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The Theory of Everything

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Do you believe that there is a theory that can explain everything in the universe?
Yes
30%
 30%  [ 16 ]
No
41%
 41%  [ 22 ]
There already is one
9%
 9%  [ 5 ]
What's the theory of everything?
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
Don't care
15%
 15%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 53

suze
191308.  Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:08 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
i hail from northern germany, so my native language is low german. qualified eu minority language, much closer to english than to german and very archaic. so archaic indeed that i found anglo saxon reasonably easy to read in first year.


Thanks for the explanation AFB. As a native speaker of Low German, do you find Dutch easier than standard German?

My 4½ by the way. I'm an English speaking Canadian, so it was (in my day) impossible to avoid French in school. I also learned German in school (it's rather rusty, since I haven't used it in anger for quite some time). As an adult I've learned Polish (the language of my father's family), and would probably call that my second language these days - although French grammar is a lot easier, so it might be close there. The ½ is Inuktitut, which played a fairly major role in my PhD but I've scarcely spoken it since so I can understand it better than I can speak it. I can just about get by in a couple of others, and understand enough to make sense of reading a few more, but I share your feeling of inadequacy when compared to those who speak eight or nine.

 
Hans Mof
191319.  Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:24 pm Reply with quote

Sorry, folks, just some Low German banter.

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
I hail from northern germany, so my native language is low german.


Och? Moin dann man. Wo kummst du vun weg?
Ik komm ut de chute Chechend wo de chele Cheorchinen so chräßich chut chedeien.

 
AlmondFacialBar
191320.  Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:33 pm Reply with quote

well, i was brought up in german, like most people of my generation, so to actually speak low german i need to be quite... mellowed, tho then it works well enough. ;-) with dutch it's even weirder, i understand it perfectly well, indeed used to do quality control for dutch advertising for a while, but don't speak it at all. though i suspect that if i actually made the effort and really immersed myself in the language i'd probably learn it properly quite fast. i also understand frisian well enough to interview people in it, but have to ask my questions in german or, with some dutch courage, low german. thank goodness (for me) speakers of these languages are all bilingual nowadays. i did, however, know one of the last monolingual speakers of low german, he was our blacksmith. that was way before low german had any legal status, so when he had to testify in court once they had to bring in an interpreter because his testimony would have been worthless in his own language.

it's amazing how fast you can learn the basics of a language when you have to, isn't it? and how a bit of etymology can help you with it... i always find that in italy. both my and me fella's italian are pretty much on the read a restaurant menu and order a cab level, but between my latin, his spanish and both our etymological knowledge we get along just fine. i'm even beginning to pick up bits and pieces of irish over time...

hans - suelvs moin! :-D ick ben ut bremerhoben. cheorchinen, hm? min vadder is vun herford wech...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
mckeonj
191349.  Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:02 am Reply with quote

Please go on with the low german, I love it!

 
AlmondFacialBar
191371.  Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:19 am Reply with quote

go raibh maith agat. ;-)

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
mckeonj
191389.  Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:11 am Reply with quote

Incidentally, how does one count sheep or cows in low german?
in dialect English we have 'yan tan lethery pethery pimp' etc.
(see thread Bumfit).

 
AlmondFacialBar
191495.  Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:02 am Reply with quote

gosh, that looks marginally like cornish... i've never actually counted sheep in anger in my life, so i couldn't give you a competent assessment of the situation. i suspect it to be along the regular one, two, three, four, five lines, though. for all linguistic differences, we're still boring, rational germans. ;-)

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Hans Mof
191510.  Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:13 am Reply with quote

@ Almond Facial Bar:
Cheorchienen dat sünd Dahlias. Ik komm ut Angeln (un Flensburg) un schnack Petuh Platt.

@ mckeonj:
Like AFB already suggested, there is no designated counting system for cattle. A quick chat with my grand father confirmed this. The only notable difference is the use of “Dutz“ (dozen) and some vigesimal notions.

een, twee, dree, veer, fiev, söss (halve Dutz), söben, acht, negen, tein, ölben, twölf (Dutz), dörtein (grote Dutz),...

10, tein, een Halfstieg
20, twintig, een Stieg
60, sösstig, een Schock

 
AlmondFacialBar
191513.  Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:25 am Reply with quote

ji seggt "cheorchinen" in angeln? ick hebb dacht dat is nur westfolsch...

*staunt mal eben ne runde in hochdeutsch*

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Mark Wallace
257197.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:12 pm Reply with quote

Of course there isn't such a theory, and there never will be.

Certainly, a GUT may be found, connecting the small with the large, but there is no way in the world it could explain why my sister loves courgettes, while they make me retch.

 
PDR
257240.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:40 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
Quaintly Ignorant wrote:
Your question implies that there could be a theory hiding somewhere just waiting to be discovered. I just checked behind the fridge and it isn't there... then again, it's always in the last place you look isn't it?



Well yes, because what would be the point in continuing to look for something once you'd found it?


It delays the wife finding me another little job to get on with...

PDR

 
Eddie
257800.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:43 pm Reply with quote

Reize wrote:
I found it particularly amusing that when I looked at the results of the poll, 42% said "YES" but equally amusing that the totals didn't add up to 100%.

After all, the question is "What is 6 x 9?" and that doesn't work out either!

Or was that all just the insane ramblings of a HHGTTG nut?


Out of interest I've always wondered why the answer wasn't 170 (unsigned) or -42(signed). After all I'm not aware of any computer ever using 6-bit binary.

 
PX54
332627.  Thu May 08, 2008 6:47 am Reply with quote

i would like to say, just being a little pedatic i suppose, but in HHGTTG it wasn't 'what is 6x9' that was the answer/question that they pulled from a bag of scrabble tiles. it was infact
'What do you get when you multiply six by nine'
I realise that technically its the same thing, but maybe they weren't supposed to use the letter straight out of the bag, this was just their theory, and unfortunatly it actually producaed a sentence. Maybe there's another sentence in those letters which might make more sence.

42 was given as the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything, but Deep thought told them they didn't know the actual question. It was just unfortunate that the tiles they pulled out formed that sentence.

 
PDR
332821.  Thu May 08, 2008 12:13 pm Reply with quote

That's one theory. Another is the fact that the question didn't match the answer was because the computer was broken (if you accept the "continuous spiral" space-time model) or that it was a premature approximation (if you don't - remember that the scrabble-tile-pulling was done 2 million years and five minutes before the programme was due to terminate).

A more credible theory was that in the 1st draft the original answer was "54", but DA later changed it to "42" because after testing various numbers he decided this was funnier. But when he changed the draft he forgot to change this bit of the chapter to suit. I'd like to believe this was true but I don't think it can be because I'm vaguely sure that the question and the answer are in different books. It is definitely true that DA tried out a range of numbers before settling on 42 as the funniest - even Stephen has an annecdote referencing this.

My personal theory is that it is the result of DA's preference for apple macs over proper computers. These machines are pretty, and can be useful for artistic stuff, but technical problems like multiplying two small integers can stretch their capabilities. So I believe that DA thought six times nine WAS forty-two because he had used the mac's calculator to work it out...

:0)

PDR

 
Martina
334013.  Sun May 11, 2008 7:04 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
Some scientists believe that there is a theory for everything in universe. Einstein believed that there was one, and spent much of his life trying to find it. Other theories related to TOE include String Theory and Unified Field Theory.


Strictly speaking there is not one until it is formulated, which it has not been to the extent that we have a cogent theory of everything. A theory of everything is certainly possible, and it's being worked on with serious urgency, but as yet it's not a complete and viable theory.

It's very possible that the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland will illuminate things to the point where we know enough to formulate a theory that will, in theory at least, unify the 4 forces of nature, and reveal tremendous new knowledge, but we aren't there yet.

 

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