Shit Sherlocks and The Regular Twats17 Jun 2010 09:18 am
By Nelson

The Reith Lectures – “What We’ll Never Know”.

Ever wondered what it’d be like if Nigel Tufnel ate Timothy Leary’s handbag and then gave a lecture on astronomy, the speed of light, information and A Very Big Number? Nor me, and yet here it is.

It is impossible for humans to know everything, we are restricted in our knowledge by time and distance.

There are infinate things that we know of but just cannot do/achieve/experience ourselves now or even by a million years into the future.

I have a little print out above my computer monitor which I scribbled a few years ago. It says-

Infinity of knowledge

Knowledge is so great that even if human knowledge was enough to fill the density of a billion worlds, it would still be significantly less than one trillionth of knowledge still to learn.

We have computers that can count numbers that most of us would just find impossible to even get a grasp of. We know of numbers that even if humans counted one by one for a trillion years it would still take a bigger/greater number of years than most people could understand.

Humans will never know so much because we are just so limited.

Most people do not know what number a “googol” is. Its a number with 1000 zeros, its impossible for a human to count up to it without the aid of technology, (the numbber 1 million just has 6 zeros in comparison). A number that is so astranomically bigger than a “googol” is a “googol plex”. A “googolplex” is so vast that we do not even know what it is so a googolplex plus one is an impossibility to know and is basically irrelevent.

To travel to outside our planetry neighbourhood would take much longer than the lifetime of one individual, hence even travelling for a million lifetimes we would not be able to reach that which we can see via telescopes etc. Which means that ALL the available knowledge of ALL that which is just in one direct linear line 1mm wide is beyond our capacity to have knowledge about, let alone 360 degrees around us.

In all things, if we were to measure our knowledge on a solar ruler in milimetres (one ruler is the distance between the sun and earth), the knowledge we have presently attained is MUCH MUCH less than 1 millionth of millimetre in comparison to knowledge that is waiting out there for humans to try and learn about.

I think the greatest knowledge we can have is that which we know about the wonderous events which led us to our existance and that knowledge which we are capable of using to maximise our continued existance for as long as humanly possible.
MrWonderfulReality

What a speech! Someone fetch this man some robes! From this day forth I shall gaze up into the cosmos with a renewed sense of wonder. Future generations of scientists will describe the day when, as young children, they ravenously devoured the words of MrWonderfulReality and first knew that they would dedicate their lives to studying… um.. massive great.. um.. stuff.. and .. well.. you know.. googolplonkers and numbers and sky-millimetres and.. like.. complicated, whirly, infinite shit.

Why are you still sat there reading this??? GO AND BUY A FUCKING TELESCOPE.

140 Responses to “Carl Sagan”

  1. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:25 am Toby

    what’s the googleplex equivalent of 1st?

  2. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:30 am Glensman

    You must at least give marks for enthusiasm – misplaced and wrong headed maybe – but certainly enthusiastic! God loves a trier

  3. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:32 am Randy Lahey

    ” even if humans counted one by one for a trillion years it would still take a bigger/greater number of years than most people could understand.”

    I’m going to guess it would be about a trillion.

  4. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:42 am christonabike

    “the knowledge we have presently attained is MUCH MUCH less than 1 millionth of millimetre.”

    Not until we have attained at least 3 feet of knowledge may we say we have truly evolved.

  5. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:00 am Man-Bitch

    I’m a London cabbie and I have The Knowledge. Learned my runs on Googleplex Street View, I did. I had that Carl Sagan in my cab once. “We are made of star stuff,” he said. He wanted to go to Betelgeuse. It wasn’t on my satnav, so I dropped him off at the Planetarium.

  6. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:06 am John Terry's Chocolate Orange

    At least the guy is positive, not moaning about Pakis or wimmin or whoever he doesn’t like.

  7. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:09 am Theodore

    MrWonderfulReality is an enormous two-wattled cassowary’s clunge.

    I do understand what a googolplex is – it’s a fucking big number – too big to bother really thinking about. I doubt some vindictive bus driver will give me a googolplex of pennies in my change anytime soon.

    I hate hippies who think they’re clever. If they are, why haven’t they sussed out how to use a shower more often?

  8. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:15 am djh

    It makes me weep a bit that through all of that he made the school boy error of spelling astronomically wrong.

  9. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:25 am Joss Ackland's Spunky Backpack

    I’m guessing but is the question – “wank mag or porn film?”

    Thanks to Mr. WonderfulReality we can now base our decisions on a sound scientific background – so why compromise? Wank mag then porn film!

  10. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:27 am Pedant's Corner

    “Most people do not know what number a “googol” is.” MrWonderfulReality can count himself in that list – a googol is 1 followed by a hundred zeros, not a thousand zeros. If you’re going to write reams of pseudo-scientific psychobabble at least get your basic facts right. Mr. WR needs to smoke more pot if he wants to be more like Carl.

  11. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:32 am Jones

    I think the greatest knowledge we can have is that which we know about the wonderous events which led us to our existance and that knowledge which we are capable of using to maximise our continued existance for as long as humanly possible.

    Didn’t some other genius disprove the whole of science because we didn’t know such things? I don’t know what to think now!

  12. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:32 am John Terry's Chocolate Orange

    Theodore
    you are a moron.

  13. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:33 am Nelson

    I think my favourite bit was this:

    A “googolplex” is so vast that we do not even know what it is so a googolplex plus one is an impossibility to know and is basically irrelevent.

    But it’s all my favourite bit. It’s amazing.

  14. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:35 am Jones

    The Other Genius btw.

  15. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:37 am unitled

    How on Earth is a googolplex a number so big no-one knows what it is? (well, it isn’t, it’s just a 1 followed by a googol zeroes). Yes, the number is mind bendingly big, so big there is supposedly not enough space in the UNIVERSE to write it down longhand, but we know what it IS.

    Inventing a number so big no-one knows what it is sounds like the old school yard trick…

    “Yeah, well YOU smell times INFINITY!”
    “Oh, well YOU smell times INFINITY PLUS ONE!”

  16. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:39 am mr ed

    Are these proper imperial billions and trillions he’s talking about or dodgy american ones

  17. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:58 am Man-Bitch

    I thought a googolplex was a sort of cinema where you could watch multiple videos on Google at the same time.

  18. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:01 am 1984ReturnsForMoreSoup

    For the benefit of anyone unable to bend their minds round the incredible ideas presented by MrWonderfulReality, here’s a summary:

    …basically irrelevent…

    With a bit more work, I think he could rival the timecube guy.

  19. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:06 am Man-Bitch

    To pee or not to pee: that is the question. Whether ’tis knobblier in the hand to suffer the flings and harrows of meth, or – what? “Shut the fuck up, you badger’s banged-up broiled ballsack”? But I was just trying to convey the sheer, utter googleplexedness of the permutations of numbers! Typing monkeys! Internet! Brant, Cuger, the complete works of! Sagan, Carl! Yes, it’s the Colombo-like trenchcoat, ya, thanks.

  20. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:08 am Ben

    That’s not what a fucking googol is you pompous cunt. It’s got 100 zeroes. Not 1000.

    And a googolplex is not a fucking impossibility. It’s 10^(10^100).

    I HAVE MATHS RAGE.

  21. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:15 am Sheepless

    What a disappointment. I was expecting his ramble to boil down to:

    We can’t know everything, therefore Jesus.

    Or perhaps:

    We can’t know everything, therefore scientists know no more than me, therefore global warming is a lie.

    Or even:

    Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?

    Not this child-like awe of big numbers.

    Incidentally, where does his “little print out” end? I’m hoping that it just says “infinity of knowledge”. If you saw that taped to someone’s monitor, it would save time getting to know that they’re a nut.

  22. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:24 am Woody Allen

    Eternity is a very long time,
    especially towards the end.

  23. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:33 am Funny Peculiar

    I have a little print out above my computer monitor which I scribbled a few years ago. MR WR

    This sentence, like an itch you can’t scratch, is growing more and more irritating to my inner-pedant. How the fuck are you supposed to scribble a print out?

  24. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:36 am Rumpleforeskin

    What a nut. Also: http://bit.ly/n2hSc

  25. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:37 am Funny Peculiar

    Unless he’s got a printer which has lots of quantum and uncertainty and err… you know… Douglas Adams and that. ‘S wonderful stuff science, eh?

  26. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:41 am Richard Littlejohn's Funny Bollock

    Ahh, gotta admire his enthusiasm.

    Knowledge is so great that even if human knowledge was enough to fill the density of a billion worlds, it would still be significantly less than one trillionth of knowledge still to learn.

    Stop saying ‘knowledge’ you twat! And, I’m not sure measuring things in the density of worlds is going to help explain anything:

    “Ran out of milk when I was making my horlicks last night, ended up the density of three worlds.”

  27. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:44 am Man-Bitch

    He printed out a file that he wrote on his Palm Pilot thingy. Ergo, scribbled printout, QED, please hand me my coat, thanks.

  28. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:50 am Felna

    I bet Andrew Kadir-Buxton is working on a method to understand it, probably by sucker-punching a woman during menstruation while drinking lemonade…

  29. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:52 am Goldstein

    Thanks, really enjoyed this one.

  30. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:53 am Man-Bitch

    Wait a sec. If this guy knows he doesn’t know something, then can we criticise him for getting said something entirely wrong, when he himself has said that he doesn’t know it? Even if he says it is impossible to know? Clearly he doesn’t know that, either.

    Um. I think I need to lie down for a while.

  31. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:57 am Randy Lahey

    Maybe he scribbled it on some paper, scanned it onto his computer, then printed it out?

  32. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:59 am Mal

    Thus Voltaire

    The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of MrWonderfulReality’s stupidity.

  33. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:00 pm tw@basket.com

    How the fuck are you supposed to scribble a print out?

    Lets imagine that your keyboard is broken. What do you do if you are too flummoxed to fix the keyboard but you really need to print out a gnomic inanity right now, before you forget it? You fire up Paint and you “scribble” your pointless slogan using the mouse. Then you print it out and stick it to the monitor, probably with an inappropriate type of glue.

    I do feel a bit mean taking the piss here. I mean, this guy is just dumb, not obnoxious or anything. As Sheepless says, it is child-like. He doesn’t see numbers as abstract. His first thought on encountering a new number is to worry about how you would count to it.

  34. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:01 pm tw@basket.com

    Hooray! My first blockquote fuck up. I have arrived!

  35. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:01 pm Pete

    Socrates famously stated that:

    “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”

    I think he also said

    “MrWonderfulReality is a twat”

  36. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:01 pm Andy

    Christonabike,

    Not until we have attained at least 3 feet of knowledge may we say we have truly evolved.

    Is that your personal yardstick? (Or can anyone use it?)

    Nelson, I think that MrWonderfulReality is confusing a googolplex with infinity. 10^10^100+1 is one more than 10^10^100. Infinity+1 is Infinity. (But it’s not particularly relevant…)

    I’m with Ben here.

  37. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:15 pm Man-Bitch

    Not until we have attained at least 3 feet of knowledge may we say we have truly evolved.

    I only have six inches of knowledge (when erect). Am I fully evolved?

  38. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:17 pm OutOfStep

    Makes a nice change to have someone arguing that he doesn’t know everything. Although he does still imply everyone else is a fucking idiot.

  39. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:24 pm Nelson

    I do feel a bit mean taking the piss here. I mean, this guy is just dumb, not obnoxious or anything.

    This is my bi-annual “Correcting Of The Misconception That This Blog Is All About Laughing At Racists”.

    I’m a lefty, liberal, wafty kind of guy. So I share the horror many people feel when reading the awful selfish, nasty, shit on HYS etc.

    But it’s not funny and it’s hard to write funny shit about it sometimes.

    The thing that’s funny is the idea that it’s a platform and their apparent belief that someone important is reading. Sometimes it’s Jesus. Sometimes it’s the PM. Sometimes it’s “The Moderators”. Sometimes it’s BBC Director General. It varies… but it’s always an amusing window into their deeply conformist, patriarchal and hilariously self-important world.

    That’s what keeps me laughing anyway. The fact that these nincompoops bother.

    God bless the internet for making soapboxes accessible to everycunt who suspects they’re very important yet is too lazy and not mad enough to start yelling their opinions in the street. And, yes, I include myself in that.

  40. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:26 pm Nelson

    In this case, I think he believes his audience is “a group of people stupider than me”. Given that he posted it on HYS, it might just be the only bit he got right.

  41. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:27 pm Man-Bitch

    God bless the internet for making soapboxes accessible to everycunt…

    Thanks, Nelson. Now I can never open an Everyman Classic book again without mentally renaming it “Everycunt”.

  42. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:33 pm Everycunt

    Bollocks, I counted up to a googol last month on my kids’ abacus. Or does that count as technology now?

  43. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:35 pm Bollocks

    Everycunt, are you talkin’ to me?

  44. on 17 Jun 2010 at 12:46 pm Brimswan

    @Andy,

    (2/0) / (1/0) = ?

  45. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:05 pm Naich

    If he gets that excited about a Googol, then he’d instantly come in his pants if he ever found out about Graham’s Number. Go on – look it up on Wikipedia. It’s actually quite interesting in a mathematical way. The universe is too small to write it down in digital form.

  46. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:06 pm Sheepless

    If you like the universe so much…

  47. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:21 pm welsh boy

    Is anybody gonna tell “Have your lurk” that we know he has re-branded himself?

    (methinks)

  48. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:23 pm Man-Bitch

    Is anybody gonna tell “Have your lurk” that we know he has re-branded himself?

    Fuck. What gave it away this time?

  49. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:26 pm welsh boy

    @ man-bitch

    Just your general enthusiam. Please don’t stop as I find it very entertaining if sometimes slightly unhinged. :-)

  50. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:28 pm Man-Bitch

    Please don’t stop

    What makes you think I’m even able to stop? :-)

  51. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:32 pm welsh boy

    @ man-bitch

    Cool. I look forward to trying to rumble your next disguise.

    Is there a prize?! :-)

  52. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:33 pm TrumpsCombOver

    What a googol-twunt.

  53. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:34 pm Man-Bitch

    Is there a prize?!

    Oh, yes. You get to man the cloakroom and hand me my coat…

  54. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:43 pm Andy

    @Brimswan – A suffusion of yellow?

    I only ever completed the first Stroud “Mathematics for Engineers” book. Dividing by zero gives the answer “give it up, bitch. Your pressure vessel just exploded.”

  55. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:55 pm Alex

    @Naich:

    Thanks for that but due in part to a liking of Mitchell & Webb and being in my early 20′s I find it very hard not to keep replacing number with wang, which makes lines like “To convey the difficulty of appreciating the enormous size of Graham’s number” much more… interesting.

  56. on 17 Jun 2010 at 2:38 pm the_voice_of_reason

    Humans will never know so much because we are just so limited.

    As he proves, by failing to spell “planetary”, “millimetre”, “existence”, “wondrous” and “Irrelevant”.

    In fact, you could just about sum up his post using just these five words

  57. on 17 Jun 2010 at 4:38 pm Goosey

    Most people do not know what number a “googol” is. Its a number with 1000 zeros, its impossible for a human to count up to it without the aid of technology

    Some disagree.

    “We just wouldn’t count that high. We could, but we would not.” -Eddie Izzard on very large numbers.

  58. on 17 Jun 2010 at 4:56 pm Ed aka Voltaire aka BumSwine

    Humans will never know so much because we are just so limited.

    As he proves, by failing to spell “planetary”, “millimetre”, “existence”, “wondrous” and “Irrelevant”.

    He also got “infinite” wrong, which is beautifully symmetrical.

  59. on 17 Jun 2010 at 5:35 pm Confused lesbian who used Pepsi instead

    To be fair it does make sense if you’re stoned

  60. on 17 Jun 2010 at 5:46 pm Makhno

    He didn’t scribble the printout, he scribbled his monitor. I’m not sure how that works, but that’s what he said.

    Or maybe he’s just even more stoned than we thought.

  61. on 17 Jun 2010 at 7:19 pm Chaise Guevara

    “With a bit more work, I think he could rival the timecube guy.”

    Thanks for making me click that timecube link. Now I’m no doubt on some kind of watch list. It’s good stuff though:

    “Evil To worship God One,
    For Life Is Composed of
    Cubed Opposites -AntiOne.”

    Antigone, surely?

  62. on 17 Jun 2010 at 7:22 pm Chaise Guevara

    Actually, I’ve changed my mind. The timecube guy’s not hilarious, he’s a dangerous psychopath. I challenge you to claim that HYS is that bad after reading that shit. Example:

    “WARNING TO EDUCATED STUPID, Black
    Skin equates imprisonment, white race had nothing to do making negros black. Even a worst imprisonment exists when the whites are under Dark rule, who seek revenge for false slavory.
    Hell, I am as much an economic slave as any black.Not one black in America wears a shackle that prevents them from returning to their African culture. White people are not obligated to nurture the black race – when actually dark and light should exist on opposite corners of Earth as depicted by midday and midnight. The white race is actually stupid to give welfare and integrate with the Black Race, who in time will slaughter them. The white
    race has done more to support the Black
    Race around the World than even the
    Black Race itself. In America, Blacks
    have welfare, in Africa they have AIDS.
    Play the colors dealt, some have to the
    cops and the others the robbers, next
    life it will be reversed. Hell could be the living in Black skin, but for whites living under Black rule could be a harsher hell.”

    Genuinely terrifying. I hope he lives nowhere near me.

  63. on 17 Jun 2010 at 8:41 pm Gilbert Wham

    Can’t you express a set larger than infinity with Cantor sets? I refuse to look this up for myself, it’s too much work & I’m tired.

  64. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:09 pm john Adair's Gerbil

    @The Maths People

    I didn’t expect the mathematical inquisition. But very interesting, even to a gerbil of little brain.

    @Chaise Guevara

    FFS.

    I’ve been to Oldupai Gorge – amazing that such fuckwittetness could come from such a small start.

  65. on 17 Jun 2010 at 9:32 pm funny peculiar

    Sorry to be all sixth-form-wanky like, but y’man who did the Reith Lecture which stroked WR to his ‘intellectual’ orgasm referred to infinity during said lecture.

    He said concepts like infinity are the mathmatical equivalent of writing ‘here be dragons’ on an unknown area of a map.

  66. on 17 Jun 2010 at 10:26 pm Mal

    @Gilbert Wham (warning the following may be boring and contains no jokes)

    The whole maths of transfinite numbers deriving from Cantor’s work is guaranteed to fuck with your head f you let it. For instance the set of real numbers between any given pair of numbers is greater than the set of integers though both sets are infinite. Er, yeah, if you say so.

    As so often, I’m with Wittgenstein here, infinity has no reality outside of the formal mathematical system in which it is defined and is thus meaningless. Or as a maths nerd of my former acquaintance succinctly put it ‘Don’t think too hard about what it means, it’s just the maths.’

  67. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:19 pm twatter to the rati

    Everycunt I will go with thee and be thy guide in thy most need to be by thy side.

  68. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:30 pm pigfrottage

    Felna rules. Oh yes.

    If I had a googol of bad sandwiches (e.g. anything and marmite) hiding the good ham, cheese and pickle one, then even I would not bother to count them. I would just go get more sandwich ingredients and throw away all the marmit jars. :)

  69. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:31 pm pigfrottage

    …and the marmite jars. Good Grief!

  70. on 17 Jun 2010 at 11:56 pm Octopoid

    (2/0) / (1/0) = ?

    (2/0) / (1/0) = Error / Error = 1? :P

    Also, am I the only one that is finding it amusing that people are using the comments on a thread laughing at someone for trying to show off how clever he is on the internet, to show off how clever they are on the internet?

  71. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:00 am muppet lover

    I hope timecube guy talks like that in real life.

  72. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:01 am muppet lover

    @Octopoid
    yes ou are the only one…there must be something wrong with you

  73. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:06 am Octopoid

    @muppet lover
    ah – I’m afraid your sense of irony is knackered, you’re going to need a new one.

  74. on 18 Jun 2010 at 7:44 am I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    Also, am I the only one that is finding it amusing that people are using the comments on a thread laughing at someone for trying to show off how clever he is on the internet, to show off how clever they are on the internet?

    Ooo, that’s clever, that is.

  75. on 18 Jun 2010 at 9:09 am pigfrottage

    What’s clever is you remarking how clever it is to observe that someone else thinks it is amusing that people are using the comments on a thread laughing at someone for trying to show off how clever he is on the internet, to show off how clever they are on the internet? It’s also clever of me to point this out..

    Too far?

    Clever sandwich: Worcester Sauce, Huumus and goat’s cheese.

  76. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:31 am Enid Wibble

    You’ve all done very well.

    I don’t like houmous, however you spell it.

  77. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:34 am tw@basket.com

    Clever sandwich: Worcester Sauce, Huumus and goat’s cheese.

    What’s clever about that? Putting all the inedible ingredients in one sandwich to avoid ruining any more bread than strictly necessary? Hmmm. OK. Actually that is quite clever.

    Do we get gold stars or anything?

  78. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:42 am tw@basket.com

    (2/0) / (1/0) = Error / Error = 1?

    My understanding is that mathematicians reason as follows:

    (2/0) / (1/0) = NaN / NaN = Whatever is expedient under the circumstances

    That may or may not be clever but it is unexpectedly pragmatic for mathematicians.

  79. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:50 am Goldstein

    What, someone mentions Cantor and that’s construed as an attempt to show off how clever they are?

    Look at those condescending bastards, they’re even spelling all their words correctly! Why don’t you give it a rest, guys? You’re impressing no-one.

  80. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:55 am Jim

    Using Clever Maths I have invented the Googolplex-flex-mex, a number which is a googolplex to the power of goololplex, to the power of googolplex etc, etc, a googolplex times.

    Warning: If you try and think about this number for even a second your brain will collapse to a singularity, and as the universe whirlpools into the void where your brain once was, God comes down from Heaven and shouts ‘YOU LOSE’.

  81. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:58 am I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    Was feeling low, so I went on a Cuger Brant binge. Ah, the joy. The adverbs! This man is to adverbs what Baywatch was to curves.

    Suddenly, Tracey, the staff nurse intervened, exclaiming worriedly, slightly perplexed, “Doctor, “Your tag. It’s white!”

    But his grammar-rapery ends not whence. From his own potted life story, in his smashwords.com profile:

    Later both I, together with three of my brothers were later sent to ‘Beechholme’ in Banstead, Surrey.

    After that promising start, though, he starts making sense and constructing decent sentences. I feel so let down.

  82. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:59 am Octopoid

    What, someone mentions Cantor and that’s construed as an attempt to show off how clever they are?

    Again, this article is based on laughing at someone because they are posting on the internet about how they know what a Googol is. I have no problem at all with talking about clever maths stuff, in fact I rather enjoy it. If, however, you don’t see that having this conversation on a thread laughing at someone trying to show off about “shit they know” is ironic, you need to lighten up, or stop being such a hypocrite.

    (2/0) / (1/0) = Error / Error = 1?

    I know, I know – just a truly terrible joke. How many times will Error (or NaN) fit into Error (or NaN)? 1. Just awful – sorry.

  83. on 18 Jun 2010 at 11:00 am I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    BLOCK QUOTE FAIL.
    Fuck, fucketty, fuck, fuck, fuck. My blockquotes are as bad as CB’s adverbs.

  84. on 18 Jun 2010 at 11:10 am Doe, Adair, a female deer

    (2/0) / (1/0) = NaN / NaN = Whatever is expedient under the circumstances

    Nan on nan? Now there’s some videos I don’t need to see.

  85. on 18 Jun 2010 at 11:37 am Bawmswyne

    Re: Timecube.

    The guy (Gene Ray) gave a lecture at MIT once. Look it up.

    The first few million paragraphs of that site are just tedious and oddly-written racism…but if you can make it to the actual description of timecube theory (hint: it’s at the bottom of this page) you will be rewarded.

    The curious thing about Gene is that although he shits all over the laws of grammar, he does seem to be able to spell…except on one page where he discusses the Tower of Babble.

  86. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:04 pm Sir (Prof) Alf Ramsey's Porn Dungeon

    It is impossible for humans to know everything, we are restricted in our knowledge by time and distance.

    Doesn’t that kind of suggest that MrWonderfulReality took a night course at the local school and has now had a restraining order taken out on him for turning up during the day?

  87. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:07 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    That timecube guy:

    The academia created 1 day greenwich time is bastardly queer and dooms future youth and nature to a hell.

    In fairness, this does actually go some way to explaining Monday mornings.

  88. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:08 pm Sir (Prof) Alf Ramsey's Porn Dungeon

    oh, and I thought the correct answer to
    (2/0) / (1/0)
    was “NaN / err / NaN / NaN / NaN / NaN /err

    Could you, thanks, it’s the one with Miss Pigge tassels

  89. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:10 pm Sir (Prof) Alf Ramsey's Porn Dungeon

    *Pigge, Piggy… Mah

  90. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:27 pm Oaf

    I don’t like houmous, however you spell it.

    I only like it with the proper English (not British) spelling. The American version tastes horrible.

  91. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:38 pm Goldstein

    If, however, you don’t see that having this conversation on a thread laughing at someone trying to show off about “shit they know” is ironic, you need to lighten up, or stop being such a hypocrite.

    God, it gets better. Not just ‘ironic’ now but ‘hypocrite’ too. Sometimes talking about stuff is just talking about stuff, mate; I don’t think Mal was trying to show off by suggesting that Cantor did a lot of work on a tricky subject.

  92. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:50 pm ironic muppet lover

    thanks for the info on the timecube lecture but I’m putting myself through that. I prefer lunacy in bite-sized chunks, isn’t that why we’re all here?
    sorry if your insulted octopoid please don’t take it seriously- i fuck muppets

  93. on 18 Jun 2010 at 12:53 pm Octopoid

    I don’t think Mal was trying to show off by suggesting that Cantor did a lot of work on a tricky subject.

    Agreed. Not the point, but agreed.

    Going into technical detail about mathematics on a thread laughing at someone for going into technical detail about mathematics is clearly ironic, and hypocritical too.

    Of course, Mal is clearly much more knowlegable, along with the minor point of actually being right, unlike our good friend MrWonderfulReality, but it’s still ironic.

    It’s like a living statue taking the piss out of a mime.

  94. on 18 Jun 2010 at 1:01 pm Octopoid

    sorry if your insulted octopoid please don’t take it seriously

    Not at all insulted, and as far from taking it seriously as I could be. I think it’s funny as fuck.

    I think we can all agree that as silly as MrWonderfulReality’s post is, he’s much MUCH better than virtually everyone else on HYS, especially considering that people in this very comment thread have done exactly the same thing, spurred on by his insightful words.

    I also suspect he may have just finished reading this, while not really paying attention:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/0552997048

  95. on 18 Jun 2010 at 1:20 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    Ah, Bill Bryson. He really should have stopped after his fourth book or so. At this point I think his publishers could simply hire someone to just keep churning out Bill Bryson books by regurgitating the humour in the first few. Yeah, I know, probably they already do that.

  96. on 18 Jun 2010 at 1:23 pm Mal

    MrWonderfulReality is a tumescent terrier’s tumorous testicle. Is that better?

  97. on 18 Jun 2010 at 1:26 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    A testicle can’t be tumescent. It’s the thing that dangles betwixt the testicles that tumes.

    Oh, a tumescent TERRIER. Shit.

  98. on 18 Jun 2010 at 1:29 pm damon green

    @twatbasket

    I reckon you still live with your NaN

  99. on 18 Jun 2010 at 2:11 pm Octopoid

    MrWonderfulReality is a tumescent terrier’s tumorous testicle. Is that better?

    hehe – ahh, that’s a comfortingly familiar wave of alliteration.

    All that last bit wasn’t suposed to be an attack against you specifically by the way, Mal. I’m a grade A lurker, and I’ve often noticed the comments round these parts getting a bit ironic these days. Made me laugh anyway.

    I thought that Bill Bryson book was an excelent compendium of facts. I must admit I hadn’t actually noticed any humour contained within mind. Most of it didn’t really require an author so much as a researcher*.

    * Does clicking “Random page” on Wikipedia, and copying the first 2 sentences of each paragraph count as “research”?

  100. on 18 Jun 2010 at 2:27 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    I just clicked on “Random Article” just now, and I came up with a rather satisfying animal schlong (honestly!)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_birch_borer

  101. on 18 Jun 2010 at 3:15 pm helen_s

    Although this is utterly off-topic for which I apologise, there’s a shitty article on the Guardian ‘comment is free’ about how we nasty lefties drove poor old much-maligned but PERFECTLY balanced Melanie Phillips to start puking up the reasonable, cogent opinions she now espouses, and under a few (generally even more idiotic) comments comes a chap quoting your ‘I wouldn’t wish that on anyone…’

  102. on 18 Jun 2010 at 3:18 pm Birmswoone

    My family skipped a generation – I was NaN-bred.

  103. on 18 Jun 2010 at 3:25 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    So. What do we call Melanie Phillips? A cuntess? A twatette?

  104. on 18 Jun 2010 at 3:56 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    Only now is it sinking in that “nan on nan” is not referring to two flat-baked breads getting it on.

    I’m still an innocent guy at heart.

  105. on 18 Jun 2010 at 3:57 pm Octopoid

    Urgh.

    There’s something about the combination of a beetle that bores, and the word schlong in the same sentence that sends shivers down my spine.

    Or maybe I just caught a glimpse of the words “Melanie Phillips” subconciously.

    If you enjoy being very angry, try this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jul/23/mediamonkey
    I’ve never seen quite so much cunt-buglary in one pretensious little shitstain before. By the end I wanted to jam a Bronze Birch Borer up his schlong.

  106. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:21 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    Wow, Octopoid, that was revealing. I write for a living (I’m a translator, so I suppose I rewrite for a living) so I’m no stranger to someone changing my “loverly woids”, but I agree with you about bunging a bronze birch borer up his bratwurst. Nobody can be that fucking obscure in a restaurant review, surely? Is it a pisstake? Has to be. (Please God let it be.)

  107. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:28 pm Octopoid

    I was really hoping it was a pisstake too. Having then looked old Giles up, I fear it is not.

    I actually had to read those 2 sentences about 5 times before I even noticed the difference. Not exactly the end of the fucking world eh?

    I suspect he is such a prick, that you actually, really, ACTUALLY couldn’t make it up. Disturbing.

  108. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:31 pm Mademoiselle Piggé

    A clever, nice nosh idea: chick pea paste with alphabetti spaghetti on toast.

  109. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:37 pm Octopoid

    And worst of all. Dumbest, deafest, shittest of all, you have removed the unstressed ‘a’ so that the stress that should have fallen on “nosh” is lost, and my piece ends on an unstressed syllable.

    Well, shit the bed, Giles, that’s it fucking ruined.

    It strips me of all confidence in writing for the magazine. No exaggeration. i’ve got a review to write this morning and i really don’t feel like doing it

    You know what you have to do.

  110. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:40 pm millie

    you’ve fucking stripped it out like a pissed Irish plasterer restoring a renaissance fresco and thinking jesus looks shit with a bear so plastering over it.

    Not so much shit as a bit odd methinks.

  111. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:45 pm I Can't Believe It's Not Have Your Lurk!

    What, you’ve never heard of the famous “Jesus with Grizzly Bear” fresco by Tintoretto?

  112. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:52 pm Octopoid

    Well, you’d get sick of fish and bread if you had to eat it every meal I guess.

  113. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:53 pm ZaNuLabrador

    I’ve often noticed the comments round these parts getting a bit ironic these days.

    There’s literally nothing ironic about it.

  114. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:57 pm Octopoid

    There’s literally nothing ironic about it.

    Why?

  115. on 18 Jun 2010 at 4:57 pm Jim

    I’d like an army of Irish plasterers to maraud around every high-end gallery in the land plastering over everything they deem to be shit, just to piss Giles Coren off.

    Then I want those same Irish plasterers to rewrite Giles’s entire back catalogue so every final sentence ends in an unstressed syllable.

  116. on 18 Jun 2010 at 6:52 pm damon green

    It’s a tough life, being a restaurant critic. Especially when you abuse your status to wine and dine – for free – slightly starstruck female readers, then shag them in a hotel afterwards.

  117. on 18 Jun 2010 at 7:19 pm Mr Poo

    Nan on nan? Now there’s some videos I don’t need to see.

    Your nan, one cup.

  118. on 18 Jun 2010 at 8:14 pm Bugrat

    What, you’ve never heard of the famous “Jesus with Grizzly Bear” fresco by Tintoretto?

    I could swear I saw an early Renaissance crucifixion in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool years ago, in which Jesus was wearing Y-fronts, and there rested a pair of high-heel shoes at the base of the cross.

    Might have been Fra Angelica (and/or I might have been stoned).

  119. on 18 Jun 2010 at 8:25 pm Bugrat

    Is Have Your Man-Bitch a translator as well as a London cabbie? That must come in handy.

  120. on 18 Jun 2010 at 8:29 pm Pope Mal

    The Church of the Holy Y-Fronts (prop. Pope Mal) is currently be offering Bishoprics (and, no, there’s no ‘k’ in there, you’ll be wanting the Catholics for that) to the first 100 people to provide a demonstration of their devotion*.

    Apply early to avoid disappointment.

    *£50 in a plain brown envelope.

  121. on 18 Jun 2010 at 8:43 pm Octopoid

    Damn it – I only have manilla.

  122. on 18 Jun 2010 at 9:08 pm Have Your Lurk

    I’m actually not a cabbie. I’m not really that keen on Sandra Bullock either, if truth be told. I just picked her at random in an earlier thread. And I’m having doubts about my sexuality. The mystery thickens.

  123. on 18 Jun 2010 at 10:01 pm Bugrat

    And I’m having doubts about my sexuality. The mystery thickens.

    Jesus In Y-Fronts, or Venus In Furs?

  124. on 19 Jun 2010 at 12:50 am Kris

    Have Your Lurk continues to be a baffling mystery to us all. Not like a good Inspector Frost mystery though; more of a mildly tedious Dalziel and Pascoe mystery.

    The kind of mystery where you go ‘Huh. That’s pretty mysterious.’ then get on with your life.

  125. on 19 Jun 2010 at 7:57 am Sir Alf Ramsey's Porn Dungeon

    What, so we’ve now got to guess who each other are in real life now?!?!
    OK, Have Your Lurk = Richard Stilgoe
    PROVE ME WRONG!
    javascript:ac_smilie(‘:x’)

  126. on 19 Jun 2010 at 8:27 am Have Your Lurk

    Even if half of what Wikipedia says about him is true, I wouldn’t half mind being Richard Stilgoe.

  127. on 19 Jun 2010 at 10:30 am Have Your Lurk

    @Kris

    Have Your Lurk continues to be a baffling mystery to us all. Not like a good Inspector Frost mystery though; more of a mildly tedious Dalziel and Pascoe mystery.

    The kind of mystery where you go ‘Huh. That’s pretty mysterious.’ then get on with your life.

    I love you too, man.

  128. on 19 Jun 2010 at 11:35 am millie

    I seem to remember Bit Special (aka La Spesh) confessing to being a Scooby Doo character IRL but can’t remember which one.

    And my money’s on Enid Wibble being Stephen Fry.

  129. on 19 Jun 2010 at 11:46 am Have Your Lurk

    HYS debate on favourite holiday destinations. Iwantmydinner writes (stick with it ’til the end):

    Polzeath is just wonderful. Been going there for as long as I can remember. I like to surf in the mornings, fly my kite in the afternoon, laze around on the beach for a bit, go for dinner in the White Heron (please say it’s still open, we’re friends with the family that run it), have a pint in the Oyster Catcher, take a day off to walk down to Rock then catch the ferry to Padstow, take a Thursday evening to to down to Port Issac and watch the brass band eating fish and chips then do the floral dance up the hill. It’s my favourite place in the whole world.

    Remember, folks: when in Polzeath, stay off the bad acid.

  130. on 19 Jun 2010 at 12:11 pm Mal

    Polzeath,eh? A posh git then.

  131. on 19 Jun 2010 at 12:51 pm Twat in a Hat

    Remember, folks: when in Polzeath, stay off the bad acid.

    Actually, it sounds like pretty good acid if it makes it fun to watch a brass band eat fish and chips.
    Probably better than listening to them play, anyway.

  132. on 19 Jun 2010 at 12:54 pm One of the Eds

    Lurk

    Ah, Bill Bryson. He really should have stopped after his fourth book or so.

    Yeah I know, some people just never know when to stop going on hey?

  133. on 19 Jun 2010 at 1:04 pm Have Your Lurk

    Yeah I know, some people just never know when to stop going on hey?

    Touché. Tou-fucking-ché! Excellent, I stand chastised.

  134. on 19 Jun 2010 at 2:05 pm Ooee Lurky Lurky Lurk Lurk

    Excellent, I stand chastised

    If only…

    On the original post, I think that he’s almost endearing. Pompous based on a tenuous grasp of facts, but still it’s touching to see an HYSer who realises that humanity is basically as thick as pigshit.

    You’d think from reading the posts around their own that other HYSers might suspect…

  135. on 19 Jun 2010 at 3:52 pm Bumbaclart, yer Lurk

    Even if half of what Wikipedia says about him is true, I wouldn’t half mind being Richard Stilgoe.

    OK… your not Mister Bun the Baker then?

  136. on 19 Jun 2010 at 7:06 pm Have Your Lurk

    Mister Bun the Baker then?

    Shit! Shit! How the good fuck did you guess? Motherfucker!

    Nah, just kidding.

  137. on 21 Jun 2010 at 7:25 am Mr Poo

    Well, you convinced me, against my better judgement, to dip into that festering cesspool of wrong and pointless trivia known as Wikipedia.

    He displayed his sense of wordplay fun during a choir rehearsal of the Paul Wigmore carol ‘So Gentle the Donkey’. The music was handed to him. He glanced at the title and turned to the choir. ‘Funny name for a donkey!’ he smiled.

    I remain firm in my conviction that Stilgoe is an unfunny cunt with delusions as to his own funniness.

    Stilgoe … owns his own mechanical digger.

    Admitedly, he’s an an unfunny cunt who owns a JCB, but that merely places him on a level with the bloke who runs the local plant hire business.

    I’d kick that Ned Sherrin in the cock, too.

  138. on 21 Jun 2010 at 7:35 am Have Your Lurk

    I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to be Richard Stilgoe.

  139. on 21 Jun 2010 at 10:31 am tw@basket.com

    I’d kick that Ned Sherrin in the cock, too.

    You would have to dig him up first.

  140. on 21 Jun 2010 at 4:07 pm StealthBadger

    There must be a lot of space above his monitor.