Tuesday 31st July, 2007
Noun cases should be represented ideographically within computer user interfaces: the command line as it stands is a peculiarly English system, relying as it does upon word order and putting great importance on the verb. It also requires you to know what you want to do before you do it. In a case-driven interaction system, the nouns and verbs could be specified in any order, distinguished by their case-markers. These, as previously suggested, could be ideographic icons; they could also be colours (ideas heading in this direction can be found in Chuck Moore's colorForth language), by plain-text conventions (possibly akin to perl's use of @ and $ for 'plural' and 'singular') or in some peculiar cases with case endings from the 'host' natural language.

This is heading in similar directions to some of the work Jimmy has done; one question is how to decide which set of cases is necessary and sufficient to describe the set of operations the system provides. Should applications be able to define their own?

This does not affect the UNIX pipe, and and or operations and others like them, as they are conjunctions; the input and output redirection operators, however, would become shortcuts for a pipe, the verbs 'read', 'write' or 'append' and a locative or ablative noun.

posted by Rob Mitchelmore, 03:26 (anchor)
Sunday 15th July, 2007
Mornington Crescent: a transcript of a game played by Tom Isaac and Rob Mitchelmore between the 10th-14th July 2007 online, provided here for study. Millar's 2007 tricycle rules are in play:

Stations with three circles count double, unless one of them is DLR in which case you forfeit the ability to ask for a hawk-eye linecall on Liverpool street.

Tom Isaac is to start play.

Fulham Broadway.
Oh dear, I'm a bit rusty at these rules. OK...

I shall play Kilburn.


Notting Hill Gate.

Willesden Park.

(opening the westernmost helix)


I think I'm getting dangerously close to falling in to the left-side backhand pass trap.

It is unkind of you to take advantage of my insomnia; that said, yes, you are dangerously close. Thus:


oooohhh. nasty. Bank.
(Hang on, hang on. Was that a tricycle I saw heading in my direction? But Bank already counts double according to Cryer (consult page 271, the little paragraph at the bottom) because it has two names. Doesn't it?

Does this mean I get four goes? I'm so confused...)

(Ah, but then Bank's got a fourth circle on the DLR with wheel chair access. So I make that a total of eight wheels including the little castor-type wheels on your standard issue wheelchair, which is 2.666666etc. tricycles. So I think you get as many goes as I have typed recurring sixes. It is Tuesday right?)
It is Tuesday, yes, so the Fourier rule applies for orthogonalisation of tricycles... now there's a clause in the rules I didn't expect to have to use.

Since it's a recurring decimal, I'll go around South Kensington - Victoria - Green Park; as moves map 1:1 onto natural numbers, the set is countably infinite (see Cantor), thus it's your go again.

As a gesture of goodwill, I'm going to remind you that moving to inside an infinitely recurring icoseles triangle puts you non-negotiably in Nid. (As opposed to an infinitely recurring equilateral triangle, which doesn't, or an infinitely recurring scalene triangle, which is just downright rude)

Gah, infinite set theory at this stage of the game! ponders, leans on point of an isoceles triangle, bleeds Err... Doesn't that put M. C. somewhere in to the uncountable set of all the real numbers? Hmmph. Well I'm going to start climbing this asymptote and theoretically end up at Canary Wharf. Your move! (And please be kind, I'm a physicist, Maple does all my mathematics for me!)
It sounds kinda complex to me. It's not so much important whether it is in the set of reals as whether it is in the set described by the metric. Millar gives a transform on
z' = z2 + c
and as such, I refer to you to the following diagram:

As you can see, the horizontal axis of the set is aligned at the left on the central line with the far lobe on White City, and on the rightmost side the central line and DLR are nearly symmetrical. The leftmost major lobe is described by the pair (Baker Street, Picadilly Circus) and the far lobe by (Dalston Kingsland, Canada Water) (sigh).

By plotting it one can trivially see that MC is within the ending conditions for the game.

With this in mind: Royal Oak.

Rob, I hereby officially award you man of the match for overlaying a fractal on to the Tube Map in a game of Mornington Crescent.

And I shall take advantage of this chaotic twist to the game and bifurcate. Maida Vale AND Kennington.

Now it's getting difficult. Fortunately I can control the decay by playing a parallel:

Hatton Cross and Hammersmith.

Swapsies: Kennington and Maida Vale
Going round a little dollis hill loop all your own?

Finsbury Park, Kentish Town, Swiss Cottage AND Harrow & Wealdstone

OK, now cashing in all the tricycles from earlier, bifurcating three times and breaking causality a bit:

The continuum of all stations between West Ealing and Embankment on the District line, excluding St. James Park.

The Circle line.

If we keep on going like this we're going to get to M.C purely by default you do realise.

Ah hu - Zones 1 & 2. Ergo, Mornington Crescent. And I think my Oyster card has exploded :-)

Tom Isaac wins.


'Tricycle is one of my favourite rulesets as there are actually only two stations with three circles on the standard map - but on newer editions Bank has a separate, fourth wheelchair access circle. Compare http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/travel/downloads/tube_map.html and http://www.metro-map.ru/world/img/london_print_map.pdf. Knowing Rob was likely an oldschool M.C. player I took a gamble that he might be using the old map. Of course this all backfired once he found the footnote in Cryer that threw Bank straight back at me."

'After that the algebra got a little heavy and I had to consult my rusty Pure Math from back in the day. But Rob rather sportingly handed me a clue in the shape of that fractal-map, and when things get chaotic, he who forks first forks most. In this case it was me.'

— Tom Isaac

'I was hampered by being unfamiliar with the Millar rules; fortunately his style is seated deep in the traditional nature of the game rather than the more recent and (by most objective measures) ridiculous postmodern variants. The increased importance of tricycles makes the game dynamic considerably more complicated as the upper bound on the number of foci in play is raised dramatically.'

'If Tom's loop had gone anticlockwise rather than clockwise, after his station-continuum move, I could have played the Northern line and won; but alas that option was closed off from me. Had I been more familiar with Millar I'd have played a virtual Waterloo as we were already in the complex plane; this could have been played without penalty so long as I returned the train to the point I had got it from sufficiently rapidly. Unfortunately I didn't think fast enough, so failed to control the bifurcation and lost the game.'

'It could have been much worse; I was expecting Tom to head over towards Heathrow, where the ending of the game would have entirely depended on how many wheels (in aggregate) that day's flights had attached to them.'

— Rob Mitchelmore

posted by Rob Mitchelmore, 04:46 (anchor)
Friday 13th July, 2007


posted by Rob Mitchelmore, 07:29 (anchor)
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