TED Conversations

Ariel Ramirez

Frustrated psychologist,

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On Humorous Proofs

In my short stay here at TED Conversations, I have 'met' quite a number of people. Many of them were a joy to converse with. While some were... 'irritating'. I've seen a few debates sparked by these individuals because they had incontrovertible 'proofs'. I've seen an amusing list of 36 'mathematical' proofs that have similar jest. It's old but it should prove the point. These 'mathematical' proofs are not at all just applicable to math. I just thought that we should all avoid these 'proofs' in pursuit of more rewarding and progressing conversations. Just a thought!


Proof by iteration: "We have tried countless scenarios and all agrees"
Proof by reiteration: "If you say something seven times in a row it becomes true"
Proof by proof: "According to proof A and B, C is already proven"
Proof by google: "6 million hits can't be wrong"
Proof by wiki: "If it isn't true today at least it will be tomorrow"
Proof by ignorance: "Ignoring these facts this becomes obvious"
Proof by idiocy: "With the correct choice of logic everything can be proven"

from Klockan3

a little bit more for those who can't get enough

  • Mar 24 2014: A recent argument with my father-in-law went something like this:

    Me: Is the economy better now or was it better when you were a kid?

    Him: When I was a kid.

    Me: So, perhaps we should move back to the tax code that existed when you were a kid, that was designed to keep money moving.

    Him: No, we can't do that. Taxes are socialist.

    Me: People would not actually pay the higher taxes, because they are offset by higher deductions for spending.

    Him: Well, I made more money in the 1980s when we lowered taxes, then anytime before.

    Me: Sure, because of massive money creation due to loosening lending standards and debt creation. How do you think money is created?

    Him: By people going to work and creating things. It surely ins't created by government.

    Me: Money is created when it is borrowed into existence. Google the Federal Reserve Z1. and just look at the debt growth that began to skyrocket as we lowered taxes.

    Him: Get out of my house!
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      Mar 24 2014: I had similar ones too. My father and I had this kind of argument time and again which eventually did end up with me being kicked out of the house. One time he was threatening the dog with violence and the dog naturally responded angrily. I tried to tell him about how dogs like to be treated based on the theories I knew in psychology where then he angrily replied, 'YOUR THEORIES DO NOT WORK HERE!'. -.-
  • Apr 7 2014: Hey Ariel,

    I'm not really getting what the idea here is about. Looks much more like a general comment about fallacious thinking.

    P.S. Oh. I've got it now.
  • Mar 22 2014: One of my favorites:
    Of course he committed sexual harassment. He is pro-life and wants to take away a woman's right to an abortion. (Clarence Thomas) .
  • Apr 12 2014: Apologies not acceptable

    Goodbye enjoy your remaining years
  • Apr 12 2014: Entropy Driven; you have gone far beyond the levels of my patience, empathy and sympathy; and you have made a terrible mistake in doing so; and that is not a threat or a promise, it is simply a matter of inevitability in infinity.
  • Apr 12 2014: It took me three years of arduous torturous work to conquer the twelve steps to the sphere; so here is my answer to you

    See my last post - see the empirical proof:

    And if you still cant accept or get it, too bad do the work yourself

    I am totally done with your clam of a mind

    Ironically one of my favorite sayings has been, you can't insult me I'm ignorant; but damn! you really do take the biscuit.
  • Apr 12 2014: Entropy Driven

    Addendum to my post of a few moments ago

    Pi - 7 - decimals are ir "ratio" nal

    Fractions are "ratio" nal

    AS to proofs: The foundation of science was based on empirical proofs; and for all its theories; empirical proof, is that which can be replicated over and over again without error.

    I have provided that replicable empirical proof; with the Twelve Steps To The Sphere - which can be empirically replicated on a wood lathe; and ironically can be proven using Archimedes own Principle.

    Face it, or don't face it, its not my problem its yours
  • Apr 11 2014: Good
    • Comment deleted

      • Apr 11 2014: You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink

        "The proofs have been provided" on my new web page; including a practical diagrammatic method of proving the mathematics empirically; by producing a perfectly accurate sphere on a wood lathe; and then using the weight of the shavings, and the weight of the sphere to test the results; also using Archimedes Principle in regard to the volume of the original cube, relative to the formed sphere, the same results will be obtained.

        However although you carp on about providing proofs, you are too gutless to examine them; and even if you did, your mind is so locked in to "what you have been taught to believe"; your mind will find some way to get around and avoid those proofs; as I said your problem not mine.

        As to putt ing my work out there for comment; It has been out there in the academic arena for over three years, with an email address; and during that time only three people of some 8, 932 have made contact me, and all three being positive.

        No. while your attitude serves to irritate me, it does not make me angrier, but rather increases my exasperation; and if you really think you are so smart, then go to the last section of the first page where you will find it dedicated to MENSA and your pseudonym - you.

        And note: I am not interested in plowing through 2000 years of mathematics wasting my life away searching for their errors, far more logical to provide proofs that cannot be disproved; and whereby you and others, because you cannot directly disprove them; use the previous errors in the system to claim them as being proofs in contention, to the empirical proofs.

        In other words you and they can go and find where the errors occurred, they are not my errors! and I am not wasting my valuable life hours, searching for them.
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      • Apr 12 2014: The number 1 is a symbol used to represent 1 "whole unit" of something = energy, = reality; 1 particle, 1 apple, 1 pie, whatever

        In reality when you apply a Number to the Whole unit, it should contain all values relating to what it is; size weight, volume etc

        You can do this in your head; imagine the numeral 1 in your minds eye, give it any color you want, and imagine it against a background color

        You now have a flat picture in your mind, of the numeral 1.

        Now switch you imaginations minds eye to picturing in your mind a nice shiny version of your favorite apple.

        And you have in your minds eye, the three - dimensional (Minimum number of dimensions = 4; lateral - angular - vertical - curvature) or rather multi dimensional whole unit of 1 apple; containing mega trillions of sub units of energy called molecules and atoms.

        Now take that 1 whole unit of whatever; and fractionalize dividing it by 2 = 1/2 by 4 = 1/4 by 8 = 1/8 downwards into infinitely smaller amounts of the number (symbol of energy/something).

        Now do the same using a calculator divide by 2 = .5 by 4 = .125 y 8 = 0.125 downwards into infinitely smaller amounts of the number (symbol of energy/something).

        In effect you are not dividing the number/unit you are multiplying it downwards into an ever increasing number of smaller sub units of the original number/unit

        Just as when you multiply upwards, using whole numbers/units of energy; 1 particle multiplied by 2 = 2 particle by 4 = 8 particles.

        This is the equivalent of energy conversion; a body/unit of water can subdivide (multiply) into smaller particles of steam; small particles of steam can coalesce (multiply) back into a body/unit of water.

        And you can go on adding numbers to the numeral 1, by divided 1 by pi forever

        Just as you can go on adding numbers to the numeral 1, by dividing by fractions

        With fractions you can multiply the divisions of the whole unit, back upwards to regain the whole unit; with decimals (1 divide by 3) you can't
  • Apr 10 2014: Entropy Driven

    The sheer scope of your ego, relative to your lack of intellect is truly beyond words; ignorance and belief go hand in hand, and in your case being so profoundly and deeply "educated", in the theoretical, rather than than the ability to use and follow progressive logic; it is indeed you who has the problem not I.

    As to your whole atheistic and belittling and sneering attitude towards religions, while I do not believe in Gods or any accept any religion; others do and they have the right to express their religions and opinions, without being sneered at by the likes of you.

    And you have presented yourself as an example, as to the fact that the sciences and religions are (Confirmed by the fact that in Elizabeth 1 reign, they were considered to be one and the same) of themselves are not mutually exclusive; but rather it is people like you who are ignorant, know it all's, and non empathetic or caring of the feelings or opinions of others, that serve to create the conflicts between the religions and sciences.

    You have been of yourself, a complete waste of my time, however you have served to cause me to endeavor to try to clarify and simplify my work even further which is a good thing; as to all of your comments and remarks relative to myself,they have been a total waste of your obviously worthless time.

    You are one single individual among seven billion plus people, and the only thing that makes you unique among these, is that you ego is bigger than them all put together, and your ignorance profound.

    Enjoy your life, I am sure its sheer bliss.
  • Apr 10 2014: No its about recognizing ones own errors, have having the honesty to apologize for them; however my opinions in regard to your character, have been and are reinforced with every comment you make.

    Incidentally Entropy Driven, given your vehement atheistic anti religion stance; had you read what I had posted from the Book Of Jasher (The book of whatever by whoever); you would have realized that it was written by Jasher who was the Rod Bearer of Moses and Aaron, and it is this book that whoever wrote Genesis based his own mythical version on. No mention of six days of creation, no mention of Eve no serpent etc; in fact what it describes is an evolutionary process rather than that of abracadabra creation.

    And given all your know it all abuse re geometry, I suggest you take a look at my new web page which unlike my other web page where I was unable to do so, it contains diagrams which accompany the explanations; however regardless of the limits of my previous web page; it has some 8, 920 visitors in 118 out of 195 countries, including every state of the USA, and nearing a quarter of a million hits; and hopefully later today II will be adding a link from my previous page to this new one; which is more user friendly; and note this is just a fraction of my work; you will find the link in my profile.

    Then perhaps having accessed it, and given the pretty diagrams you might even get it and shut up, but I do not hold out much hope for you in that regard.
    • Apr 10 2014: Hey Carl,

      It's fitting that you would post this under "On Humorous Proofs." No amount of graphs will take away your most basic problems with geometry. No amount of diagrams will take away your mistake at thinking that PI is merely a problem of using a string to compare the diameter with the circumference. No amount of diagrams will take away your mistaking degrees for centimetres and/or inches. No amount of diagrams will take away your mistaking an obvious effect of rounding numbers with a problem with the Pythagorean theorem. No amount of diagrams can take away basic misunderstandings of geometry and science Carl. The only way for correcting those problems is listening to criticism, and you are impervious to any of that.

      I'm still glad that you have that many visitors. It must make you feel quite well. I wonder what would happen if you could have comments on that web page? Do you think they would all say "thanks Carl, now I know that geometry is all an illusion and you have set things straight!"?

      Anyway, while you find my character to be this and that, I find you quite entertaining and fun. No amount of straightforward evidence will help you realize your mistakes. Mistakes of epic proportions I should add. That you just won't get it is just astounding.

      Best for you and your web site Carl,
  • Apr 7 2014: Yes I do see that,

    I missed out the words "who and me" which is clearly my fault for not rechecking my words, and for that I do apologize, and also the assumption it was you.

    I also note; that I have missed out the word "is" in the last line of my post of 2 hours ago; so many thoughts, so much writing to do, and too many early hours.

    I was about to edit and put the word "is" in place, however given this post refers to the error, better to leave it there.
  • Apr 7 2014: Note To Ted - Entropy driven

    Since joining the TED conversations; I have flagged no one

    And quite clearly TED, has its own little clique of miscreants, that do indeed interfere in conversations

    No matter as the old adage goes; it will all come out in the wash
  • Apr 7 2014: Either;

    If as usual you have not paid adequate attention to what has been written, and therefore have not accessed my profile, and used the link there to my new web page "From The Circle To The Sphere"; which provides the absolute proofs as to what I have asserted. Or indeed you have, and as usual you are still unable to comprehend the simplicity of explanation;

    Then you are indeed a lost soul, and this your problem, not mine.
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  • Mar 23 2014: I used the term devils advocate in the sense of "NO PRISONERS TAKEN"" the original thought process is the enemy until it is proved otherwise in logic; then and only then does it become a conviction; and even then as I said, a very small window remains open to allow for an error.

    I attack the original thought process, on the very basis that people do pursue proving their theories to the point, of overlooking the faults in their thinking, and in many cases deliberately and dishonestly omit, or ignore, or changing the actual and factual, "cheat" in order to prove their theory; which is thus totally worthless.

    And I will not allow this in regard to my own thought processes, therefore my original and own thought processes; are as much subject to annihilation as any other theory, unlike as with the revered and science god of physics Einstein, who said quote;

    If the facts do not fit the theory change the facts.

    As to your "Snide Comment":

    Quote: Once they've invested so much effort in something, people tend to identify with that something, such as for example, you and the problem you are solving.

    Relating to the previous conversation concerning the ratio of a circle, this is your problem not mine.

    Refer to last line of my previous post

    Quote: Which is why my frustrations relate to the closed psychologies of others, not mine.

    And it is the nature of your problem as outlined in my previous post, that makes you a very frustrated psychologist.

    So I suggest perhaps instead you become a psychiatrist where you will be free to play the mind god, and completely ruin other peoples lives, based upon nothing more than baseless theories, rather than medical diagnostics.

    However in regard to such a consideration, one should always remember "what goes around comes around".
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      Mar 23 2014: I've no interest with a quarrel with you sir. I don't think I deserved such personal attacks. The mere fact that a lot of people do not agree with you is proof enough that maybe it is you who has a problem. I will no longer reply to you or any of your comments. Good day.
      • Mar 23 2014: GOOD


        Quote: The mere fact that a lot of people do not agree with you....... (6 out of how many readers? I had expected my email inbox to be blown out of the computer) ....... is proof enough

        Had you returned to the conversation, you would have discovered that following the posting of "From the Cube to its Sphere (Twelve Steps to the Sphere) to my major detractor.

        John Maurren who had said quote "Consider your simple black and white arithmetic disproved and negated"

        He gave it the thumbs up; plus following this I posted the irrefutable logic laid out in "Pi in Black & Yellow".

        And since then posted a fifth and previously unknown method for finding the exact area of a circle

        With "all five methods" including the Sumerian method obtaining "exactly the same" results.

        So your assertion, is also incorrect

        Good bye.
      • Apr 7 2014: Mar 23 2014: I've no interest with a quarrel with you sir. I don't think I deserved such personal attacks. The mere fact that a lot of people do not agree with you is proof enough that maybe it is you who has a problem. I will no longer reply to you or any of your comments. Good day.

        See latest post
  • Mar 23 2014: The truth of something lies within what is actual and factual.

    The proof of something, lies within individuals; as to whether or not they accept what is actual and factual.

    And whether or not they accept what is actual and factual, depends upon the conceptions and misconceptions that are inherent to their thinking; which has been shaped by the influences of their, environment, parents, familial, peer groups, personal experiences, culture, religion, education, etc = beliefs = resistance to opposing or conflicting, ideas, philosophies, and thoughts.

    Simply; you can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

    Therefore in view of this and in order to counter this negative effect in regard to myself; when I come up with an idea, theory or an invention, I follow the thought processes to their conclusion;

    And then I turn upon those same thought processes and play devils advocate, trying in every way possible to find find fault and negate them. If this devils advocate process fails, I then tuck it away to the back of my mind, and leave it be.

    Then later down the track I return to it, and then attack it again; , and often at this time I find the original needs a revision in order to either make it work, or work better (And sometimes it gets thrown out completely), I then repeat the process again, and again, until I am satisfied that I have something of worth.

    Then is the time to throw it out for the "constructive criticism" of others; subject to a defensive stance; and if to my mind "not theirs" they have brought nothing new in regard to either the original thoughts process, or the subsequent devils advocate approach.

    The original or revised thought process, then becomes a mental conviction, that is extremely resistant to all other arguments, with a very very very small devils advocate window left open, in case there is something that I have or the others have missed.

    Which is why my frustrations relate to the closed psychologies of others, not mine.
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      Mar 23 2014: Good check and counter check measure sir. However, it can still probably lead to subjectivity. Once they've invested so much effort in something, people tend to identify with that something, such as for example, you and the problem you are solving. Not finding the 'devil's advocate' side to the argument does not mean or is not proof enough that it exists or doesn't exist. The solution I think, is to treat the problem as your absolute enemy. Why? Because truth is strongest when no one is there to defend it. Truth doesn't need defending, because its already the truth. So in my line of thinking, if I want to learn the truth of something, I attack it with everything I have. Always, ALWAYS assume that you can be wrong.
  • Mar 21 2014: What is the proof that pain exists ?
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      Mar 21 2014: How about trying to pinch yourself?
      • Mar 23 2014: I appreciate your presence of mind. But, I raised that question because everyone including scientists rejects those things which everyone cannot see at a time but individuals experience it individually. And we always look for proofs, just like law looks for evidences and proofs.

        But, with manipulation of evidence and proofs an innocent person can also be proved guilty and a guilty can also be proved innocent.

        Isn't there something which exists beyond proof or the proof of which cannot be ascertained but individuals experience it.

        If i pinch myself then only I will feel the pain , but not everyone is going to feel it . As we human beings always look to proofs , then as everyone is not experiencing the pain when I pinch myself , so according to the theory of proofs pain does not exists because there is no proof at all.
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          Mar 23 2014: I see you point sir. However we do have MRI now among other advancements. Just read on The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku on what we can and we cannot measure regarding the mind nowadays. http://www.amazon.com/The-Future-Mind-Scientific-Understand/dp/038553082X
          I understand your sentiment regarding truth as we can never really 'know' the truth, only the proofs that lead to it, which could be subjective in themselves. This paper is a good discussion on that regard. hrcak.srce.hr/file/76068‎
        • Apr 7 2014: Smiley,

          I think there's something wrong with your preconceptions. I'm a scientist and I am far from denying that pain exists, even if your pain can only be experienced by yourself. The issue is not who feels the pain, the issue is whether we can find ways to attain an objective way of learning about pain. That most human beings experience pain is quite objective even if the individual pains are felt only by each individual. You are mistaking the subjective and the objective for particulars and generals. Anyway, there's people who don't feel pain at all. Would that prove that pain is subjective, or would that prove that the ability to feel pain is not equally distributed? We still can test and show that pain is a real thing, only that some people have more or less of the ability to respond with pain when they are harmed. Anyway, I digressed too much. The point is: we can establish the reality of pain by many methods. But don't mistake individual pains with the overall existence of pain. (Also see what Ariel said.)

          What we reject is mere assertions that escape from our collective experiences. Most importantly those whose "evidence" is quite small compared to the claims. For example if you showed me a book of mythologies and told me that everything related there is true, and your proof was just your faith in those books. You know, things like Pegasus, Harry Potter, Noah's global flood, Huitzilopochtli, etc.

  • Mar 19 2014: The thing is, proof is objective and can come from viewpoint as much as it can come from mathematical theory or another methodological approach. Sometimes one just knows, but is unable to proof so has to cling onto whatever proof theory there is out there that supports their opinion.

    And everything that can be proven can be unproven.
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      Mar 20 2014: No offense but isn't that just cherry picking? If you only pick out information that supports your idea and neglect all others then theoretically, you could prove anything. Also, but this is just nit picking, isn't the process of 'unproving' something a proof in itself? because you are trying to prove that its 'unproven or the previous proof is somehow invalid.
      • Mar 20 2014: Lol, you could literally go round in circles. All I am saying, faith, although often blind is the equivalent to proof. However, people do like a worked example so convincing others of what you believe to be true is somewhat difficult,but none the less the "holy" scriptures managed it.

        Additionally quantum theory could technically disprove a lot of stuff. And you have to remember a lot of people don't have the savvy or scientific/mathematical background to back their claims and to work out a proof theory, so again have to do what they can t try and prove their theory, by searching the net for reasonable data.