There are 10 kinds of people - those who will understand this post and those who won't February 2, 2008 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Congratulations to member 10000000000000000! (even though he/she has yet to complete the signup process)
posted by mr_crash_davis to MetaFilter-Related at 3:19 PM (96 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I think it really rather base to post something like this.
posted by googly at 3:24 PM on February 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


65535 is the integer after 65534 and before 65536.

I have that on good authority
posted by langedon at 3:24 PM on February 2, 2008


Numerology must be really boring in binary.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh thank you for this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:35 PM on February 2, 2008


I know a hex that would have saved you some digits.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:38 PM on February 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


This has "slow day" written all over it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:42 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


My zip code growing up was 65536. Never yet have I mailed a letter with 2^16 as the zip code and had it get there properly....
posted by zeugitai_guy at 3:43 PM on February 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Binary jokes? Honestly?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2008


Did you ever try, zeugitai_guy?
posted by Kattullus at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2008


NERDS!!
posted by CKmtl at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2008


That's a lot of sock puppets.
posted by Skygazer at 3:53 PM on February 2, 2008


Ornery jokes? Honestly?
posted by ericb at 3:58 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This would be a perfect time to close the signups again.
posted by flatluigi at 4:14 PM on February 2, 2008




Orrery jokes?
posted by danb at 4:20 PM on February 2, 2008


Has anyone else been getting jrun errors today?
posted by davey_darling at 4:21 PM on February 2, 2008


Yes.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:36 PM on February 2, 2008


Has anyone else been getting jrun errors today?

Yes. It's because we've used up all the account numbers.
posted by timeistight at 4:44 PM on February 2, 2008


lacking the image tag and thus the migs-signal (careful, crash will turn it to tubgirl on you, you have been warned), crash channels miguel. it's almost like a seance.
posted by caddis at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2008


Orrery jokes?

There are no orrery jokes on that page. I hate you Milkman Dan.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:55 PM on February 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think it really rather base to post something like this.

I think it's rather base, too.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2008 [12 favorites]



I know a hex that would have saved you some digits.


No-one wants to hear you effing and blinding.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:00 PM on February 2, 2008


Orrery joke.
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't understand anything y'all are talking about.

please don't kick me out.
posted by rtha at 5:34 PM on February 2, 2008


Did you ever try, zeugitai_guy?

Of course I tried; I'm on MetaFilter now, aren't I? I can't imagine that the motivations for the two are mutually exclusive....
posted by zeugitai_guy at 5:50 PM on February 2, 2008


what's his name - "buffer_overrun" ?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:57 PM on February 2, 2008


I don't understand anything y'all are talking about.

The number 10000000000000000 in base two (hence googly and Jon Mitchell's joke) or binary [where you can only use zeroes and ones instead of 1-9 for counting. You may have also seen hex codes for HTML colors and you see A-F in them because you can have "numbers" up to sixteen so A is another way of saying eleven only using one place instead of two, hence cortex's joke] is the same as 65535 in base ten. So it's like a one in the sixteenth place and zeros in th rest of them (as zeugitai_guy refers to). Computers use binary internally. So, it's like we're saying "welcome user 30000" or another round number, except extremely nerdily and sort of in code.

Milkman Dan is from the somewhat absurdist/dark comic Red Meat, there's a little girl named Karen who says "I hate you Milkman Dan" often. An orrery is a representation of the planets and sounds sort of like ornery.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:57 PM on February 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, I finally, finally get that "there are 10 kinds of people" line.

Thanks MetaFilter!
posted by oddman at 5:59 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


10000000000000000 is impressive. A nice round number to end things on. But remember this orrery fact, my friends:

Nothing ends, Metafilter. Nothing ever ends.
posted by googly at 6:13 PM on February 2, 2008


The user exists. I want to believe. The user exists.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 PM on February 2, 2008


I think it really rather base to post something like this.

BASE!! How low can you go?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on February 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


You. Are. All. Such. Nerds.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Tehanu at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2008


The number 10000000000000000 in base two (hence googly and Jon Mitchell's joke)...

*hugs jessamyn*
posted by rtha at 7:09 PM on February 2, 2008


I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS BASIST SHIT.

I DEMAND RETROACTIVE POSTS FOR BASE 4, BASE 8, BASE 16 AND BASE 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944 59230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651 3282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559 64462294895493038196442881
posted by loquacious at 7:14 PM on February 2, 2008


The numbers, they overflow?
posted by tommasz at 7:19 PM on February 2, 2008


2x12=24
1x12=12
0x12=18
posted by 31d1 at 7:22 PM on February 2, 2008


31d1 = 12753 = 0011000100110010001101110011010100110011
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:34 PM on February 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


That is all.\0
posted by flabdablet at 7:36 PM on February 2, 2008


Actually, 31d1 = 19470, but who's counting?
posted by flabdablet's sock puppet at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2008


31d1 is a paradox. How can you make 31 rolls of a one-sided die?
posted by CKmtl at 7:44 PM on February 2, 2008


Oh hey, I'm 0x4AA5
posted by pjern at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2008


31d1 is a paradox. How can you make 31 rolls of a one-sided die?

Did anyone catch that lead balloon mythbusters episode? Icosahedron my arse, that was clearly a d20.
posted by Artw at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2008


(Also a d1 is spherical with a large 1 printed on it. I beleive you get two extra large d1s with every set of billiard balls. Each set also contains an unfortunate number of "weighted" d1s which have been rigged to roll numbers other than 1, so watch out for those)
posted by Artw at 7:58 PM on February 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


so A is another way of saying eleven only using one place instead of two

I don't want to start any shit, because jessamyn's roundup of the obscure humor is really...

[furtive glance at languagehat]

...AWESOME, but. But!

A is actually another way of saying ten.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

A-F = 10-15, because hexadecimal is base16; instead of a "tens place" and a "hundreds place" like we have in base10 (where ten = 101, hundred = 102, etc), hex has a "sexteens place" and a "two-hundred-fifty-six place" where sixteen = 161, 256 = 162, etc.

So in hex, 1 = 1, 2 = 2, 9 = 9, A = 10, F = 15. 10 = 16: 1 in the sixteens place plus zero in the ones place. 11 = 17; 1F = 31; 20 = 32. 100 = 256 (1 in the 256s place, 0 in the 16s place, 0 in the 1s place).

So 100016 = 163 = 409610. We don't generally append a base subscript to base10 (decimal) numbers, because barring a context where base would be in doubt it's what folks just assume is the number system we're working in.

And, thus, yes, finally: 1000016 = 164 = 6553610. Which is nerdy enough a thing to be glad about, but calling it ahead of time? Yow.

(Part of the significance of 65536 is that 216 is a big number in computer science. Remember when the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis came along, and everybody was shitting their pants over "16-bit" this and "16-bit" that? This is the number that made that so pant-shittingly significant. Why that was an exciting thing is a much longer and more focused and less beer-and-sake-driven discussion, but suffice it to say that this isn't just a round (binary/hex) number; it's one of the round numbers.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 PM on February 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


I MEANT TEN!!!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 PM on February 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


jessamyn wrote: ...A is another way of saying eleven...

Actually, in hexadecimal A is ten. :-)
posted by RichardP at 8:05 PM on February 2, 2008


Ha! I'm too slow.
posted by RichardP at 8:07 PM on February 2, 2008


Duuuude.
posted by Mid at 8:08 PM on February 2, 2008


Did anyone catch that lead balloon mythbusters episode?

Jamie?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:11 PM on February 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


3,735,928,559
posted by octothorpe at 8:16 PM on February 2, 2008


Mmmm, cow hash
posted by flabdablet at 8:20 PM on February 2, 2008


This is the worst fucking callout ever.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:52 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mmmm, cow hash

I prefer 0xDEADBEEF.
posted by hangashore at 8:53 PM on February 2, 2008


I know a hex that would have saved you some digits.

No-one wants to hear you effing and blinding.


...because a hex is a curse, you see, and effing an blinding is cursing, and F is the last digit of hexadecimal....oh, fine, fine, it wasn't funny. I'll stick to base 2 humour.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:12 PM on February 2, 2008


3,735,928,559

/bangs head on desk
Apologies to octo and flabba.
posted by hangashore at 9:15 PM on February 2, 2008


Why that was an exciting thing is a much longer and more focused and less beer-and-sake-driven discussion

Think of mental arithmetic vs. pencil & paper. When the numbers are small, you can do the calculations in your head. But for large numbers, you need to write stuff down, which is slow and kind of a pain in the ass.

The same is true of computers. For the 8-bit NES, "small numbers" are less than 2^8=256. For the 16-bit SNES, "small" is less than 2^16=65536. That's quite a difference, hence the pant-shitting.

These days people are shitting themselves over 64-bit processors.
posted by ryanrs at 10:03 PM on February 2, 2008


I love the jokes but I also love -- even more -- the explaining. Homemade chocolate-peanut butter nuggets in crinkly waxpaper wrappers, all around!
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:40 PM on February 2, 2008


I may be drunk, but I can't decide if googly wins for the Watchmen reference, or flapjax wins for the PE reference.

That sounds like the best mashup ever, actually...
posted by pupdog at 11:18 PM on February 2, 2008


Anyone for 4,039,822,362?
posted by flabdablet at 11:20 PM on February 2, 2008


You mean user -32767?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:36 PM on February 2, 2008


BTW, my birthday is a power of two. There are only six such birthdays in a year.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:37 PM on February 2, 2008


You guys are missing the significance of this!

Now, Matt has to get a second Excel spreadsheet to keep the server running.
posted by vacapinta at 12:10 AM on February 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


..and everybody was shitting their pants over "16-bit" this and "16-bit" that? This is the number that made that so pant-shittingly significant...

To be exact, the number is 65535 as in 0-65535.

65536 is a buffer overflow.
posted by vacapinta at 12:21 AM on February 3, 2008


Surely Matt is running the latest and greatest version of Excel: now with 2^20 rows!
posted by ssg at 12:22 AM on February 3, 2008


I'm pretty!
posted by astruc at 2:10 AM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand trinary, those who don't, and those who mistake it for binary.
posted by DreamerFi at 2:29 AM on February 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


To be exact, the number is 65535 as in 0-65535.

The number of representable values is more significant than the largest representable value. What is the significance of 2^N-1 in the context of two's complement integers or floating point values? Word size affects a lot more than just UINT_MAX.


65536 is a buffer overflow.

More like buffer underflow, amirite?
posted by ryanrs at 3:58 AM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Math class is hard.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:46 AM on February 3, 2008


I may be drunk, but I can't decide if googly wins for the Watchmen reference, or flapjax wins for the PE reference.

That sounds like the best mashup ever, actually...


I'd pay money to hear that.
posted by googly at 8:21 AM on February 3, 2008


DreamerFi: "There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand trinary, those who don't, and those who mistake it for binary."

I believe the preferred term is ternary. I'm sure you didn't mean any offense, but there's a lot of historical baggage associated with the term ("Try? Nary!"), and think there's been some push to simply refer to it as "little decimal".
posted by team lowkey at 10:07 AM on February 3, 2008


Caddis' comment made me remember that I made a macro (sorta) for my beer drinking club called "Tea."
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:17 AM on February 3, 2008


I also don't think this is rather base.
posted by shmegegge at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2008


Math is hard.

Many thanks to rtha for being brave enough to admit s/he didn't understand (I didn't either) and to jessamyn and cortex for their explanations. Which, surprisingly enough, I understood.
posted by deborah at 2:46 PM on February 3, 2008


The same is true of computers. For the 8-bit NES, "small numbers" are less than 2^8=256. For the 16-bit SNES, "small" is less than 2^16=65536. That's quite a difference, hence the pant-shitting.

Didn't your character still fall into a bottomless pit if you left the controller on the couch?
posted by ersatz at 6:58 PM on February 3, 2008


Dammit vacapinta, beat me.

Also. Cortex, you amuse me. I'm glad we keep you around.
posted by Phire at 7:09 PM on February 3, 2008


flapjax at midnite: "BASE!! How low can you go?"

There is unary, which is a fancy way of saying "you count the number of digits/rocks/whatevers". But really, if you want low bases, there are negative bases that can actually represent all integers without having to use a negation sign. Why we still usea positive base is beyond me.

It gets better. Knuth's quater-imaginary base is enough to make you cry. And non-integer bases like φnary are just daft.
posted by Plutor at 2:59 AM on February 4, 2008


Non-integer, please!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:06 AM on February 4, 2008


Oops. Sorry about the misspelling. Lemme fix that:

Non-integah, please!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 AM on February 4, 2008


there are negative bases that can actually represent all integers...

Represent!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:14 AM on February 4, 2008


There is unary

which a lot of people for some reason insist on labeling "base1" even though the positional numbering system that basen systems denote doesn't actually port over to the tally-up-the-marks system those same people are actually talking about when they misapply the base-number system.

Do you know how base1 would actually work? It would have one digit; where binary has two, 0 and 1, with respective place-values of 0 and 1, base1 would have only 0. You could represent exactly one value in this system: 0. The system has no (zero?) expressive power.

When we represent strings in decimal, we casually omit "leading zeroes": any zero digit in a position greater than the most significant non-zero digit gets left out. So if you're counting jellybeans, and you get up to 327, you write down "327", not "0327". Not "0000327". And certainly not an infinite number of zeros followed by 327.

So with a true base1 system, what meaningful value could you express? Well, the number 0. Which you could write out as a single digit, reasonably enough: "0". And if you were feeling weird, you could write out some leading digits: "00000". It's still zero, of course, so that's silly. You could even write out a million zeros, or an infinite string of them, but, yes: still just 0. Because it's 0 in the 11 = 1s place; and 0 in the 12 = 1s place; and 0 in the 13 = 1s place; and so on all the way up. 0 + 0 + 0 = 0, no matter how many additions you do on the left side.

When you've got the tally system, aka unary, you're not doing base-positional representation. You're counting the number of digits in a string. Which is a perfectly reasonable way to count things—that's how arithmetic is defined, when you get down to the bare metal—but it's not base-position, and shouldn't be called as much.

We don't count in decimal by adding up the values of all the digits in a number: "143" does not equal "1 + 4 + 3 = 8". It's not how the system works, even if you get rid of all but one digit and then even elect to decide to call 0 "1" (or "|" or "/" or whatever you like). So "unary" is kind of misleading, and, dammit, "base1" is right out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:40 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


(a) In base 10, 0.999.. is equal to 1.
(b) The greatest digit in base 10 is 9.
(c) In base 1, the greatest digit is 0.

∴ in base 1, 0.000... is equal to 1.
QED
posted by Plutor at 7:41 AM on February 4, 2008


I will noogie you so hard, mister.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:48 AM on February 4, 2008


I think it really rather base to post something like this.

So, wait... we are accepting protons now?
posted by quin at 8:17 AM on February 4, 2008


Do you know how base1 would actually work? It would have one digit; where binary has two, 0 and 1, with respective place-values of 0 and 1, base1 would have only 0. You could represent exactly one value in this system: 0. The system has no (zero?) expressive power.

No, Unary is bijective.

You can keep the zero by not treating it as zero but as null. So your only digit is 1.
posted by vacapinta at 12:56 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sure, and that'll buy its way into my thin graces—hence "unary is kind of misleading", insofar as it makes the explicit comparison with "binary" and so suggests some analogous system of representation that's not actually valid, but, hey, what's in a name, etc.

But calling it "base1" is just dang irresponsible. Even if it is a bijective system with base b=1, in the context of a discussion of bases in (implicitly) positional systems it's just serious crime-against-nature stuff to call unary "base1". It'd be like saying jumping into a discussion of addition with "yeah, so F + 3 = 2 in base16" and neglecting to mention "in, you know, modular arithmetic". Not technically wrong, but so unutterably cart before horse in terms of state assumptions that it can only lead to tears.

Then again, Plutor didn't call it base1, so I'm pretty much flying off the handle and chewing scenery unprompted.

Then again again, every goddam time it comes up anywhere else, and burns me, BURNS ME like acid. I hate to see people newly grokking the idea of alternate positional bases and then get thrown a spike trap like that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:24 PM on February 4, 2008


'There is unary'

I thought this said "urinary", which would nearly be the same, being number one and all.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:25 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


cortex: I suggest you strip down, paint yourself blue, oil your claymore, and take a double fistful of mushrooms. Then the next time some motherfucker says "base1"... you'll be ready.
posted by languagehat at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2008


Then again again, every goddam time it comes up anywhere else, and burns me, BURNS ME like acid. I hate to see people newly grokking the idea of alternate positional bases and then get thrown a spike trap like that.

True enough. Then again, I use base PI, which does require an infinite number of digits to represent a number like 4, but I consider it a minor inconvenience.
posted by vacapinta at 1:29 PM on February 4, 2008


And down at the other end we have a brand new Number 1
posted by Neiltupper at 2:09 PM on February 4, 2008


So scratching into the wall of one's prison cell to count the number of days spent in there is done in unary?
posted by Kattullus at 3:01 PM on February 4, 2008


No. It's done in tally marks. There is no unary positional notation.

Tally marks and derivatives (such as Roman numerals) are what was superseded by positional notations for the purposes of calculation. Tally marks are still much easier to use for making frequently updated counts, though.
posted by flabdablet at 4:07 PM on February 7, 2008


So what's the difference between unary systems and tally marks? From googling around it all I've found is pages that say that they're equivalent.
posted by Kattullus at 6:36 PM on February 7, 2008


A tally mark is a unary system, but as vacapinta pointed out, it's a unary bijective system, not a unary positional system. So if you read "unary" as meaning "like binary, but base 1", then that's nothing like the tally mark system. If you read "unary" as meaning "this is what we're calling the tally mark system, because, hey, woo, confusion is awesome", then there is no difference between unary and the tally mark system at all.

Whee!
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2008


Woo! Confusion is awesome!

Thanks for clearing up mine, though.
posted by Kattullus at 8:39 PM on February 7, 2008


Base-6 numbers from Ur will clear up any questions you had about pi.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:47 PM on February 7, 2008


An orrery is a representation of the planets...

And if you want one really badly, this guy will make one for you. via
posted by CKmtl at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2008


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