1. 2

    Tau is clearly wrong since adopting it would mar the most beautiful equation of all: Euler’s Identity


    1. 6

      I guess I should have put the smiley at the end of this post. I didn’t realise people took this tau thing so seriously. 4 people bothered to mark a humorous observation as incorrect :)

      1. 4

        This is addressed on the site. e = 1 is not any less beautiful than e = -1.

        1. 1

          eiπ = -1 implies eiτ = 1, but not the other way around.

        2. 2

          Now don’t get me wrong, I like Euler’s Identity as much as the next guy, but I think there are prettier results around.

          Ignoring for a moment that making substantive choices based purely on elegance (or lack thereof) is foolish at best, here are some aesthetic arguments about why Euler’s Identity is pretty meh in context.

          Firstly, it’s a very mechanical / arithmetical sort of identity, isn’t it? I don’t know about your experience in mathematics, but for my part, these sorts of identities don’t really make my socks roll up and down – I much prefer something with a bit more meat on it. Something like a Pappus' Theorem in projective geometry, or the theory of Space Filling Curves. See, to me, Euler’s identity is beautiful only in the same way a single color – not yet put to canvas – is beautiful. It’s a component of a bigger thing. Burnt Sienna or Deep Red are beautiful colors, but the “Happy little tree” that they make – that’s the art.

          So while tau might alter the color of this (admittedly very nice) pigment, I’m less concerned about that, and more concerned about how it effects the whole painting. Tau doesn’t substantively improve the beauty of mathematics as a whole, and indeed may mar it were we try to transition from one ‘color’ to the other. That’s why – if at all – it’s “clearly wrong.”

          1. 2

            I look at Euler’s Identity and marvel how you can make -1 simply by combining 3 numbers that can’t be written down using natural numbers.

        1. 1

          But it’s too bad they have to shoulder the responsibility for badly behaving garbage collectors. When they can choose (and there is a choice) to use collectors that don’t pause.

          Which collectors is he talking about? AFAIK there is Azul with their special hardware, and Rust, which does task-local GC.

          [edit] Oh, he is CTO and co-founder of Azul Systems. So that explains that. Though I’m not sure where I got that hardware part from, Zing seems to be just software.

          1. 1

            Rust doesn’t and has never had a GC. It might get one in the future (likely after 1.0).

            1. 1

              I remember there was a big discussion around Rust removing GC around a year ago, and sticking it in a library. It looks like recently they got rid of the GC managed pointers too. From the description, it sounded like managed pointers worked by doing reference counting, and then were also able to free cyclic references through a similar mechanism. Are you drawing a distinction between reference counting GCs and tracing GCs?

            1. 1

              Seems like there was a small regression last night, causing Firefox to fall back just behind Chrome.

              Either way, the results are very close now.