Tuesday

a maths problem

Right. You can't divide by zero right? That's undefined. There's no answer to the question, "what is some number divided by 0?", because unless the number is 0 itself, you can't get to any other number by multiplying by 0; and if the number is 0, then any number will work, so still no answer.

Consider an equation like y = 4x + 2. That's fine isn't it? There's no divide by 0 in there, nothing undefined.
If we differentiate this, to find the gradient at any point, we get dy/dx = 4. Why? Because simple differentiation means knocking the power of x down by 1, and multiplying by that power.
btw, if you don't know your differentiation, and are wondering what happens to the 2, well 2 is 2x^0, so it becomes 0*2x^(-1) - and no matter how difficult that exponent is, the 0 it is multiplied by ensures we can just forget about it.
so 4x^1 becomes 4*1x0, and as we know, x^0 = 1, all the time, no matter what x is, because x^0 means x/x = 1.


Except when x is 0, right? Because when x = 0, 0^0 is still undefined, because 0/0 is not 1, it is undefined.

A graph of y = 4 should be a straight flat horizontal line, cutting the y axis at 4. And it is, but if y = 4 is the same as y = 4x^0, then SURELY at the exact moment when x = 0 this graph will become instantaneously discontinuous?

In other words, for any value of x, y = 4; but when x = 0, the power of that 0 leaps into an equation it doesn't have anything else to do with and smashes it to pieces.

Can this possibly be correct? Any thoughts, jot them b'low.

Saturday

Infil: traitor

I've got an idea for a game that I'd like someone to make:

You play an infiltrator, a government spy aiming to work your way into an organised resistance force, gain their trust and work your way up their ranks while supplying information to your fence (that's not the right word for a spy handler, but what is?). The higher up you go, the more difficult it is to remain hidden as you have more eyes on you, you're leaking bigger secrets, and you're decisions inside the organisation have greater impact. You'll need to tow the line to a certain extent; at which point are your colleagues going to realise you're deliberately making a hash of their work? When are they going to realise that crushing defeats they face are due to facts only you could have let slip? How can you dispose of people who suspect you without raising more suspicion?

Perhaps it is an evil empire and a heroic rebellion, like in star wars; perhaps a peaceful democracy and a warmongering insurgency; perhaps not even so black and white. Perhaps you could have the choice of infiltrating the government or the rebellion; perhaps you could even have the choice of playing as a double agent and defrauding your fence. I think there would need to be a cut and run option, where you end the game and reveal how close you were to being caught. There would probably be a dwarf fortress style 'built to spill' mechanic, where it's really just a case of not if but when you are caught. Or gain control of the organisation, and set your mining in secret missions against each other and hope they don't talk to each other in the mean time. You'll have to build up enough trust in them, and under mine their trust in each other, to achieve that sort of victory.

I see the game as being fairly procedurally generated, with freeform and unpredictable gameplay emerging from particular choices you make and randomised NPCs. It could be anything from a text adventure to an open world sandbox city/country. There might be structured missions along the way, which might have their setup affected by the current works you inhabit.

Anyway: thoughts!

Monday

Sex golem

Once again, I find myself looking at two cultural artefacts with something in common, looking for a third to transform the coincidence into a pattern.

This time it's sex golems (gola?). 

The Scarecrow by Lal Waterson describes a lot of things: pagan fertility rites, hanged men, the seasons. But undoubtably the chorus is about wanting to sex a scarecrow ("oh, that you'd lay me down and love me"). It's a very deep song with lots of intertwining meanings that I would love to adapt into a 60s style folk-horror film.

Then I was listening to Kate Bush's last work, and came across the track 'misty', about her copping off with a snowman. Bit more direct, but still: woman, facsimile of a man, fornication.

There must be more songs on this topic. Men made out of clay, or body parts, or wires. Maybe someone wrote a song inspired by 'possession', about men made out of... Whatever that was. Possibly if we extend it to men's points of view, we might find many more examples; maybe we could include roxy music's 'in every dream home, a heartache' although a sex doll seems too... I djnt know, default? If only Jason Lytle had included a sex act in granddaddy's 'Jed the humanoid' we'd be away.

Has anyone got anything on this? Any song at all about getting it on, or just wanting to get it on, or just even fancying, someone made out of stuff?