Sunday, 1 December 2013

S6.196 - Why Axis



The Story So Far: The personified math-tans have been cast out of mathematics. Seeking probability in order to return, Logan and his crew made it to Fractal City - but not without cost. As his group try to understand the fractal inhabitants, the other mathematical relations struggle to come to terms with the repercussions of losing a primary function.


"Now wait a minute!" Cosecant said, stepping forwards to look more closely at the latest arrival into the room. "I saw you in the Overline bar! You... you were caucasian then! Uh, weren't you?"

"I've been upgraded," Candice Torrent retorted with a smile.

"Can-Tor," Dr. Weierstrass said warningly. "Don't mess with them."

"Perception filters," Howie Mandelbrot broke in. "You high school functions have them in spades. They're clouding your reality." He jerked his thumb at Can-Tor. "If you thought she was white before, that perception became your reality." He inclined his head towards Hevvi. "Step functions, filters are less of a problem, but I gather you all have trouble seeing the fractal landscape here."

"Aha. Not only the landscape, but also some inhabitants," Logan reasoned, stroking his chin. "That's why we couldn't make ANY sense of this 'Norm' fellow for statistics, that time in the bar. His image wouldn't resolve because we weren't yet equipped to see him."

"Bah! It's a trick," Radik declared. He glared at Elizabeth Weierstrass. "Or are you about to tell me you're a different skin colour too?"

"We are as you perceive us," Weier said. "That is the nature of mathematics."

"That's not an answer," Radik argued. "For instance, if I take a picture of you, and post it on a website, you can't appear caucasian to one person and asian to another!"


How does Can-Tor
appear to YOU?
Can-Tor held up an iPad. She tapped at it, then turned the image towards Radik. "Do you see a cup, or two faces?" She slid the picture to the side, another appearing in it's place. "How about here, an old woman or a young woman?" Tap, new image. "Which of these two objects is the larger one?"

"I see what you're getting at," ParaB broke in. "But those are crafted illusions. It's different with things like race and gender."

"Why?" Weierstrass said simply.

"Because... well, we all know what a white person looks like."

"Why?" Weierstrass repeated.

"Because... we just do. It's genetics," ParaB continued.


There's a link for
writers in that WHY.
"Why?"

ParaB frowned, suddenly less sure of herself. "QT, can you back me up here? Say something medical."

The catgirl shook her head. "I can't speak to the so-called human perspective. But in math, let's say we look at a graph - we can all agree on what me, X^4, looks like! There's no way to perceive the maths there any differently."

"No way?" Can-Tor said, pulling up an image on her iPad again.

"Agh! Stop talking at us in questions!" Hevvi said, stamping her foot. "It's really irritating!"

"What? What was that, 'Evvi?" Signum asked, lifting her hand to her ear.


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