry would suggest it would still be a sphere, I guess...? And how about a geoid? Or, as Lem might ask, a... cube...?


Flat space is given in cartesian coordinates by the line element ds^2 = -dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2, or in spherical coordnates by ds^2 = -dt^2+dr^2+r^2*(dtheta^2+sin^2(theta)*dphi^2). A sphere would be a t=const r=const shell, so the line element on the surface of a sphere in flat space is given ds^2 = r^2*(dtheta^2+sin^2(theta)*dphi^2).

If we give our sphere gravitational mass, then it curves spacetime around it as described by the Schwarzchild metric: ds^2 = -(1-2*M/r)*dt^2 + (1-2*M/r)^-1*dr^2+r^2*(dtheta^2+sin^2(theta)*dphi^2). If we take a t=const r=const shell again, we recover the line element ds^2 = r^2*(dtheta^2+sin^2(theta)*dphi^2), which is exactly the line element from flat space, so the surface of a sphere looks exactly the same in flat space as it does in a curved space where it has mass.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:08 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
orthogon wrote:Actually, English is the only language which uses "actually" in this way. Cognates are common in Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages, but as far as I know they all mean "currently". What do our non-native English speakers make of this comic?


In Czech, "aktuálně" indeed means currently, something which caused me a lot of confusion when learning English. The correct translation is usually "vlastně", from "vlastnit" - "to posses", though in this particular construction we'd say something like "In reality, ..."

Similar to this is the difference between "eventually", which means "in the end" and Czech "eventuálně", which means "alternatively".

There is a Russian saying that Google quite closely translates as: "In fact, all is not as it actually is.".

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:11 pm UTC

The exact shape of the Earth is indeterminate - once you get down to the atomic level and below, the concept of a solid surface gets more than a little fuzzy...

The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:38 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby SimonMoon5 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:53 pm UTC

I remember my ex saying something about how, to avoid sounding too nerdy, it's wise to avoid any sentence that starts with "Well, actually..."

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:22 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Actually, that would be the Mariana Trench.

*runs*

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby cryptoengineer » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:25 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The exact shape of the Earth is indeterminate - once you get down to the atomic level and below, the concept of a solid surface gets more than a little fuzzy...

The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...


You're right. I wrote:

cryptoengineer wrote:The only accurate description would be a raster map down at Planck length.


I should have written:

The most accurate description would be a raster map down at Planck length.

ce

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:01 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Klear wrote:
orthogon wrote:Actually, English is the only language which uses "actually" in this way. Cognates are common in Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages, but as far as I know they all mean "currently". What do our non-native English speakers make of this comic?


In Czech, "aktuálně" indeed means currently, something which caused me a lot of confusion when learning English. The correct translation is usually "vlastně", from "vlastnit" - "to posses", though in this particular construction we'd say something like "In reality, ..."

Similar to this is the difference between "eventually", which means "in the end" and Czech "eventuálně", which means "alternatively".

What about "presently"? It means "in the near future" in EN-GB, whereas EN-US uses "momentarily" for that. In EN-GB, "momentarily" means "for a brief moment".

As a Californian I would readily use "momentarily" in either of those senses, distinguished by context: meaning either "in a moment" or "for a moment". "I'll be with you momentarily as I'm almost done here, but I can only talk momentarily because I've got somewhere else I need to be."

Can you give an example of future-sense "presently"? I don't think I've ever heard anyone (even a Brit) use it to mean anything other than "now", or "right about now" at least, including the near future but not excluding the actual present or equally near past.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:05 pm UTC

cryptoengineer wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The exact shape of the Earth is indeterminate - once you get down to the atomic level and below, the concept of a solid surface gets more than a little fuzzy...

The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...


You're right. I wrote:

cryptoengineer wrote:The only accurate description would be a raster map down at Planck length.


I should have written:

The most accurate description would be a raster map down at Planck length.

ce


Over what slice of space-time? The changes at the nanometer scale are significant over timescales less than the time it takes light to travel a distance through a vacuum equivalent to the distance between one point and its antipode, never mind the changes at the Planck length scale.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:09 pm UTC

Perhaps the most accurate description would be a complete description of its wavefunction or quantum state?
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:49 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Can you give an example of future-sense "presently"? I don't think I've ever heard anyone (even a Brit) use it to mean anything other than "now", or "right about now" at least, including the near future but not excluding the actual present or equally near past.

It would be something like "I shall be with you presently". It would sound rather quaint now, even from a Brit, which is probably why you haven't heard it.

Carteeg_Struve wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Actually, that would be the Mariana Trench.

*runs*

Poetic licence :)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Guttersnipe » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:58 pm UTC

A .gif of this comic rotating counterclockwise would be nice.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:11 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Marianas Trench and Hawaii are both larger errors.

Edit: dammit, ninja'd.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Flumble » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:02 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

You call that ninjaing? You're almost 4 hours late! :shock:

Pfhorrest wrote:Perhaps the most accurate description would be a complete description of its wavefunction or quantum state?

What is "it"? Does "Earth" include humans, animals, trees, flora in general, satellites, (entangled) extraterrestial particles (like sunlight)?
I think a complete discription would include the wave function of every particle in the visible universe (luckily not beyond), because even a single photon from the CMB affects the state of the Earth. I'm sorry to say that's nigh impossible.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby SomeGuyNamedDavid » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:39 am UTC

After seeing the way-too-fast rotating version, I made my own version that is not way-too-fast.
Spoiler:
Image

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby mcdigman » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:49 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

You call that ninjaing? You're almost 4 hours late! :shock:

Pfhorrest wrote:Perhaps the most accurate description would be a complete description of its wavefunction or quantum state?

What is "it"? Does "Earth" include humans, animals, trees, flora in general, satellites, (entangled) extraterrestial particles (like sunlight)?
I think a complete discription would include the wave function of every particle in the visible universe (luckily not beyond), because even a single photon from the CMB affects the state of the Earth. I'm sorry to say that's nigh impossible.


Actually, you wouldn't need to track every particle in the visible universe, only particles that could affect the earth on the timescale we're considering. The radius of the earth is about 21.27 milliseconds, so we won't have to track any particle that isn't interacting with the earth on that timescale. Given that, as others have said, quantum interactions are on a scale <picoseconds, we have a really tiny window to care about any given particle.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby Platypodes » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:57 am UTC

airdrik wrote:[snip]

"Actually" works. Just because something is used a lot doesn't mean that it is overused or that its use should be avoided; just look at common words like "a", "the", "of", etc. If something fits the job then go ahead and use it.
The problem comes in when people start to misuse a word like the literally most misused word "literally", or like the like excessive like overuse of like certain like words like "like" like that.
In the case of "actually", the problem isn't the misuse (overuse) of the word, the problem is the offensive nature of oneupmanship and insisting on having the last word that generally accompanies those who employ the word excessively.

I think I'm with you on this. "Actually," in the context under discussion, is the polite word for "You're wrong!" If it seems overused, that's mostly because people on internet forums are a bit over-fond of telling each other that they're wrong... But as long as they're going to keep telling each other how wrong they are (and I don't see that stopping anytime soon), I'm all in favor of them using the polite word. :D

orthogon wrote:Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.

Hahaha! That made my day. I'm forwarding it to my boss (we work with GPS and get our fill of oblate spheroids).
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby sotanaht » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:I make a conscious effort not to use "actually" in any post I write because it's among the most overused words on the Internet. It's the first thing that comes to mind when you want to refute something someone said, which is what most posts on the Internet are for (the ones that are instead in agreement employ another overused word, "This."). Much like what I posted about in the "Photo" thread, I feel that it's lazy.

I challenge everyone reading this to step up your writing by finding alternatives to "actually" and "This." in your posting.


Ironically I usually use "actually" to refute or modify my OWN writing, far more often than I use it against someone else at least. Because of this I often catch myself using the word multiple times in the same post and correct it since starting every other sentence with "actually" sounds annoying as hell. I'm not too sure what you mean by the use of "This" though, maybe you are talking about someone who simply takes a post they agree with and types "This." or "QFT"? The word seems a little too important to sentence structure to avoid in the body of the text, and as a monosyllable it doesn't really stand out when repeated.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby 5th Earth » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:23 pm UTC

My wife has standing orders to give me a dope slap any time I start a sentence with the word "actually". In the grand scheme of things, correcting people over minor details rarely matters and it just makes people hate you.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby ToadofSteel » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:15 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Okay, admit it. How many people physically turned their monitor/laptop upside down in order to read this in a circle?.


I tried to rotate an iPad, and it auto-rotated right back...

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby addams » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:20 am UTC

Carteeg_Struve wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Actually, that would be the Mariana Trench.

*runs*

This is funny.
You are a funny bunch of internet posters.

I don't, actually, have anything to say.
I don't, actually, want to correct anyone.

Actually,... I'll stop now.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:35 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
San Fran Sam wrote:Actually, I want to make a literally/figuratively joke. but I literally just can't come up with anything.

Actually, you could equally well say figuratively in the second sentence.

Yes, I actually try not to sound like someone who'd just fall for the joke. Except if you said that dead serious, in which case it's become a meta-joke.


Let's call it a meta-joke. And figuratively call it a "day".

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More Reverse Heresy

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:07 am UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:
Flumble wrote:
San Fran Sam wrote:Actually, I want to make a literally/figuratively joke. but I literally just can't come up with anything.

Actually, you could equally well say figuratively in the second sentence.

Yes, I actually try not to sound like someone who'd just fall for the joke. Except if you said that dead serious, in which case it's become a meta-joke.


Let's call it a meta-joke. And figuratively call it a "day".

Actually, let's call it a dip.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby addams » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:36 am UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:
Flumble wrote:
San Fran Sam wrote:Actually, I want to make a literally/figuratively joke. but I literally just can't come up with anything.

Actually, you could equally well say figuratively in the second sentence.

Yes, I actually try not to sound like someone who'd just fall for the joke. Except if you said that dead serious, in which case it's become a meta-joke.


Let's call it a meta-joke. And figuratively call it a "day".

(ech) Actually, the Australians are literally calling it tomorrow, already.
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:23 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

You call that ninjaing? You're almost 4 hours late! :shock:


I need to finish reading the thread before replying. I'm going to go commit seppuku now, for the heinous crime of not finishing the thread.


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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby orthogon » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:30 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Marianas Trench and Hawaii are both larger errors.

Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

Slo-mo ninja'ing aside, what's with Hawaii? Is Hawaii further from the oblate spheroid than the peak of Everest? Are we talking about a mountain on Hawaii? I presume Hawaii is on the fattest part of the spheroid, but isn't that taken into account? I tried googling "Hawaii oblate spheroid" but didn't get any enlightenment.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby speising » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Marianas Trench and Hawaii are both larger errors.

Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

Slo-mo ninja'ing aside, what's with Hawaii? Is Hawaii further from the oblate spheroid than the peak of Everest? Are we talking about a mountain on Hawaii? I presume Hawaii is on the fattest part of the spheroid, but isn't that taken into account? I tried googling "Hawaii oblate spheroid" but didn't get any enlightenment.


i wondered about that, too. according to http://earth-info.nga.mil/GandG/wgs84/g ... ntptW.html the geoid height of hawaii is a whopping 10.84m.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby airdrik » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:29 pm UTC

Examining the map on wikipedia, it looks like the greatest deviations of the geoid from the oblate spheroid include some places in Indonesia and the north atlantic ridge (including Iceland) for highest points, and around Sri Lanka for lowest points.
Actually, those are just the deviations of the geoid from the oblate spheroid, we still have to take into account the difference between the geoid and the local height or depth, and since the deviations between the geoid and the oblate spheroid are all orders of magnitude smaller (<102 vs. 104 meters) than the local heights/depths that would result in Mt. Everest and Marianas Trench still being the greatest deviations from the oblate spheroid.

Of course, neither one represents the greatest deviation from a perfect sphere. That honor goes to the arctic ocean seabed for closest to the center, and to Chimborazo in Ecuador for furthest from the center.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:52 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Marianas Trench and Hawaii are both larger errors.

Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

Slo-mo ninja'ing aside, what's with Hawaii? Is Hawaii further from the oblate spheroid than the peak of Everest? Are we talking about a mountain on Hawaii? I presume Hawaii is on the fattest part of the spheroid, but isn't that taken into account? I tried googling "Hawaii oblate spheroid" but didn't get any enlightenment.




Mauna Kea is nearly twice the height of Everest, top to bottom (ocean floor).
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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby webgiant » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:22 pm UTC

This particular comic reminds me entirely too much of that old saw about a group of blind men trying to figure out what an elephant looks like by touching it, and each one coming up with a different description based on the specific part each one has touched.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby speising » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:50 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
orthogon wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The best anyone can (accurately) say about the shape of the Earth is that it's within a narrow error of a given surface...

Some look at Everest and see a god.
Some look at Everest and see a challenge.
Some look at Everest and see the worst-case error from an oblate spheroid.


Marianas Trench and Hawaii are both larger errors.

Edit: dammit, ninja'd.

Slo-mo ninja'ing aside, what's with Hawaii? Is Hawaii further from the oblate spheroid than the peak of Everest? Are we talking about a mountain on Hawaii? I presume Hawaii is on the fattest part of the spheroid, but isn't that taken into account? I tried googling "Hawaii oblate spheroid" but didn't get any enlightenment.




Mauna Kea is nearly twice the height of Everest, top to bottom (ocean floor).


that's not very relevant here, though.

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Re: 1318: "Actually"

Postby zombie_monkey » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:47 pm UTC

Aktualno in Bulgarian means "up to date", or occasionally "a topic of conversation popular and seen as important at the moment". Vlast does also, as in Czech, mean "possess" (well more like "have power/influence upon") but not "actually", that would be "vsashtost", which etymologycally is "in essence". It follows the evolution of "actually" in English closely, as far as I can tell.


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