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The Greatest Maths Mistakes | Matt Parker | Talks at Google

Jun 03, 2021
People sent me screenshots from TV shows and they say I was just completely taken out of the moment when I realized you could see stars through the moon and found the Texas license plates that were young, others like women, In case being 5% bigger helps, these are the plates from Texas and to celebrate NASA's presence in the Lone Star State. I have this in the corner and I saw these pictures online. I thought, "Wait, that star looks dangerously close." The only way to find out would be to buy some Texas license plates so you can get a high quality scan and you.
the greatest maths mistakes matt parker talks at google
I can tell it's a pretty high quality scan because I bought the plates, these are mine now I have two of these. I put them in the scanner, which is the image you're seeing here. I had right on that moon and if you fill the circle, yes, sure enough, the plates came apart with a Lone Star there you have it and since then people have argued that some people have argued that it's like gravitational lensing. I'm not buying that mass number one, yeah, that lens like number two doesn't make things appear in front, you just see them run down the sides. true anyway, as if I had to, I've already taken that complaint too seriously, although it's pretty much someone said it could be marking the first Apollo landing site and it's pretty much in the right place, so I'm prepared to give them a pass. that and just assume it's labeling where Nestlé and on the moon the pests will be if you want to come and see for yourself and convince yourself either way.
the greatest maths mistakes matt parker talks at google

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the greatest maths mistakes matt parker talks at google...

I'll have it later. These were the kind of ridiculous examples that I would come up with and then gradually piece them together with more and more serious ones, focusing on the ones that weren't so important and analyzing why it happens and a big focus in the book is the fact that the humans are not good. in mathematics and I go on and on about this because people see people who are good at mathematics and think that they must be geniuses, that it must be something natural, no, for the vast majority of people who dedicate themselves to mathematics they do not find it. easy, they're just people who enjoy how difficult it is and the public doesn't know it and this is particularly true for all the coders here, right, you just like self-punishment, it's crazy, okay?
the greatest maths mistakes matt parker talks at google
What is the most frustrating task that I can try and do well is the fact that it is challenging and it is difficult and eventually you notice a semicolon and it seems like it is hard work and it is difficult but that is why people don't do it. It does because it's natural and it's easy, but because there is a challenge and that was the kind of goal and obviously there is a lot there about why we make


, how we make


and the systems that we can put in place to avoid them, how mistakes end up becoming disasters and all that stuff. but now we're going to play the middle part of the show, the game of guessing what stories Matt put in the book and I have at least three here that I'm prepared to talk about, but I'm just curious.
the greatest maths mistakes matt parker talks at google
I know if those of you who haven't flipped through it or haven't yet read the book or listened to the audio available on, does anyone know what stories you think might be in there? What are the classes? indecisive person in the second row, that's great, you're absolutely right, in fact you're so right that you even gave the correct units that were wrong, so I'll break with my normal tradition and say you should get a round of applause, well done. So, let me mention that, that's so cool that Mars was the Mars climate orbiter and when it was launched a decade ago, it sent it to Mars, there's a famous understanding that there was a general understanding that there was a spacecraft from The NASA crashed into a planet because of a unit conversion era, that's the kind of headline that a lot of people bring up who know there was a spaceship that crashed because of a unit that's everywhere right now.
The most common version of the story is that it was a lander going to Mars, which is correct, well it was actually an orbiter, it wasn't a lander and it was a unit conversion between metric and imperial and they used feet instead of meters, so it was too close or something like a right hit and it's often a length measurement, but you were absolutely right, it was actually the force on the plane on the spaceship in its on the way to Mars, so while flying to Mars you have this big gyroscopic steering wheel that is used to control the spaceship in space because there is very, very little to push against in space, so you have to bring your own object to push and so you bring a big spinning wheel, but sometimes the wheel goes too fast and you have to have these angular momentum desaturation events right where you decelerate.
You adjust it down, but that slightly alters the trajectory of the spacecraft, so over the course of all these corrections you have to keep track of exactly what turns and force were applied to the spacecraft and the contractor was in charge of doing. that and then. They had to deliver the final results to NASA so they knew exactly their final approach to Mars and this is where the contractor went wrong. Oh, by the way, it is often said that NASA was wrong; no NASA specified it very clearly in all their documentation. to the contractors that it had to be metric NASA was totally metric, they wanted to be metric, they thought it was metric, it wasn't the other way around, the contractor, however, did it because normally you do it in mutants or in Newton meters if that's the case.
We're talking and they did it, I know it in pounds per bush or something and they just plugged in the numbers and it all went wrong and their little this is my version of a famous graph, these are the AMDs of the angular momentum desaturation events where they are adjusting the steering wheel and this was the actual way it came in with much greater forces, but because they were effectively using pizza pounds, ironically it was a mistake, this is what they thought was happening and they thought they would have 150 to 170 . kilometers away from the surface actually got to about 57 kilometers from the surface, the mass doesn't have much of an atmosphere, but it's a non-zero amount of atmosphere and it slowed down quite dramatically and then it crashed, it was like half that. .
A billion-dollar spacecraft crashed into Mars due to a drive fix that the contractor did not follow specifications died in the document provided by NASA. Does anyone know the other spaceship's rocket mass error right on the wall and fight the Aryan fight, yeah? the aryan v this is, I actually have it. I have the video of the Aryan wrestling launch correct, so this is the first launch in French Guiana. Now I turned off the sound and everything is this. just the rocket launch and I've never been to a rocket launch. My wife does research in physics, but she does research in space physics.
In reality, she observes the magnetic fields in the Sun's atmosphere and all of her observations come from spacecraft and her colleagues. they actually had some of their spaceships on the Aryan 5 when the group's mission was first launched, they had four spaceships there, but then very unfortunately it did this and there's no one there, there's no humans on that side, it's just a spaceship that still Now I know a friend of mine that I didn't realize until later, a friend of mine had just started her Ph.D. I know her because she is a friend of my wife.
I just heard from a PhD when this happened, her PhD was going to be in the group. data and she was there watching it with everyone else and this happened and the parents were hoping that the room would be so happy and I think the room just went silent when it happened and she was just thinking there goes my PhD and the parts It rained on the mangroves in French Guiana and they actually messaged them in more detail than usual, but it's that kind of crowd, so my wife works at UCL in the Mullard Space Sciences Laboratory and they actually design the instruments that They go on the spaceship there and it's in an old Victorian mansion halfway between Guildford and Dorking in the Surrey countryside and they've converted a bunch of them into clean rooms and engineering workshops, they literally make spaceships the old fashioned way. usage. potting sheds and it's phenomenal that they do all this and take so much time to design and build these instruments on these detectors and the cluster ones were going to be orbiting the Earth tracking the Earth's magnetic field and how it responds to changes in the Sun and they They spent years working on this instrumentation and they released it and then they didn't expect to get it back and it came back in a box covered in bits of swamp, and it was like decades of people's lives were in there and what went wrong was an operating error when the way How the system worked was that they had a bunch of sensors that were spread out around the spacecraft and they were all feeding into something called an inertial reference system or quad reference system ESRI and ISA and then that took all the raw data from The sensors are converted into meaningful navigation or location data and then sent to the main processor on the spot.
I know for some of you this is an unbearable amount of details that you don't need, right? You're like Matt, we know. how the sensors work, so the problem was that they were given pretty strict budgets on how much power and effective computing they were allowed for all the different bits, the spacecraft people who work at the ESRI, how are we trying to keep their general expenses in terms of energy use. and they looked at all the sensors that were coming in, they had to convert them to 16 bit values ​​before sending them and they looked at all the instruments and seven of them were able to give a 64 bit reading, it's not right so we need to check everything from these seven sensors and they wondered what values ​​are we actually going to get from them and of the seven that could give a 64 bit number, three of them could never physically register a value that large and so they actually were, they didn't have to check them before putting them in in memory so those three didn't have a check, the other four did and the whole system works great in the area and then without checking it properly I put the same thing on the Ariane 5 and because it had a different flight path and slightly different sensors, I think don't quote me, I spent a lot of time reading the official ISA reports because of this, the sensor. wasn't being checked, gave a 64 bit value, copied into 16 bit space, caused an overflow error and that crashed the SRA, which in itself would have been fine, there are backups except when it fails , it sends a you know, an error message like the end, you know, the halls describe error messages like they're clichés, some are there, they tell my spouse I love them, but it's like telling my debugger the following relevant contextual information and so-and-so did it. that, but no one had realized that it was going to send it over the same channel to the main processor or computer while it was sending its navigation data which the system received thought it was navigation data thought the rocket had veered to one side and it tried to correct, but it wasn't a detour and ironically the correct thing was the detour and then rightfully so it decided to self-destruct at that point and it rained on the swamp, so I get a little angry because everyone's like, "Oh, it was just an overflow." error or a massive error or a programming issue, you actually know that the original code was very clever, it just hadn't been properly verified before it was put into the new system and that sensor didn't actually have to be on, it was actually a pre-launch, I think it was that location or something, all tilt sensor and originally there en4 they were very upset because if they went to the launch and turned off the pre-launch stuff, it took them a long time to reset everything if they didn't end up launching . and they want to do it again so they changed the code to continue running for 50 seconds after the initial launch in case it had to restart or wasn't a real launch at that time and caused this error, it actually exploded. 40 seconds after launch, it didn't even have to be right and I find all these extra layers and details fascinating about what went wrong and sure enough, in the common room at the Mullard Space Sciences Laboratory where my wife and her colleagues have copy, They have the pieces of the spaceship, they dusted off most of the pieces from the swamp, apparently you know how to touch them because they still have rocket fuel in them, which is kind of carcinogenic, and they had them in a box as a reminder for future generations of space scientists from that decades like your entire career can increase and can disappear in the blink of an eye because someone did not verify a code and they were not insured, however, the ISA decided to rebuild them and relaunch them. them and there was a bit of discussion about whether we should do it, because by then the technology had advanced, they said, oh, should we really upgrade them or just rebuild them exactly the same?They decided to rebuild them exactly the same.
They launched them there working well. been there for years, so it was finally a successful mission, but all that Wow, because there are a couple lines of code, okay, so the Mars orbiter, I guess the other answers can be shorter, so any other guesses as to what might have gone in the book. I have one. On the other hand, let's go with a person from the side that we became reluctant, come on, let's stay on the side, yeah, oh, okay, so I couldn't find out any details about this, it was a flyby. Wired airplanes, correct me if I'm wrong, are the type of airplane where the controls are connected to what's actually happening, it's not like electronics and they'll have to flip at the equator, I don't know, that's not there , I can not know it.
If I tried to fact check, no one else heard that, we'll talk later, what I've entered is the US. I think the Air Force had a bunch of F twenty-twos and this was in the early mid 2000s, the first time who flew from Hawaii to Japan crossed the international date line and their navigation systems were turned off. It was really amazing that they could try it. to restart them in the air is so good that but they couldn't and so they always hit this refueling plane with them and since they couldn't sail but they could still fly, they had to limp back following the refueling plane to Hawaii, that definitely happened .
I found reports about that and well, I guess that's what I found. I couldn't verify in that story if there were rumors that they were on the plane and heard the Microsoft Windows startup noise. I can't verify that that would be that good in any way and I did manage to verify that there was an American plane carrying a huge warship that was drifting without any power due to one of its systems /0 yeah anyone else guess what's on the plug in the second row, oh yeah, so the Patriot missile, this was a missile defense system that was supposed to stop the Scud missiles in the first of In the Iraq wars, they had a problem keeping track of time.
I forgot the interval of something like milliseconds in a given space and the longer it was, the less precise the time was, therefore the location of the coalitions was and that's particularly horrible because people died in that case, but I already told you they had said it was a problem, they hadn't rebooted often enough and there was already an updated version of the software, it arrived days later at the camp, so yeah, closure That's a tough question because in a lot of these stories they end and then everyone dies because in engineering and medicine and anything with a military application it's like that and because I promise Penguin a comedy book about mathematics, I couldn't have every second story. and then everyone died this collapsed everyone died this happened guess what?
I've tried to be careful and strategic when I put it because it's important because if this mass things go wrong, people die, but I'm totally careful how and when I put them and how many examples I use like that, so actually in all the stories of aviation in my book no one dies and that's partly because aviation is phenomenal in terms of how they deal with mistakes and how they avoid disasters, obviously it still goes wrong. m I was very upset that the Ethiopian report on the Boeing 737 was supposed to come out on Monday yesterday and they have delayed its publication and if Iran keeps asking because I have a book about massive errors with a plane on the cover and Doing interviews with the media and I think I just don't know, there are a lot of rumors, reports, testimonials from pilots and things about autopilot.
I think when giving


, that's the flapping up and down motion of the plane and something is going wrong. there, but I don't know the details. I'm waiting for that report to come out so I can read it, but I was very careful not to just put the ones where no one was dad, mom and then there were other types of transfer errors as well. I didn't mean to say it completely, we're over the bugs now, but I thought they were fascinating and I know obviously a lot of people here are aware of the limitations of binary encoding and transfer errors, but for the general public it's just fascinating , you just haven't left enough space to write a big enough number, and obviously the millennium bug is a great example, since we only used two digits and then the year got bigger and obviously there's a bit about Unix. time and the year 2000 38 collide harder, the sequel is coming and I found this to be great.
I didn't know. In Switzerland, trains are not allowed to have 256 axles. How cool is it that a train doesn't have to have an effective total number of axles equal to 256 because they use axle counting detectors and turn around once they reach 256, so if a train has exactly 246 axles, I would count it as zero and it would move like a ghost train on the network and I mean, I've seen like hardware problems solved in software, I mean, I've never seen a hardware problem solved in bureaucracy before that was such a Swiss solution to the problem and again I found a lot of interesting machines that had the same rollover error, one machine used for radiation had a bunch of checks to make sure you weren't going to overdose because it could emit electrons or x-rays and it had the wrong settings, you may have a horrible overdose of radiation and in the control they had something called check carbon to check if the err column was in place and it checked the carbon, if it was non-zero it would not run the machine and every time it did the check, if it was in the right place, it would increase the check call, except obviously every one out of every 256 times, generally zero and if the person hit left at that time and it was unsafe and tipping over, then it would still come on regardless that no checks have been carried out and the things were employees and people who died because of this. yeah, scary, so I tried to balance that with hate, a fun story about trains, people dying, and Pac-Man, so this, oh, I got it.
I shouldn't have converted this to widescreen without looking closely. I think I could have done it. that and if he hadn't been talking out loud, no, i would have realized, okay, so this is the final level of pac-man. People are often vaguely aware that pac-man 250 6th level crashes, this is what it looks like. actually i play the level because i know how to cheat using an emulator and when you get to this level the left is what you expect since this is the classic arcade version of pac-man the left is what you expect and the right it's just this mess and it's often said that you get to the 6th level of turn 50 and that number is too big to fit in your 8 bit memory so it overflows and everything crashes and that's not actually what happens, So I looked into what people have been through. and there has been a project to comment on the original machine, whatever it is, I don't know what code was written on it, people try to comment on it and look at it and the affected people released a patch that fixes this problem now, nerds and if you investigate So passed, it's not the right level because 7:56 I mean, programmers know how to index from scratch, please, okay, so the first level one is indexed to zero, level two is indexed to one, so when you get at level 256 his index is 255. ok that doesn't cause any problem the problem is when he tries to draw the pieces of fruit at the bottom of the screen and in pac-man they are usually called fruits but there are keys that he eats and everything type of objects more and The idea is that there is a different one for each level and for the sole reason they decided to show at the bottom of the screen the pieces of fruit from the recent levels that the player had played.
Few people play more than one level, so no one really ever. You realize it but they appear I think they are seven or eight of the last levels you have gone through and the way it prints them is in memory they have stored the fruit table and the graphs for each one and first of all, check if there has been something real. I'm going to bring in my pseudocode, oh, okay, so the first step is this is a paraphrase. The first step is if it is level seven or lower because it was level seven or lower, then it only needs to print as many pieces of fruit as the current level number, if it is greater than seven, it only makes the most recent eight.
Alice says seven or eight, so what happened was that you would take the level index incremented by one to get the actual level number. this is where I went wrong so 255 becomes zero it does a quick check to go oh is it below or above seven is zero it's below seven but then what it did was it printed whatever below seven, so I'm doing the most. recent eight, what I would do is, first of all, draw a piece of fruit, then let's not check now, let's first subtract one from the level number, then let's check if it's zero and stop;
Otherwise, let's continue to bear fruit and so it would print a little. of fruit, subtract one, go back down to 255, that's not zero, still bear fruit, so it was that strange, it was just floating above and below zero, at the wrong times, try printing 255 56, yeah , out of one, what are the two pieces of fruit? and the rest starts printing fruit because of the way the coordinates work, it prints a couple of times and then it starts at the top left and just goes down until it thinks it's done enough fruit and this is just the rest of the stuff in the memory being played looks like it finds where the characters are stored, it's just whatever else is in the memory splashed across the screen and the levels don't end when Pac-Man has eaten all the points, the levels from Pat they know how many points there should be and they finished when Pac-Man has eaten so many points and since he does not print them because they have been erased by the fruit it is impossible to go to the next level and that is why it crashes in the original version you would go back to one and you would continue playing forever.
This is actually preferable IMHO and that's it so you can check out the online project to fix it, which I think is awesome and I played it. I myself once intended to learn how to play properly to get there legitimately, but I just used the emulator and got there and it was fun, so again another fun example of a rollover bug, so you know what, let's do one more . I guess and then I'll go into QA, so we'll make any other guesses about what I might have put in the book. Any other classic story. A very indecisive person in the middle. in the book and if you missed it, it's the Royal Navy cannons that are inaccurate in that southern hemisphere because the Coriolis effect is going to knock them down to the direction and I was too late, the thing is now because in the book I didn't want do The book is just a bunch of stories that people could find on Wikipedia, like I like the fact that I got the common famous stories and I verified and researched them properly and put them there, so now it's in the public record that actually It happened in a lot of these situations and then some of them were people that I knew and worked with or contacts or anonymous people that like I want to have additional things are there, which were news that came out before and people that I know, friends of mine who engineers, developers, database people and occupations I can't reveal will give me these stories and I would include them anonymously or carefully as the case may be, so I was very happy to add new ones, but now the book is available .
A lot of people are contacting me with more cool stories like wow I should keep a list and just write a lazy sequel nope but I haven't realized the only thing I've done is you know there's the classic the water goes in another address. through the plug or the toilet right, it's not true, it's not true, oh, the best thing you can do if you really imagine a sink that has a meter and a radius like a 2 meter diameter sink and you fill it with water and let let the water sit completely so there is no movement at all and then you release it very carefully, you can't just unplug a plug because that's too much movement, if you release some kind of valve or something at the bottom and then it drains with the As the hours go by, it will. get different rotations in that situation in the different hemispheres and people have done that experiment smarter every day.
YouTube channel Destin did it with veritasium with Derek and then they filmed the same setup in different hemispheres. Great, I thought wow, wait, but what about a sink will work and act like a real work environment, so I got a sink. I took it to London so I could film myself in front of the houses of parliament, so I'm definitely in London and I fill the sink with a bottle of water and I drain it and I put a plumb in a bucket, oh you know, I put, I put a lot of effort so that It seems super suspicious and no one told me to stop, there you go, and that's how I feel.
This thing can be emptied many times: where there was a mixture of bothdirections depends on what the waters do. I even tried to like something to try to pacify the water like dividers to keep it from moving, but I think any movement goes in different directions. I got the same sink I put it in a suitcase I flew it to the southern hemisphere I did the same thing in Sydney and then I got a split screen of me with the same sink in both hemispheres and it goes in different directions all the time right there is no there is no consistency, but I figure yeah, it would make a difference, throwing and shooting something like objectia on that kind of scale would make a difference, okay, so I'll answer some questions in a second, you don't have to guess what's in the book.
Isn't it just me crowdsourcing the sequel? They can be questions about anything I do or snippets of math or other stories and the rest I'm going to put my slide back in here, so that's what I covered. There's the book, I think. Many people already have it. I'll be nearby and deface them later. I'm fluent in ASCII, so I'm happy to encode your name. Most people get very upset because the URL is WWH. Humble: PI, now you see, people hear: "Yes, you." If you're rocking your subdomains, go. I thought it was really funny when I got the penguin to work less because they realized that if you become humble, my comment doesn't work and I was like, yeah, people have to earn it, Matt, you got that wrong. marketing, so, that is, if you don't find anything that I've done like I mentioned before, I made a number files channel, which is a lot of fun.
I imagine a lot of people have come across those videos, in fact the most recent video on numberphile was I filmed in this building which I did, so I always want to do like the channels do live encoding, which I love on YouTube and , often in videos I will say that I found this number because I coded something and found out that I did it right. I'm like a hobbyist: terrible level Python coding, so I left it to start living. I wrote a bit of Python still in version 2 which received a lot of feedback and therefore never codes live on the internet.
Turns out it's a terrible idea, people have opinions, so the video was posted and it shows me coding live because those are wondering. like for people who have never done it and I keep saying I wrote a program to do this, what it actually entails, and I quite enjoyed it, but we filmed that friend and I happened to have some time before a YouTube event, so You're in a dark corner, literally, it's the dark corner or somewhere in the basement that just came out, so did you get a numerophile to stand up? Math is my other channel, it's just me and I put Patreon on there too because why not?
Because they're basically all crowd-funded, so my stand-up videos Mass, what I say is RT ed sense, they don't give me enough money for out-of-pocket expenses, etc., people on Patreon contribute and I make stuff Ridiculous filming massive videos with that, so if you want to see anything else about what I'm doing, there are links. I'll end the official part of today's proceedings there and we'll move on to any other business. Let's punctuate this with a round of applause and then we'll ask questions. the end of my talk oh wow genuine so yeah you have the microphone how do we have any questions yeah I just want to ask you to go to the middle to the microphone so we can hear you when you ask the questions okay so we have a microphone on a stand right in the middle, so if you want to ask a question, you should.
There's a certain amount of public awkwardness involved, so you have to walk up to the microphone there if I'm playing a game of leave or ask. Yes, yes, thanks for the talk. There is a story of some scientists who tried to give cocaine to elephants as part of an experiment and they got the scale wrong, they scaled it by mass instead of radius and it turns out that the volume grows with the cube of the radius, but what they needed for the dose was the surface area of ​​the organs that grows with the square, so massively, I mean, they killed an elephant with cocaine.
I mean, what I love about your question. and there's a lot to choose from that you said you know with this scientific cocaine of an elephant that's not even that, that's just the cell of my favorite part and they did it based on those the radium cube like we're all like well, everyone we know how to dose it, elephants, those amateurs, no thanks, that's a great story, everyone can connect with men with normal lives, no, I hadn't come across that, that's amazing, so I didn't know the dosage of the medicine, I guess no. They necessarily scale with body mass, and they did with mass, so it's actually a lovely area, ah, someone write this.
I didn't realize that's cool. I have nothing more to add other than I'll look it up later. from a browser in private settings okay any other cohost I made elephants worth of cocaine please yeah it's like oh here we go the guy in the Parker Square t-shirt so that's gonna be yeah that's not It's related, just what you normally use. does it work or is it oh actually you didn't even think you launched it this morning thanks for the chat. My question would be: have you ever considered creating another channel with more videos, perhaps more advanced?
And another question I have, is that you? aware of three blue, one brown, yeah, cool, two great questions for the price of one, you can sit down now, so okay, first of all, addressing question zero, the t-shirt I made a couple of references to. I made a video. In a long time, no one has found a magic square, a 3x3 magic square, so that's nine numbers on a 3x3 grid where each column and row and both main diagonals give the same total, so all the numbers in the magic square They are themselves square numbers, no one has figured that out with certain additional restrictions, like all the numbers have to be different, some other things are correct, so I found one that is close but not quite.
I tried. The same history. I tried. I wrote. some code I did a little searching, found the best I could and knew people might have checked them up to some crazy threshold so I knew I wasn't going to discover the full solution. I want to see how well I could do it. a way to cut like something fun to talk about, so I made the video and I showed this square in the video on numberphile and then the guy doing a Brady behind the camera just said, that's not very good, I was like what this. it's my best everything, yeah he says what it's called and I said I'm NOT going to call the plate square because then you'd be ha ha that classic Parker Square that it had become so he says okay It's okay, I'm fine.
I won't think too much of it and then he released a variety of t-shirts and the Parker Square video and now he's become this mascot for when the best isn't good enough, right? I like it because I tried to Reuse it to make it good. In math, you try something and people think the masses are all about getting the right answer. You try something and it's important that you get the right answer, but it's not what you guess. They try. and you're wrong, okay, and you try again, you're less wrong, yeah, and you try again, you're more wrong, and then hopefully you'll converge to get it right, so I like the fact that it's about trying. .
I'm going to answer your second two questions simultaneously, so how do I consider doing more advanced math? Am I aware of three blue and one brown? Yes, I make a great channel and if it is difficult, how can you present a YouTube channel on particularly technical topics? and you'll get slightly different audiences depending on what you do. Numerical, we launched higher than anyone thought was smart and it's because it was full of the original in 2011, it was a blow from the first Google-funded channels than when Google was like televisions. dead and so we had a lot of freedom when we first set it up and partly because the people that Brady chose to work with partly we deliberately pitched it higher than most people would expect and it worked people liked to see to nerdy mathematicians into their favorite numbers and doing real exercise, but since then, you know, now it seems pretty tame in comparison, right, and now a lot of people who were interested in this when they were younger never became mathematicians or like it. people now like, oh, I'm done. my PhD and I remember watching your videos when I was in high school and thinking, ah, now I feel old and so it stayed at that level, Mass of stand-up, part of which I like to do two things I like Casey. have quite heavy content in the views, but not often to be fair, I actually do one that is a little more pure, interesting or more advanced mathematics.
I tend to go for one of two things. I tend to go for affordable things. I think that while we'll be fun for nerds, we'll help attract new people. I'm much more of an evangelical channel than a teaching channel and secondly, I try to do things that people are of a nerdy persuasion that we'll just find charming and that's because I mainly make videos for entertainment and things like and even like we do a number five when we printed it on a mile of cake and had the first million digits on a continuous sheet of paper on a runway in an airport is just ridiculous, but it was cool and recently someone made a video that was a little more deep, but we didn't get into any of the technical details about things called superpermutations, which I won't go into here.
There are very long lists of symbols containing all the possible permutations of the symbols in there and each of the requests somewhere and how short you can find the permutations is kind of a challenge and there are a lot of open questions on super permutations and I did it. a video about it and someone pasted a new trailer like a new shorter super permutation for seven symbols it's like five thousand nine hundred and seven symbols long they just pasted it as a youtube comment without fanfare just here it's boom and I'm Wow, new math came up in the comments section of my video, but then based on those previews, because there were people working on it, he contacted the person who made it and they talked a little bit and some other things they were working on in kind of a tangle and they found an even shorter one, they had another trailer and we were wondering how are we going to announce this and then we realized that basically this was a shorter one, so it had five thousand seven hundred and six symbols, but only seven different symbols were like a octave on a piano, it's like seven notes, well, music, so we hired a piano that plays itself and the first announcement of this mathematical result was played on a grand piano and I thought, that's just funny. why and if you support me on patreon that's how I wasted your money so I'm just trying to do fun stuff too in a rich nerd culture.
I think that's really the shortest way to say channels like three blue and one brown. I'm very envious because the guy could grant runs through the blue Ron Brown who is a fantastic individual and I have the math, the math youtuber math youtuber community is super friendly and nice so I know Grant is doable, He's a great guy and when we chat and get nervous about math and one day we'll both do a collaboration we keep talking about but he's amazing and has amazing advanced math concepts. I'm very envious that he can take on these more advanced things that I would like to do and he.
I can really make them happen and I have a hard time liking them. His visualizations are incredible and my images are adequate. He is part of my career. I do so many different things that I don't have as much time. I can't justify too much work time. because I lose my channel as it is, I can't justify too much time. I put a lot of time into it, don't get me wrong, but I do the hard advanced math well, so it's still attractive and there are other channels like red pen black pen and obviously Khan Academy and these other channels that are doing more advanced math and in a style of much broader conference are great and already fill that nation, so I stay in the entertaining and low-range fruit, it is the most concise description. of my job, I ever let you know that we'll ask one more question and then I'll come over and say hello on Facebook.
Oh, we're forming a nice no, no, you have, you have there. first up to here, both of us and we will vote like this in this company, as you know, we have a pretty strong post mortem culture, so when something goes wrong, we write post mortems with the main goal of learning from them and not repeating them. Mistakes like entertainment value are somewhat secondary, and since you've apparently spent quite a bit of time researching some of these things that went wrong, did you find any common allergies? learn to take from those that are not similar, don't do this like that, it's a very good question and if the autopsies done at Google ever become public or are they completely blocked internally, toSometimes it's okay, it's interesting, it's interesting, how much?
Maybe that's how things are, so I have two answers that I'll try to make fairly quickly. One answer is that it's interesting which industries do and don't make their autopsies public, so there's a sampling bias I have from them. I can see and know of some that have happened in other industries, but I can't include them in the book because I only know them because I know the people involved and there is no way they can publish them and I talked about them. a friend of mine, you know how lazy I have to be, they worked on a project that was one thing and there was a trivial mistake that changed it slightly aesthetically and I thought this is a good example because the mathematics of that mistake is beautiful.
The result is charming and fun, but it's not important and nothing is really compromised and it's contemporary and no one died and all the things that I look for in my life and I thought, hey, can I put in the story that you told me that time? in the pub and there was no way to comply with so many confidentiality agreements that they can't reveal what happened, so you will often feel that when you read my book, a lot of the examples come from the military or the government or things that were quite obvious, so in reality, as soon as there are many engineering where it was an organization that had Judy, the public revealed the level of relationship and what happened, or it was so big and so obvious that it had to come out a report.
And then I have a problem where I only have so many audiences that I can talk about in terms of what I actually learned. What I found surprising is the different attitude between different industries when it comes to blaming the human being. and in aviation they don't blame the human, in medicine they blame the human and there are many others in both categories, true, but they are my two favorites and aviation is great for looking at the system as a whole and why mistakes are made. they became disasters and there is the Swiss cheese model for accident prevention and people run into this.
Can you imagine that your bugs are projectiles and they go through a bunch of layers of Swiss cheese and each layer is like a different part or component of the system and each one is meant to stop errors, so ideally the bug will hit one of these, but occasionally the holes line up and one mistake will go through the entire system and become a disaster and a big aviation problem, right? I don't think that came from aviation, it was actually research from the UK that invented it, but it's a great idea for aviation, the Swiss cheese model, and it's the system as a whole, whereas in medicine, yes. you give someone the wrong dose of a certain medication, if you think, I think as a pharmacist, something like that is actually illegal and that doesn't encourage people. to discuss when it went wrong, if you make the mistake and you get arrested or fired or all that stuff and so you have this false sense that the only people left in medicine, the people who never made mistakes properly and that's not good for teach the next generation is not good at developing systems that deal with it, so I think that's fascinating and then there's another category where the security features that are implemented cause a new type of error and there are some great researchers, a group called I'm Chai Med, from Queen Mary University of London, we're used to working, it's a great place and they looked at the hot cheese model where they imagine horizontal slices of cheese that occasionally the pieces of cheese themselves can drip and cause excess. errors and like in medicine they found if they bring a new barcode system so you have to scan the patient's barcode and scan the medicine's barcode to stop the lord, where they get the wrong medicine they discovered when that was actually implemented, staff would just get duplicate barcodes and paste them into their clipboard to scan patients because it's faster or they have a bunch in stock, so now there were new ways to give the wrong medication due to a system to prevent people from giving the wrong medication, it's just fascinating, so blaming the cysts is like, you know, blaming the individual versus looking at the system and also the intricacies of the system.
I find it fascinating. I don't know how much that fits with what's going on here at the generic tech company, but I'll do it. That's how anonymous I can make your stories if you see me later, so we'll end up there. I'll be around. I would love to talk and chat for a while or people want to come and tell me stories. We will sign your books, etc. Is there anything else to do on official business? We're done now. At that time, thank you very much for inviting me. It's always a pleasure. I've finished now.

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