1734: "Reductionism"

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1734: "Reductionism"

Postby squall_line » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:53 pm UTC

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Title: "'I've noticed you physics people can be a little on the reductionist side.' 'That's ridiculous. Name ONE reductionist word I've ever said.'"

1734 is made up of 1,000 added to 700 added to 30 added to 4. The number 4 represents the quantity of bases on a baseball field if home plate is included as a base.

All your base...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:55 pm UTC

Can someone simplify this for me?

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Flumble » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Can someone simplify this for me?

metajoke

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:21 pm UTC

I never met a joke I didn't like.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

The letter "i" is the only letter to feature twice in the word, and it is used differently on each occasion. In the former case it is a surrogate for "h" in a "sh" diagraph. In the second it is pronounced much like the "e", already described as being a post-1500s equivalence. "Equivalence" features "e" (the first one) and "i" (the only one) in a similar relationship, whilst the second "e" is barely voiced (depending on accent, possibly a schwa, and often the "a" is voiced likewise) and the third does not voice itself at all, merely modifies the penultimate letter, the "s" that now does not sound like the "s" in "reductionism". QED.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby squall_line » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:46 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Can someone simplify this for me?


Well played.

That said, would the explainxkcd entry for this comic point back to the comic itself? Or is that circular rather than reductionist?

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:28 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:That said, would the explainxkcd entry for this comic point back to the comic itself? Or is that circular rather than reductionist?

See here

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby ijuin » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:53 pm UTC

I think that the gag is supposed to be that Reductionism goes too far in assuming that things are merely the sums of their constituent parts, with no added meaning or function resulting from the way in which they are combined. Here, the "break it into its smallest components" notion is being applied to the word "Reductionism" itself. It's sort of like the earlier XKCD where eating all of the ingredients of a pizza was treated as the equivalent of eating a finished pizza.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

R - head
e - jubilation
d - door
u - mace
c - staff sling
t - mark
i - arm
o - eye
n - snake
i - arm
s - tooth
m - water
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby itaibn » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:05 pm UTC

I don't get it. All I see is a bunch of gray pixels. Where's the joke?
I NEVER use all-caps.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:13 pm UTC

itaibn wrote:I don't get it. All I see is a bunch of gray pixels. Where's the joke?


Two main shades of gray (plus some anti-aliasing), I hope - and it's the positional information that matters, not the colours.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:58 pm UTC

"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf Greyhame

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:52 pm UTC

"Unless he then fixes it, in which case it's all cool." - me, at like, 7 years old
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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:15 pm UTC

JohnTheWysard wrote:"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf Greyhame


Says a man who chucked a ring into a fireplace to verify what it was.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:33 pm UTC

Carteeg_Struve wrote:
JohnTheWysard wrote:"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf Greyhame


Says a man who chucked a ring into a fireplace to verify what it was.


To be fair, the fire barely affected it at all, let alone damaging it - admittedly, had it been a different ring, it might have suffered some minor damage before he pulled it out, but any ring with the sort of power that one displayed would have been unlikely to be harmed by a common hearth-fire...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:17 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:but any ring with the sort of power that one displayed would have been unlikely to be harmed by a common hearth-fire...

"Well, well, well," uttered Gandalf in amazement, "It seems I was in error, for it melts so easily upon this simple hearth. I marvel only at the brightness of its passing."
"And yet 'tis a wonder we see even that, we having donned Lotho's necessary eye-shaders," replied Frodo to his friend.
"Indeed! That is the other matter I had wished to enquire of, had not my thoughts been so much upon this alleged artefact that we have just seen expire. You bade me don these dark lenses, upon our entry for into your brightly shining home. No more nor less brightly shining than all your kinfolk neighbours, I might add, but surprising in their luminence all the same. 'Tis said the residents of Rivendell can see more the bright glow of high clouds above the land of the Shire, each night than those to the east can see the darker clouds above the land I shall not name at day, even. It seems the place is seered in luminoscity. Pray do tell why?"
"Oh, 'tis nought but the fuel we all now use within our lamps and ovens and fires. Most grand it is, albeit with the cost of replacing the original metal and stone seating of such flames with yet more exotic materials But as magnificent as your fireworks, old friend, for those that heeded the warnings and guarded our sight thus..."
"Firework bright, indeed! I am, in my age, just realising how much I had overlooked this wonder. Pray what is this new fuel, that has, it appears, dragged the Shire so much out of the dark ages?"
"From the lands of men, it comes. Lotho distributes it locally, but I do believe - if I have my letters right - that it is shipped from Bree or beyond in sacking enblazoned with the name of 'Sharkey's Thermite'..."

And now, this short conversation near concluded, Gandalf paused in thought, only to be interupted by a disturbing distant sound, as of a mortal scream mixed into a far-off thunderbolt's volume, passing over the landscape from the East...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:15 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:'Sharkey's Thermite'


It's a highly exothermic reaction, and achieves the sort of temperatures you have to get well into the mantle to reach otherwise, but it's not terribly practical as a municipal light-source for the simple reason that it burns too quickly - the amount you'd need to keep the place lit for even an hour after dusk would be prohibitive...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:26 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:'Sharkey's Thermite'


It's a highly exothermic reaction, and achieves the sort of temperatures you have to get well into the mantle to reach otherwise, but it's not terribly practical as a municipal light-source for the simple reason that it burns too quickly - the amount you'd need to keep the place lit for even an hour after dusk would be prohibitive...


What? You mean Sharkey might be bleeding the Shire dry, by significant increments? And after he's so kindly supplied those replacement wulframic hearthstones, lamps, oven-beds, etc 'at cost'..

Good old Sharkey wouldn't be doing that. I hear he' s accredited by Saruman The White, himself...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby somitomi » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:17 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:"Unless he then fixes it, in which case it's all cool." - me, at like, 7 years old

That's why I took things apart after they stopped working. Less risk involved, and you can bask in the glory, if you accidentally manage to fix it.
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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:29 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:"Unless he then fixes it, in which case it's all cool." - me, at like, 7 years old

That's why I took things apart after they stopped working. Less risk involved, and you can bask in the glory, if you accidentally manage to fix it.


Which is why medical schools have always been interested in corpses. Though "accidentally fixing" one of those is as likely to generate a mob with torches and pitchforks as earn glory...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby TrueNarnian » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:06 am UTC

You know you've been doing too much programming when you get annoyed seeing double quotes around a single letter...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby somitomi » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:15 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
somitomi wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:"Unless he then fixes it, in which case it's all cool." - me, at like, 7 years old

That's why I took things apart after they stopped working. Less risk involved, and you can bask in the glory, if you accidentally manage to fix it.


Which is why medical schools have always been interested in corpses. Though "accidentally fixing" one of those is as likely to generate a mob with torches and pitchforks as earn glory...

Well, that really depends on time and location. With a little luck, you receive a medical nobel prize or become "our lord and savior". Although the latter requires a little bit of knowing how to present the "miracle".
TrueNarnian wrote:You know you've been doing too much programming when you get annoyed seeing double quotes around a single letter...

I once took a note on a piece of paper and ended the sentence with a semicolon.
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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:20 am UTC

somitomi wrote:I once took a note on a piece of paper and ended the sentence with a semicolon.

As, relating to the other subject of your reply, Dr Frankenstein may also have done in his career.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:25 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:become "our lord and savior"


Though that guy literally got crucified... Okay, no actual pitchforks involved, but not that different...

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby speising » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
somitomi wrote:become "our lord and savior"


Though that guy literally got crucified... Okay, no actual pitchforks involved, but not that different...

So what, he did it for a good cause, and he got better.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby jc » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:20 pm UTC

TrueNarnian wrote:You know you've been doing too much programming when you get annoyed seeing double quotes around a single letter...

Unless you're programming in C, where 'x' is a constant of type char (or unsigned char), and "x" is a pointer of type char*. If you don't understand the difference without conscious thought, you probably shouldn't be trying to create software in C. ;-)

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:24 pm UTC

jc wrote: you probably shouldn't be trying to create software in C. ;-)
In my experience, the main problem is that all the salt water shorts out the circuits.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:29 am UTC

"Reductionism, n.
If you wish to define a word from scratch, you must first invent the universe."
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