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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Subscriber lemondrop
    scallywag
    02 Nov '15 23:57
    if you could live forever
    would you be able to read everything that has ever been written and everything that will be written?
  2. 03 Nov '15 07:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by lemondrop
    if you could live forever
    would you be able to read everything that has ever been written and everything that will be written?
    If you lived for eternity then it is guaranteed that you would.
  3. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    04 Nov '15 02:48
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    If you lived for eternity then it is guaranteed that you would.
    What if someone else living for eternity is writing at a higher rate than your reading?

    In fact all that is needed is for the rate of new writing (from all in the universe) to
    outstrip your rate of reading.
  4. 04 Nov '15 04:08
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What if someone else living for eternity is writing at a higher rate than your reading?

    In fact all that is needed is for the rate of new writing (from all in the universe) to
    outstrip your rate of reading.
    Eventually you will read all combinations of words. Eternity is a long time. If you live for eternity then you are guaranteed to do and see everything that has a probability of occuring.
  5. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    04 Nov '15 09:39
    Bertrand Russel reportedly remarked that if you lived forever, you could finish your autobiography. I'm not sure what "finish" means in this context, but, at any rate, there wouldn't be anything missing.
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Nov '15 11:42
    If you lived forever you would have had to have started out sometime and there would have been works written before you were born so you wouldn't have access to them since they would have been ground into dust a thousand years before your birth, so no you could not read everything that was ever written.

    That doesn't even count aliens who may have written stuff a billion years ago. Good luck reading that, even after you become fluent in their languages.
  7. 04 Nov '15 12:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    Eventually you will read all combinations of words. Eternity is a long time. If you live for eternity then you are guaranteed to do and see everything that has a probability of occuring.
    If I, an immortal, start typing a number 1010010001........... where I increase the zeros by one each time, and never stop, and I can type this faster than you can read, are you guaranteed to have read everything that will be written?
  8. Subscriber lemondrop
    scallywag
    04 Nov '15 18:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If you lived forever you would have had to have started out sometime and there would have been works written before you were born so you wouldn't have access to them since they would have been ground into dust a thousand years before your birth, so no you could not read everything that was ever written.

    That doesn't even count aliens who may have writte ...[text shortened]... ff a billion years ago. Good luck reading that, even after you become fluent in their languages.
    what if I limit my question to books
    books that have been published and books that will be published

    edit: the assumption being that you would have access to them
  9. 04 Nov '15 21:22
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    If I, an immortal, start typing a number 1010010001........... where I increase the zeros by one each time, and never stop, and I can type this faster than you can read, are you guaranteed to have read everything that will be written?
    1.Immortal doesn't mean eternal.

    2.Numbers are conceptual. The number line is already well known.

    3.At some point you must stop your writing because there will not be enough material to write your number.

    4. You cannot write faster than i can read.

    5.If I am eternal I will do and see everything that has a probability of occurring.
  10. 05 Nov '15 02:14
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What if someone else living for eternity is writing at a higher rate than your reading?

    In fact all that is needed is for the rate of new writing (from all in the universe) to
    outstrip your rate of reading.
    If I have two pieces of string and I chop a third off one and I chop a half of the other ... then repeat ... and repeat ... and repeat ... for eterity
    At first - the piece that is getting halved is getting smaller much quicker than the piece that is getting a third removed each time
    At the end though the difference is nothing - except there'd be a lot of string pieces left over.
    Is this what String Theory is all about?
  11. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    07 Nov '15 01:42
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    Eventually you will read all combinations of words. Eternity is a long time. If you live for eternity then you are guaranteed to do and see everything that has a probability of occuring.
    Surely the number of possible combinations of words is infinite?

    If so what matters is the rate at which new work is produced
    compared to your reading rate.

    If two new novels are created each day for ever and you
    read one novel each day forever you will never read them
    all since the number of unread novels will increase by one per day.
  12. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    07 Nov '15 01:43
    Originally posted by orangutan
    If I have two pieces of string and I chop a third off one and I chop a half of the other ... then repeat ... and repeat ... and repeat ... for eterity
    At first - the piece that is getting halved is getting smaller much quicker than the piece that is getting a third removed each time
    At the end though the difference is nothing - except there'd be a lot of string pieces left over.
    Is this what String Theory is all about?
    I'm afraid not.
  13. 09 Nov '15 23:45
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I'm afraid not.
    Pull yourself together !
  14. Subscriber lemondrop
    scallywag
    12 Nov '15 04:00
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Surely the number of possible combinations of words is infinite?

    If so what matters is the rate at which new work is produced
    compared to your reading rate.

    If two new novels are created each day for ever and you
    read one novel each day forever you will never read them
    all since the number of unread novels will increase by one per day.
    yet
    no matter how far you fall behind you will eventually read every novel
    there would not be a novel that you would not get around too reading
  15. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Nov '15 19:43
    Originally posted by lemondrop
    what if I limit my question to books
    books that have been published and books that will be published

    edit: the assumption being that you would have access to them
    Even that, remember the Alexandria library, reported to have a million volumes. Good luck reading that since it burned down.

    So that leads to the question, many many libraries have been lost to fire, war, terrorism so how could you ever read those even if you lived a billion years?