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Anyone hear of this before, or can find something about it? It seemed kinda cool at the time, and I like this axiomatization.

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Background: A finite projective plane has point-line duality, and affine planes lack it. You can get a projective plane by adding a "line at infinity," and this is reversible.

Years ago I stumbled across this in constructing a counterexample to a graph conjecture, and I never found out if it was something people had realized or used before:
We can also recover point-line duality from an affine plane by just deleting one of the parallel classes of lines. <cont...>

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that if a finite poset has a unique maximal \(x\), then \(x\) is maximum.

If not, there is a \(y_1||x\). \(y_1\) is not maximal, so there is \(y_2>y_1\); we cannot have \(y_2<x\), else transitivity would give \(y_1<x\), and we cannot have \(y_2>x\) because \(x\) is maximal, so \(y_2||x\). Continuing, we build a chain \(y_1<y_2<\dotsb\) (with \(y_i||x\) for all \(i\)), contradicting finiteness.

(This proof also suggests a construction of an infinite poset without the property.)

Have you ever sent a fax?

[feel free to boost this to maximize response.]

Goodhart's Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

A quasi-polynomial algorithm for well-spaced hyperbolic TSP:

This new preprint by Sándor Kisfaludi-Bak (accepted to SoCG) just came out and caught my attention. TSP is NP-hard for Euclidean points or close-together hyperbolic points. This paper shows that it's much easier when the points are widely spaced in the hyperbolic plane. The idea is to separate the input by a short line segment that the solution crosses few times and apply dynamic programming.

tfw you think you have a good, original, unseen idea and then get mini heart attacks everytime you see something that guards any remote resemblance with it

love it when i’m cooking, hit a rare ingredient, have to stop & poll my friends for substitutes

"help! wtf is red star anise?"

"my mom has some but she refuses to discuss it or acknowledge its presence in any way"
"it shows up in your spice drawer when you're ready. i guess you're not ready yet"
"you can use black star anise & Red #-2… yes, _minus_ two"
"you can’t buy it, it has to be wrenched from the grasp of a mortal foe"
"a metaphor, like the elusive blue rose"
"i saw it in a dream once"

What can you visualize in your mind at will?

I'm starting to think that instead of describing myself as a retro gamer, I should call myself a classically-trained gamer.

Did Newton invent convex hulls? I haven't received any useful answers yet from my post to the HSM stackexchange ( but maybe someone beyond that site knows something relevant.

Consider the algorithm "M(x): if x<0 return -x, else return M(x-M(x-1))/2". This algorithm terminates for all real x, though this is not so easy to prove. In fact, Peano Arithmetic cannot prove the statement "M(x) terminates for all natural x". Paper to come! Joint work with @jeffgerickson and @alreadydone

Ringel’s conjecture solved (for sufficiently large \(n\)):

This goes back to 1963 and states that the edges of the complete graph \(K_{2n+1}\) can be partitioned into \(2n+1\) copies of your favorite \(n\)-edge tree. The new preprint claiming a proof for large-enough \(n\) is

Is anyone planning anything for the next palindrome day, 2020-02-02?

Nonbinary folx don't get why people think Pluto was demoted.

Pluto is happy no one's making it do planet shit anymore. You don't clear your orbit, and we're finally respecting that instead of demanding you act like your siblings.

Also it's the type specimen of its own category now, which I always thought was a really cool thing to be.

In hindsight, this should have been a sign, but 10-year-old me didn't have that context.

Extremely number theorist take...

Oh wow, this only happens finitely often, that's like almost never, sweet!

Does anyone have good references other than Milne for CM fields? I'm up to my ears in them and a few basic properties in a citation-friendy format would go a long way.

It's really frustrating when I should be able to re-derive what I need, but get muddled along the way every time. This should be already done stuff.

Has anyone figured out yet whether Snaky is a winner or loser in generalized ticktacktoe? It looks like the question is still open, but if anyone has any definitive sources...

Short FOSS Horror Story 

Robert MacKay's Chaos Machine. Its configuration space is a genus three surface. The dynamics of the machine are equivalent to geodesic flow on the surface, which is Anosov, hence chaotic.

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A Mastodon instance for maths people. The kind of people who make \(\pi z^2 \times a\) jokes. Use \( and \) for inline LaTeX, and \[ and \] for display mode.