After hearing or seeing the phrase "We are turning a corner" three times yesterday and today, I decided to write this little piece. I thought for a slow Saturday, it might be fun...well, maybe I just wrote it for the geek within me.
The politicians and pundits tell us almost daily that things are getting better and better in Iraq with each day that passes. We are promised new developments that will dramatically improve the situation on the ground. All this discussion has led to a math crisis. See below for more information.
Iraq: we have turned so many corners that we need to invent a new shape.
Physicists, mathematicians, high-order topologists and high school geometry teachers everywhere are working on the next big theoretical model. At first, we turned just a couple of corners, which is relatively easy to describe in normal, two-dimensional space, but as the number of "corners turned" moves toward infinity, a new shape is required to fit the model proposed by many politicians and pundits. As three-dimensional knot specialist, Dr. Fredreichs explains, "We have not seen such a complicated shape formed by all these corners. It goes beyond the normal parameters of normal, two-dimensional polygons, indeed even past three dimensional models." In addition, there is a new complication in such modeling, as many politicians and pundits now insist on adding a time dimension to the "corner-turning." According to many in the punditocracy, new corners can be turned anywhere from six weeks to six months, or even after defined events such as arbitrarily planned elections. Factoring in such unstable time elements adds another dimension, pardon the pun, to the already very difficult calculations. At a recent Gordian Knot conference on theoretical space patterning, many mathematicians were left scratching their heads trying to devise a system to explain the events described by the Bush Administration and its media arm. As Dr. Fellwater explains, "It simply defies logic at times. We have a number of variables to account for, and few true natural constants to work with in the equations." Another polygon specialist, that wished to remain anonymous had this to say, "As you add corners to a polygon, the shape starts to take on the form of a circle. A circle is just a path that leads you to the same initial starting coordinate. If we are turning corners, this simply cannot be, and we must adjust the models accordingly."