Episode 14! Infinity And Beyond

Yes, we flat out skipped episode 12.  Why, because mathematicians can’t count …

In this episode:

  • Zeno’s beach bungalow and why he can’t come out to play
  • Do train tracks actually touch at infinity?  How do YOU know? Have you been there?
  • Watch out for the Hordes!!
  • Welcome to the Hilbert Hotel … you can check in any time you like, blah, blah, blah …
  • What do you do with an infinite number of mathematicians? Run!
  • Explaining jokes at the Unit Interval, a great neighborhood bar.
  • Is one type of infinity BIGGER than another kind?
  • Counting ALL the Real Numbers, “… 2, ah ah … 3, ah ah … pi, ah ah!”
  • The Power Set:  the enemy of the X-Men.
  • Fractals, Hippies, and gettin’ trippy
  • Is Nick a quantum human?

It’s taken a while to get this episode up.  Our original plan of having a weekly or bi-weekly schedule was more than ambitious than we’d expected.

But, never fear, we haven’t stopped – only slowed down to make room for those pesky things in life like work, school, and family!

Author: Nick Horton

Share This Post On

29 Comments

  1. Hurray you guys are back!

    This is one of the few math podcasts that I find interesting enough to bother keeping an eye out for, good to know its not gone.

    Post a Reply
  2. Great work guys! It’s terrific to see another solid math podcast on the scene. Keep having fun!

    The Math Factor

    Post a Reply
  3. I really want to hear what you are saying, but the music keeps obliterating your voices. Please can you just back it off by 6db or so. Thanks.

    Post a Reply
  4. Yes Kill the Music while you guys are talking. Only use it for intro and between segments.
    Thanks!

    Post a Reply
  5. Man i love how you combine the trippy music with the actually interesting math, there is just one thing really wrong where is the next podcast? i’ll be waiting

    Post a Reply
  6. Love the show, but I have to echo Harold’s note above: it’s rather hard to hear your voices over the music! Love the music, btw. Just a little less louder than the speech please!

    Post a Reply
  7. You say it seems strange that you can cram all the natural numbers into the tiny space between zero and one – but it doesn’t seem strange to me at all, because its just like decimals. If you think of a really large number, like for example 99862526474628261892910171917619 you can always put a dot before it and then its between zero and 1. So, it is now 0.99862526474628261892910171917619 – right? So in a sense you’ve just crammed all those numbers in, because to get to 0.99862526474628261892910171917619 you had to start with 0.0000000000000000000000000001 and then count up, right? This could go on “infinitely” as Xeno would point out. But anyway, fantastic podcast! I used to be goodish at math before Calc II and I sort of like it, sometimes like it, and you guys make it really fun! I also found the Mathpunk project and I’m supporting it! Great work.

    Post a Reply
  8. Music sounds ok from here. While Im here, could you conjure something up to do with logic, logic gates, truth tables and the like, thanks ol’ chap

    Post a Reply
  9. You guys rock! Made me rethink concepts from way back in old college math and although I’ve always found math appealing this is a great new way to look at Things. Look forward to the book. :)

    Post a Reply
  10. And now you skipped 87178291186 episodes.

    Post a Reply
  11. Awesome podcast =) I was with you until you claimed that the set of real numbers from 0 to 1 is uncountable. I believe you – I just can’t really follow the logic.

    The method of creating a new number was something like, “Add one to each digit of the diagonal of all numbers on the list” (Except, you explained it better.) This absolutely works with the small set you used (.111, .222, .333, … .nnn to paraphrase the counting podcast). Is the claim that the incrementation method will thwart any list by having a number not on the list?

    Is it allowed to say that my list of all numbers between 0 and 1 is procedurally generated? Would this still be a ‘countable’ list? If not, just tell me and stop reading. The following is a geek-out over how to generate all numbers from 0-1.

    I’ll say that the first element on my list is 0.0, the next is 0.1, 0.2, … 0.9; These will be followed by 0.11, 0.21, 0.31… 0.91; And those followed by 0.12, o.22, 0.32, …0.593, 0.693, 0.793… 0.929, 0.039, 0.139, etc. I’m a computer guy, so I’d say this is sort of a ‘breadth first’ approach. Incrementing the leftmost digit, followed by the second-leftmost, etc. seems like it would produce (eventually) all of the numbers. This is to address (what i think of, and this is wild conjecture) the problem of getting infinitely more precise without incrementing the number. It enumerates the big numbers before dealing with the small numbers. There’s always more numbers to add; But there are also always more mathematicians to cram into the hotel. Is the ability to enumerate the numbers – we know which number is next, and that it’s a different number than the others currently on the list – similar to the ability to enumerate the mathematicians? Does this have anything remotely to do with the countability of the set?

    Does the way in which the numbers are counted affect the countability of the set? My gut says no. Of course, my gut fails statistics and symbolic logic until my head learns the rules.

    Post a Reply
  12. Excellent job explaining these abstract concepts, almost makes me wish I was still pursuing my Physics degree, but as it turns out I was not born with a math smart brainy thing. At least when it comes to college trig and calc…

    Post a Reply
  13. I dig your concept of Punk Math, great little fundraising video, I’ll send you something for sure, I must decide which level of commitment I am ready for, meanwhile I want to let you know that in 1978 when I was flunking calculus I turned in a paper outlining my desire for the creation of an interponent as I was (and remain) leery of an answer that is both positive and negative.
    that seems like giving up, not wanting to refine the answer, an interponent would be the solution to this vagueness.
    The teacher actually discussed the idea with the class, but no one fessed up when he asked who wrote it, later he did not believe me when I told him it was mine as I owed him 27 assignments and spent most of my time in class staring out the window.
    What do you think of the interponent’s possibility in getting us both a Nobel Prize? Sure I’m willing to share if you do the math, I’ll do the soundtrack.
    All the best,
    Michael Healy
    http://www.Soundcloud.com/TheHealerTrio

    Post a Reply
  14. I love your show and thought your comment about Aleph Null sounding like a Mexican wrestlers name was really funny so I created and illustration of the both of you as the Aleph Null tag team wrestlers. You can see it on my blog at http://www.labkonstrukt.com/blog/art/aleph-null/ . It’s a free download under a CC licence.

    Keep up the awesome work.

    Post a Reply
  15. I really like this podcast. Where can I listen to the first 6 one’s?

    Post a Reply
  16. Long time no sprechen zi deutsch…vat up, sapiens?

    Post a Reply
  17. Is MfP dead? I made it a special place on my home page, but it’s been silent for months. Should I reclaim the screen real estate?

    Post a Reply
  18. Hi guys,

    Are you still on for this great podcast???

    It’s a shame that there are not more episodes… What are your plans about it??
    Thx.

    Post a Reply
  19. You should make some more of these. Math for Primates is great!

    Post a Reply
  20. Please help clarify my thinking…if you start with a false assumption, then you end up with a false conclusion. Saying you have an infinite number of mathematicians is for storytelling purposes but in reality appears to be a false assumption. Which leads me to wonder if an infinite number of numbers or anything in particular is a false assumption too. Also, even if I grant the false assumption of an infinite number of mathematicians, how do you add one more who is late? That two seems like a false assumption. If you begin with an infinite number of mathematicians you are beginning with all the mathematicians that exist. To say everyone is at the party and then one more shows up seems contradictory to the definition of everyone.

    Post a Reply
  21. Great podcast, but like the commenter above (below?), I can’t understand you because of the music volume. Keep them coming, they’re awesome!

    Post a Reply
  22. Hi! First of all, thank you for the podcast. I enjoyed listening to it.
    But I also can’t but agree with the previous comment: the background music makes the listener to concentrate on LISTENING to your voices, bit not UNDERSTANDING the matter.
    Though, some of the sound effects (such as the noise of the ocean) are really good =)
    According to the sound quality, your hardware is not bad, so I am sure you do not need the background sound to hide the noise, so just try not to use it at all, only the sound effects.

    Best regards,
    Ararat, a little bit a mathematician and a podcaster in one big body ^_^

    Post a Reply
  23. And here we are, a year later. I was about to download your podcast from iTunes, but if it’s not coming out anymore, I think I’ll stick with some of my others.

    On a side note, any idea why the listing in iTunes is so out of order?

    Post a Reply
  24. Love the series and love the choice of music! What is the name of the track used? Is it part of an album? Definitely for 20 ;)

    Keep up the good work guys.

    Post a Reply
  25. Great stuff guys! I hope you have more in the can. Cheers!

    Post a Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Infinity and Beyond! Math for Primates Episode 14 « Sapien Games - [...] I’ve just uploaded our new episode on Infinity and Fractals at the Math for Primates website. [...]
  2. Probably the best blogs by maths teachers around the world « Great Maths Teaching Ideas - [...] most recent podcast, “Infinity and Beyond!” explores the ideas behind infinity in lots of ways including Zeno’s Paradox and …
  3. Probably the best blogs by maths teachers around the world | Great Maths Teaching Ideas - [...] most recent podcast, “Infinity and Beyond!” explores the ideas behind infinity in lots of ways including Zeno’s Paradox and …
  4. lab.konstrukt » Blog Archive » Aleph Null - [...] Math for Primates Episode 14! Infinity and Beyond Nick and Tom make a joke about the Aleph Null set …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>