Coherence is for Chumps

  1. I have a theory, which I unfortunately must state in the jargon of linear algebra: La Marseillaise, Deutschland Uber Alles, and March of the Volunteers (the anthem of the People’s Republic of China) span the space of all possible national anthems.
  2. I have been searching, off and on as my self-image wavers, for a low-cal, non-cigarette food substitute. I have a great deal of obsessive-compulsive energy invested in moving things from hand to mouth as I study, you see, but if you’re not trying to quit smoking, you can’t just start chewing on sticks. People look at you funny.
  3. You know it’s going to be a long night when you start commenting your code as a dialogue between two guys called Ole and Sven:

    % Hey, Ole! Vat about dem slownesses? Ve need a slowness matrix, dont'cha know.
    % Vell, Sven, I've always wanted to use da magic() function for something, and da slowness model is arbitrary...


  1. Alison wrote:

    So how does one express The Star-Spangled Banner as a linear combination of those three anthems?

  2. yami wrote:

    3*Marseillaise + Deutschland – China
    Or maybe it’s only minus one-half China, my arithmetic is fuzzy.

  3. Ferro Lad wrote:

    For your food stuffs, have you considered:
    1) fried pork rinds (I like bar-b-q flavored meself – hey, it works for the Adkins diet…),
    2) raw vegetables (I suppose with some self-hypnosis, green beans could replace French fries… nah! what’m I thinkin’?…)
    As for the coding comments, I wish I saw ones like that in the stuff I’m being paid to deal with… no , scratch that, I actually wish I saw code comments, period

  4. Kat wrote:

    Dammit, Yami, it’s all your fault if this ends up as my senior research (says the girl trying to find a good project involving music and math). Minue 1/2 China sounds about right. The question is are there any other suitable sets of anthems that work, or for that matter, any set of songs from which all other songs can be generated? One wonders.
    Robert Fulghum actually wrote something about this (in a less mathematical context)… one of the songs mentioned was “It’s Howdy Doody Time”; I forget the others.
    Food stuffs: Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop is 220 calories a bag… if you don’t need your popcorn ultra buttery, I recommend it highly. Yes, I did sit down and eat a bag of it while doing linear algebra homework tonight.
    And my comments are lame jokes, when I can find excuses for them. (For example, an “all your base” reference in something that was doing some sort of decimal – binary conversion.)

  5. yami wrote:

    I hate buttery popcorn – I usually make myself ginger-dusted kettle corn on the stove, it’s cheaper than buying the microwave bags. But I’ve really been trying to convert to tap water – after all, you never have to run to the store to buy more of it, which is handy late at night. Plus it doesn’t get disgusting at the bottom of the crisper if you forget about it for a week. So maybe if I get a nice straw to chew on, or one of those Fremen-style camel paks…
    There are most certainly other anthem combinations that work:
    LM + 2DUA = O Canada
    1/2 MotV = La Bayamesa (Cuba)
    LM – 2DUA = Mameli Hymn (Italy)
    So O Canada, La Bayamesa and Mameli Hymn also form a set of basis anthems. What interests me is why the space of national anthems is only three-dimensional when the space of all songs is clearly of a much higher order.
    Anyway, Kat, have you ever played with fractal music?

  6. des wrote:

    You kids, with your algebras and your comments.
    We’ll see how your theory stands up to my forthcoming ‘Net-only collection of Soviet-era anthems of Eastern Europe in the style of a sensitive singer-songwriter.

  7. Kat wrote:

    I have not seen that fractal music site before, but rest assured I shall be exploring it in greater detail later… after I finish my paper.

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