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: When you want a juicy quote on open-source Web development, who do you call? No, Esther Dyson is busy, so how about me? Yup.

: I brought this up in Math 199:

There is a notion of polynomial time as the upper bound for useful decidability, as opposed to just plain decidability. That is, there are many relations which are decidable but which we don't want to sit around and wait for the decision procedure to finish (eg. a 2^2^n algorithm on a modern computer will take longer than the current age of the universe to run, for n=7).

That was not what I brought up. What I brought up was let's take this to its logical conclusion. There are decidable relations which in a very real sense we cannot actually decide because the heat-death of the universe will occur before any decision procedure finishes. Anything not in the set of such relations, even if decidable, would be effectively undecidable in this universe. Even if we posessed mighty quantum computers which shredded exponential time, there are 2^2^2^2^2^2^2...^n-time decision procedures which we would never be able to run.

Possibly we could formalize this with an information-theoretic argument relating the amount of information in the universe with the amount of information required for a decision procedure, but I don't know any information theory. I do know, however, that this set of effectively decidable relations grows smaller with every second that passes and every action you take. So watch it, pal.

: You want to hear my idea that Peter thinks is crazy? My idea is to design a database and Web front-end for exhaustively cataloguing and cross-referencing every cultural reference and running joke ever made on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I just want to design the database and Web front-end. I never said I wanted to actually catalogue and cross-reference every cultural reference and running joke ever made on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Is that so wrong?

I just cross-referenced that to a Garrison Keillor monologue about a guy who spent his whole life cataloguing every word in Ulysses and just as he was finished they found the lost "Minnesota" monologue which goes on page 4 and puts all the guy's page numbers out of whack. This is because today I was reading a Web page about Ulysses.

Also, Jake, I'm starting work on your 1999 birthday present. I can't promise that it will blow Jake's Birthday Party into tiny shreds of mangled flesh, but it might. Also, Darrin just came in with a roll of wrapping paper, having to wrap a birthday present for someone. Yes, it's all coming together.

The twirly-mustachioed Rudolph Longtooth!
The twirly-mustachioed calcium carbonate!
The twirly-mustachioed Odor Eaters!
The twirly-mustachioed Hawaiian Punch!
The twirly-mustachioed pi over two!
The twirly-mustachioed cephalopods!
The twirly-mustachioed cephalopods!


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