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1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:12 am UTC
by rhomboidal
Image

Title Text: The misguided search for a perpetual motion machine has run substantially longer than any attempted perpetual motion machine.

Also ironically, it's apparently generating plenty of friction.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:21 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
I too thought free energy was impossible . . . that is until I attached an alternator to Rudolf Clausius's corpse.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:41 am UTC
by asdfzxc
Come on now Randall. Trolling a pseudoscience board is akin to literally stealing candy from a baby.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:52 am UTC
by jobud9
Can someone find the actual thread?

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:03 am UTC
by cjmcjmcjmcjm
asdfzxc wrote:Come on now Randall. Trolling a pseudoscience board is akin to literally stealing candy from a baby.

It's like being not anti-Semetic on /r/conspiracy

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:11 am UTC
by Eutychus
I came in here to say that 547 pages was even longer than the Pressures thread and found that the thread in question had shrunk to just two pages.

Then I found, to my relief, that the Relativity thread was 129 pages long.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:40 am UTC
by Ehsanit
Working Perpetual motion machine design:
Hamster wheel with the a sign telling folks there's a PPM at the top.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:59 am UTC
by San Fran Sam
Ooh! Ooh! Can we argue as to whether Randall used the word "ironically" correctly or not? :twisted:

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:01 am UTC
by Gargravarr
Personally I like the buttered cat school of perpetual motion.

And this design, probably inspired by all YouTube videos of perpetual machines that have to be pushed by hand.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:06 am UTC
by slhuang
When I was at MIT, I would get the occasional random message from some very earnest person detailing a perpetual motion machine idea that would REALLY WORK NO REALLY, if someone would just recognize the BRILLIANCE of it (hence email blasting every single @mit.edu address the person could find). It was kind of hilarious.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:14 am UTC
by Icalasari
Well, found this video

This whole thing is making me wonder how he actually got each device to work (other than the train as that one was hardly perpetual motion). The YouTube comments say that the flask has a pump hooked up to it

And I seriously want to see that thread

EDIT:

However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]


Oh Wikipedia

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:20 am UTC
by slhuang
San Fran Sam wrote:Ooh! Ooh! Can we argue as to whether Randall used the word "ironically" correctly or not? :twisted:


Heh, I'll bite!

It's not verbally ironic, but I believe it's situationally ironic -- presumably the intention of the thread, in telling everyone they're crackpots and don't understand thermodynamics, was to make them stop believing in perpetual motion machines. Instead, the thread created a perpetual motion machine, thus breaking the laws of thermodynamics and disproving the original post. So, if we posit for humor's sake that the thread itself flouts the laws of reality in being an actual PMM, which I read as the implication in the comic, then it's definitely the opposite of the thread starter's intended result there . . . and thus situational ironic.

I'm good with the usage. :D

(And Sam, I laughed at your post, because ::mumbles:: my brain might have done a compulsive check of the usage the very first time I read the comic.)

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:30 am UTC
by DavidRoss
[quote="slhuang"]...Instead, the thread created a perpetual motion machine, thus breaking the laws of thermodynamics and disproving the original post...."

The cute (I'll not use "ironic" inappropriately) part is that the thread is a perpetual motion machine in exactly the same way that most perpetual motion machines work: by ignoring the energy that is input to keep it running. In the case of the thread, it's the energy that is input to the Internet connections, servers, etc. to maintain the thread. In the case of the mechanical machine, if it does keep running, is due to the battery you're suppose to ignore or not know about.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:55 am UTC
by Dryhad
I don't buy it. It's a forum specifically dedicated to perpetual motion, right? So everyone posting there should be either a perpetual motion adherent or a troll. And yet we're supposed to believe both groups payed attention to the thread in sufficient numbers to maintain an active argument for nine years? To say nothing of moderator action.

This perpetual motion machine thread is a hoax!

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:27 am UTC
by Himself
Icalasari wrote:Well, found this video

This whole thing is making me wonder how he actually got each device to work (other than the train as that one was hardly perpetual motion). The YouTube comments say that the flask has a pump hooked up to it

And I seriously want to see that thread

EDIT:

However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]


Oh Wikipedia

Given that all the devices apart from the flask and the train rotate, I might guess he used an electric motor.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:08 am UTC
by MeisBarry
I would just like to say that I enjoyed the choice of avatar image for the second poster.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:22 am UTC
by Patrik3
Gargravarr wrote:And this design, probably inspired by all YouTube videos of perpetual machines that have to be pushed by hand.


That video was funny... but it bore quite a resemblance to that counter-ontological argument (if I recall the terms I learned in school correctly) - the argument being that in order for us to exist, a god must exist, and the counter argument being that if a god existed to put us in motion, then there must be something else to have put god in motion.

So, is reality itself a perpetual motion machine?

Also, if the universe doesn't end in a steady state and does collapse into an infinite succession of big bangs, then surely that is perpetual motion, too?

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:30 am UTC
by Klear
However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]


I thought the Mythbusters proved that toast actually lands on the unbuttered side more often? I guess that's why any attempts to construct this failed - you have to attach the cat to the buttered side.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:39 am UTC
by Beidah
Klear wrote:
However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]


I thought the Mythbusters proved that toast actually lands on the unbuttered side more often? I guess that's why any attempts to construct this failed - you have to attach the cat to the buttered side.

Depends on how hard you butter it, actually. If you press firmly against the bread as you butter, then it'll more likely land butter-side down. If the knife just glides over the bread, then it'll land butter-side up. This is because pressing firmly indents the bread, making the opposite side heavier.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:40 am UTC
by Gargravarr
Klear wrote:
However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]

I thought the Mythbusters proved that toast actually lands on the unbuttered side more often? I guess that's why any attempts to construct this failed - you have to attach the cat to the buttered side.

IIRC, Mythbusters found out that toast usually lands upside down when it falls off a table, but not when you drop it off a roof.
EDIT: link
I think I'll go butter a toast on both sides. In the name of science and breakfast.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:07 am UTC
by Afrael
Icalasari wrote:
However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]


Oh Wikipedia



That sentence was added three days ago. :lol:

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:23 am UTC
by ijuin
Gargravarr wrote:
Klear wrote:
However, toast does not have the ability to right itself.[citation needed]

I thought the Mythbusters proved that toast actually lands on the unbuttered side more often? I guess that's why any attempts to construct this failed - you have to attach the cat to the buttered side.

IIRC, Mythbusters found out that toast usually lands upside down when it falls off a table, but not when you drop it off a roof.
EDIT: link
I think I'll go butter a toast on both sides. In the name of science and breakfast.


Since toast is generally shaped like a flat, semi-rigid slab, when it slides off of (your hand, plate, whatever), its center of mass falls off of the support and begins to descend before the trailing edge of the toast has cleared the thing from which it is falling off. In other words, the trailing edge of the toast gets "caught" on the edge of your hand/plate/whatever. This puts a torque on the toast, causing it to tumble. When falling from a typical height of 50-200 cm (i.e. the kind of height from which we would typically drop it onto the surface that we are standing upon), the toast has enough time to flip over once, so that the side that was formerly facing up will now be facing down. Since we tend to carry the toast butter-side up, this results in the toast landing butter-side down. Dropping the toast from a much greater height (e.g. the roof of a 2-floor building), would allow the toast to flip over more than once, and if it flips over an even number of times, then it will land butter-side up.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:28 am UTC
by Afrael
What I took from that explanation is that if I have buttered toast, I should always carry it buttered side down or only on a roof. Is that correct?

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:55 am UTC
by hicksbw
Dryhad wrote: ... to maintain an active argument for nine years? ...

An arbitrarily long sequence of unrelated assertions is not an argument.

And the only available conclusion is that it will not be reached.
Sort of like Zeno, only using 1/3 instead of 1/2.

Offtopic: What is the appropriate ellipsis following a question mark? - ??? - ?

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:25 am UTC
by do7slash
Reminded me of the best homer simpson quote:

"In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!!"

I want to print that in big letters and hang it above my front door.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:42 am UTC
by itaibn
Sadly, it's impossible to generate useful work out of perpetual motion crackpottery.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:58 am UTC
by Invertin
Patrik3 wrote:That video was funny... but it bore quite a resemblance to that counter-ontological argument (if I recall the terms I learned in school correctly) - the argument being that in order for us to exist, a god must exist, and the counter argument being that if a god existed to put us in motion, then there must be something else to have put god in motion.


i've heard arguments to this effect ('where did god come from?') directed at religious folks
and I really do not intend to make this into a religious thing i just felt i had to direct my grievances towards this specific train of thought because it hasn't quite reached the last station

two of god's features as a god is that he is omnipotent and that he exists outside of our understanding of the laws of physics
so why would causality apply to him
why can't god have created god- it doesn't make sense but that's why it's omnipotent and not aslongasitmakessensewithinourunderstandingofthewaythingsworkpotent

im not saying god definately exists because of this im nor that the original poster was being anti-religious i just
i see similar thoughts a lottt

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:31 pm UTC
by Patrik3
Invertin wrote:
i've heard arguments to this effect ('where did god come from?') directed at religious folks
and I really do not intend to make this into a religious thing i just felt i had to direct my grievances towards this specific train of thought because it hasn't quite reached the last station


Oh, no, I don't mean to turn this into a religious thing.

The point I was trying to make was, the video's joke was that each cog N only turned because of the force applied by cog N+1, but since each cog always relied on the previous cog's force, there would be an infinitely long chain of cogs because there could never be a 'first' cog to power itself. If all motion - or even just existence for that matter - requires a cause or force, then likewise there can never be a 'first' cause (I believe the term I was looking for was actually 'prime mover'). So I was just drawing comparison between the 'joke' perpetual motion machine in the video and our own universe.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:17 pm UTC
by Gargravarr
Patrik3 wrote:
Gargravarr wrote:And this design, probably inspired by all YouTube videos of perpetual machines that have to be pushed by hand.


That video was funny... but it bore quite a resemblance to that counter-ontological argument

Well, it reminded me of a drinking song:

Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall,
Aleph-null bottles of beer.
Take one down, pass it around,
Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:03 pm UTC
by orthogon
MeisBarry wrote:I would just like to say that I enjoyed the choice of avatar image for the second poster.

Yes, but (s)he's got the wrong First Law. The First Law of Thermodynamics is you don't talk about thermodynamics.
(Somebody had to say it).

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:18 pm UTC
by cellocgw
asdfzxc wrote:Come on now Randall. Trolling a pseudoscience board is akin to literally stealing candy from a baby.


I think a better analogy is the famous slogan of the long-gone, lamented best website ever, suck.com : A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:24 pm UTC
by cellocgw
DavidRoss wrote:
slhuang wrote:...Instead, the thread created a perpetual motion machine, thus breaking the laws of thermodynamics and disproving the original post...."

The cute (I'll not use "ironic" inappropriately) part is that the thread is a perpetual motion machine in exactly the same way that most perpetual motion machines work: by ignoring the energy that is input to keep it running. .


Correct: the proper description of the thread is not "perpetual motion," but rather "infinite recursive loop"
:mrgreen:

Meanwhile, maybe we can argue about the musical structure "perpetuum mobile."

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:25 pm UTC
by wagner
itaibn wrote:Sadly, it's impossible to generate useful work out of perpetual motion crackpottery.


Maybe we could take all those crackpots, seal them in pods, and hook them into some kind of biofusion reactor...

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:29 pm UTC
by wagner
Gargravarr wrote:Personally I like the buttered cat school of perpetual motion.


Drink Flying Horse!

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:38 pm UTC
by baardvark
I didn't know perpetual motion machines couldn't have a first input, but he is in total violation by adding a second input (stoking the "irony" fire.)

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:05 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
No one is complaining that the alt text just explains the punchline? I'm a little surprised. That complaint usually comes up even when it's not true.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:11 pm UTC
by orthogon
asdfzxc wrote:... is akin to literally ...

I like the way you found a formulation that lets you use the word "literally" in a figurative sense with impunity.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:19 pm UTC
by richP
itaibn wrote:Sadly, it's impossible to generate useful work out of perpetual motion crackpottery.


Sure it's possible, just open an online store selling supplies for homebuilt perpetual motion machines.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:34 pm UTC
by BrianB
I maintain that the topic referenced in the comic cannot exist in real life. Why? Because it used the word "you're" instead of "your".

Everyone knows that nobody on the internet knows the correct usage of these two words.

Re: 1166: "Argument"

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:35 pm UTC
by orthogon
richP wrote:
itaibn wrote:Sadly, it's impossible to generate useful work out of perpetual motion crackpottery.

Sure it's possible, just open an online store selling supplies for homebuilt perpetual motion machines.

Just remember to push back hard when Marketing start wanting to offer complete, pre-built working models.