### New Math

It was obvious the police department was running an investigation that paralleled mine, the two interesecting at more than one point.

 —Sue Grafton, V is for Vengeance

#### 24 Responses to “New Math”

1. 1 1 Cjohn

Hey, just like the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

Of course, I’m assuming you meant “mine,” not ‘mind’ – otherwise, if one assumes the mind is infinite, then I suppose they would indeed intersect (in the limit at infinity).

2. 2 2 Bennett Haselton

Sounds like the author is a bit clueless with geometric metaphors, but with luck she’ll turn that situation around 360 degrees.

3. 3 3 nobody.really

Parallel lines meet at infinity.
Crab meat at \$30/lb.

4. 4 4 Andy

Maybe they ran the same investigation? Then they would intersect at every point, no?

5. 5 5 Steve Landsburg

Cjohn: Typo corrected.

6. 6 6 Jonathan Kariv

great circles on a sphere????

7. 7 7 Scott H.

Logical Fallacy:
Fallacy of Ambiguity:
Equivocation: the same term is used with two different meanings.

From dictionary.com…

par·al·lel
[par-uh-lel, -luhl] Show IPA adjective, noun, verb, par·al·leled, par·al·lel·ing or ( especially British ) par·al·lelled, par·al·lel·ling.

1. extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging: parallel rows of trees.

2. having the same direction, course, nature, or tendency; corresponding; similar; analogous: Canada and the U.S. have many parallel economic interests.

Next!

8. 8 8 Brandon Berg

I thought it would be clever to suggest that she was just being hyperbolic.

Turns out hyperbolic geometry doesn’t work quite the way I thought, though.

9. 9 9 Ken B

She has a parabolic style. I prefer Chandler; he’s elliptical.

10. 10 10 dave

i didnt make it past g is for gumshoe.
on a math note, what if the lines are identical? arent they also parallel?

11. 11 11 Ken B

“i didnt make it past g is for gumshoe.”

The only one I ever tried was B is For Boring

12. 12 12 ThomasBayes

I bet that both investigations were broadly focussed too.

13. 13 13 Ken B

I thought A is for Asymptote would never end.

14. 14 14 Harold

The police Dept exists in non-Euclidean space.

15. 15 15 Jens Fiederer

Investigations rarely run in straight lines.

Amusing, though.

16. 16 16 KS

I know parallel lines can intersect once (on the surface of a sphere). There’s that parallel postulate again.

But is there a surface where parallel lines can intersect multiple times?

17. 17 17 jimbino

Parallel lines on a donut can intersect an infinite number of times.

18. 18 18 KS

Hmm, do you have a picture? I’m having a hard time visualizing that

19. 19 19 Bill Drissel

The linguistic problem is called “metaphor overload.”

Besides, “locally parallel” curves can intersect when prolonged beyond the “locality.” Think of meridians of longitude on a sphere … they’re locally parallel near the equator.

Bill Drissel
Grand Prairie, TX

20. 20 20 EricK

“Parallel lines on a donut can intersect an infinite number of times.”

That’s hard to swallow – it will take me a while to digest it.

21. 21 21 Tristan

I don’t see why this line is objectionable…isn’t the only thing that’s impossible is for two parallel lines to cross at a single point?

22. 22 22 dave

donuts at a police department? this investigation has come full circle.

23. 23 23 Anthony Mills

interesecting => intersecting

:)

24. 24 24 Paul T

SL: “… that paralleled mine, the two interesecting at more
than one point.”

From a recent newpaper column recipe, SF Chronicle,
for cucumber salad: “Cut the whole cucumber in half
crosswise, so that you have three equal pieces.”

well, as any 6th grader can tell you, fractions are heck -