Numeric Pareidolia and Vortex Math

Jun 03 2012 Published by under Bad Math, Numerology

Update: as of 8/8/2012, the youtube video has been pulled at the request of the TED organization. They've also asked me to help them figure out how to keep crackpots like this out of their conferences. I turned them down: if they want help, they've got the money to hire a legitimate professional, someone who actually knows what they're doing - i.e., not me.

I'm not a big fan of the TED phenomenon. In my opinion, it's basically an elaborate scheme to help make a bunch of self-important rich guys show off their importance by getting people to come give them speeches that, ultimately, serve to reinforce their self-importance.

But there's another reason that I dislike it. In addition to the self-importance of its audience, as it's grown, it's also turned into a forum where other self-important twits can pretend that they're actual scientists presenting important scientific work.

A great example of this is something called "Vortex Math". An idiot by the name of "Marko Rodin" came up with this ridiculous idea, wrote up a website talking about how wonderful it was and how brilliant he is, and then worked out an invitation to talk at one of the TEDX conferences, which he's then used to further promote himself - after all, he must be a genuine genius in order to have been allowed to present to such an important group of people!

http://youtu.be/c1hLzQPio_8

Vortex math is an example of what I called numerical pareidolia. For those who haven't heard the term, pareidolia is seeing patterns in randomness. For example, the common event seeing the image of jesus in a piece of toast, or in a mildew stain, or... We find these images, and then believe that they're not just an illusion, but that they're a real, deliberate, meaningful reality.

Paradeidolia isn't limited to seeing images. We humans are natural pattern seekers. We can find patterns in dirt, in words, and in numbers. Numeric pareidolia is finding patterns in numbers. The most common version of that is numerology, where you assign meanings to numbers, and then find more meanings by performing arithmetic to combine numbers with arithmetic, and finding meaning in result.

In Vortex math, Mr. Rodin has done something interesting, for some definition of that word. He's found a numeric pattern, and he believes that not only is that a pattern, but it is the pattern, the fundamental structure of the universe. And what is this oh-so-awesome pattern, this vortex that defines the entire nature of the universe?

It's a sequence of 1-digit, base-10 numbers. To get it, you start, obviously, with 1. So take the number 1. Double it. You get 2. Double it again, and you get 4. Again, 8. Again, 16. But 16 is two digits - so add them together: 7. Double 16 again, and you get 32, 3+2=5, so 5 is next. Double 32, and you get 64. 6+4=10, 1+0=1. Etc. You get a repeating cycle.

That's it.

Of course, this only works in base-10. It's a result of the interaction of doubling with the base. So you won't get the same pattern in any other number system! According to Rodin, because of the significance of this pattern, that means that base-10 really is the only correct number system.

And what is the significance of this base-10 pattern? Let's let Rodin and his supporters explain, shall we?

Marko Rodin has discovered the source of the non-decaying spin of the electron. Although scientists know that all electrons in the universe spin, they have never discovered the source of this spin. Rodin has. He has discovered the underpinning geometry of the universe, the fabric of time itself. He has done this by reducing all higher mathematics – calculus, geometry, scalar math – to discrete-number mathematics.

With the introduction of Vortex-Based Mathematics you will be able to see how energy is expressing itself mathematically. This math has no anomalies and shows the dimensional shape and function of the universe as being a toroid or donut-shaped black hole. This is the template for the universe and it is all within our base ten decimal system!

The potential scope and breadth of the Rodin Solution is staggering; it is universally applicable in mathematics, science, biology, medicine, genetics, astronomy, chemistry, physics and computer science. The Rodin Solution will revolutionize computer hardware by creating a crucial gap space, or equi-potential major groove, in processors. This gap space generates underpinning nested vortices resulting in far higher efficiency with no heat build-up. The Rodin Solution replaces the binary code with a new code called the binary triplet which will revolutionize computer operating systems. It will transform physics and astrophysics by finally answering how black holes and pulsars work. Space travel will be revolutionized by reactionless drives that are unaffected by the weight they pull, making the present day combustion engine obsolete. The revolution brought on by reactionless drives will far surpass the societal changes wrought by the shift from steam engines to the present day combustion engine. The Rodin Solution can even be applied to ending pollution and drought by creating an inexhaustible, nonpolluting energy source. Because Rodin´s Vortex-Based Mathematics enables him to condense a trillion-fold calculation to only a few integer steps and because he is able to solve all the mathematical enigmas, the Rodin Solution will revolutionize computer information compression.

Pretty impressive, eh?

And what would crackpottery be without at least a bit of conspiracy? See, the government knows all about it, and they're actually secretly using it to protect us:

Rudimentary versions of the Rodin Coil, or Rodin Torus, have been created and tested by leading scientists and are presently being used by the U.S. Government in antennas that protect the four corners of the continental U.S.. Life-saving medical devices based on crude approximations of the Rodin Coil Torus are being manufactured and used in the treatment of cancer patients. Microsoft´s former senior researcher is using the Rodin Coil to research, develop and patent new computer information-compression schemes.

Nifty!

Alas, it's all bullshit. It's not worth spending too much time on this, but I'll grab a couple of the claims that are close to my interests, and briefly explain why he's so full of shit.

One of the claims in the passage above is how he'll revolutionize computer operating systems:

The Rodin Solution replaces the binary code with a new code called the binary triplet which will revolutionize computer operating systems

Suppose for a moment, that we replaced binary in our computers with a different underlying representation - any underlying representation. Ternary, quadrary, decimal, or his "binary triplets", whatever they are. How much difference would that make?

None at all. We've had the capacity to create ternary computers for a long time - there's just no reason to. We have built decimal computers. For many years, IBM had computers for financial systems that used a representation called BCD - binary coded decimal. BCD can be useful in financials, because it's easier to control rounding errors. Floating point math is a bit weird, because numbers that should be precise don't necessarily have precise binary floating point representations, so you can get some odd rounding errors if you're not careful. You don't need BCD to do this - you can use a variety of notations, so long as you're doing fixed point instead of floating point, but using a decimal fixed point representation makes it all easier.

The thing is, you can't do anything with different representations that you can't do with binary. It doesn't matter. So we don't build hardware using different representations. We don't use binary because we don't know how to build anything else; we use binary because it's easiest to build binary hardware, and there's no benefit to making the hardware more complex.

More important, one of the beautiful things about computers is that computers don't really do binary numbers. Computers use binary to represent things. Numbers are one example of something we can represent. But we can represent anything we want. When I was in college, one of my assignments in a CS class was to implement ternary arithmetic. It's a simple enough thing that it makes an easy assignment for an undergrad introductory CS class! We can build any representation that we want, and use it. We do this routinely. We're constantly building new representations for particular purposes. Some of them are so useful that they've been enshrined in hardware. For example, computers used to only come with integer hardware - that is, the only mathematical operations that were implemented in the hardware were operations on integers. The computers still did floating point math - you just needed to implement the representation in software. It was so useful that we added it to hardware in order to make it faster. But it's not fundamentally different. And if a new representation that worked better than simple binary worked, we could implement it using a standard binary computer.

So Rodin's magic vortex binary-triple computer? There's just nothing special about it. It's not going to revolutionize computers.

Another example is compression:

Because Rodin´s Vortex-Based Mathematics enables him to condense a trillion-fold calculation to only a few integer steps and because he is able to solve all the mathematical enigmas, the Rodin Solution will revolutionize computer information compression.

Again, it's stupid. The problem with compression isn't that it's too hard to compute. The problem is more fundamental than that. We can't compress everything - it's impossible. (I described more about the reason why it's generally impossible to do universal compression in this post.) The science and math of data compression are based on the fact that we don't actually want to compress arbitrary things; we want to compress specific types of things: text, images, video. For each of those, common representations contain a lot of redundancies, and compression tries to remove those redundancies. So, for example, by finding regions in successive frames of a video that don't change, we can reduce the size of a video file. But that technique won't do anything for a still image or a text file. We exploit the specific properties of the medium to find an effective way of compressing that specific medium.

In fact, we can do better at specific kinds of media with customized hardware. People build custom hardware for things like mp4 compression all the time. But that's for a specific medium. It's got nothing to do with general compression. General compression remains impossible, vortex math or no.

No responses yet

  • Taslem says:

    Only one thing to point out- Ternary base IS more efficient, but it's something scientists have known for a long time.

    The basic reason for this is that to store a number with S symbols (0 and 1 in binary) and length L, you get S^L possible values.

    Additionally, for practical concerns it turns out that in general, it takes S*L space to fit something for storing or manipulating a number.

    So then for space efficiency, you want to minimize S*L for S^L = C, for some C, say 1000.

    So minimize S*L, and you'll find that checking on the integers, for any value of C that's sufficiently large, the best value will be at (3,log3 C).

    The reason for this is that the true optimal is actually e, Euler's number. 3 is closer to it than 2, so it's actually more efficient.

    So that's neat, though I realize that's not really relevant to what he was saying. Just interesting that Ternary actually IS more efficient than Binary.

    • Florian says:

      @Taslem

      You're assuming wrong by pulling the binary system out of context (the hardware it runs on). In order to truly represent a trinary system, you'd need transistors that can inhabit 3 states and be controlled thusly. This seriously non trivial feat has not been solved to my knowledge, so in actuality, to store a trinary digit you need the space/infrastructure of 2 binary ones (least you'd have no way of actually storing that value).

      An extremely common operation on numbers in computers is to operate by two, as in divide, multiply, take to the power of or take the square root. Most of these operations massively benefit from binary digit storage.

      A goodly chunk of logic happening when a chip runs is based on binary decision making. Those decisions are made easier by the fact that they can be stored, communicated, accessed and tested by dealing with one bit, standing in for one piece of state as efficiently as possible.

      Binary wasn't chosen thoughtlessly, there are good reasons.

      • Timbo says:

        "This seriously non trivial feat has not been solved to my knowledge..."
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setun

        There you go. Learn something new every day.

        • Nelson says:

          I don't believe that Setun used transistors, which was what he was referring to. Following the link in the wikipedia article:

          http://www.computer-museum.ru/english/setun.htm

          "Due to the low reliability of the computer elements on vacuum tubes and inaccessibility of transistors the fast elements on miniature ferrite cores and semiconductor diodes were designed. "

      • Pseudonym says:

        An extremely common operation on numbers in computers is to operate by two, as in divide, multiply, take to the power of or take the square root. Most of these operations massively benefit from binary digit storage.

        At the risk of stating the obvious, there's a positive feedback loop going on here. We also do these operations a lot because they're efficient. If we had ternary computers, our divide-and-conquer algorithms might be three-way instead of two-way.

        FP division and square roots are typically done these days using the Goldschmidt algorithm. I'll explain division; square roots are left as an exercise.

        Suppose that you want to compute a/b. Let's suppose that you can compute a rough estimate to 1/q (performed with a look-up table). Multiply both the numerator and denominator by 1/q to get a/b where b is less than, but close to, 1.

        You can refine this by multiplying both the numerator and denominator by (2-b):

        a/b = a(2-b) / b(2-b)

        To see why this is an improvement, suppose that b = 1-e, where e is small. Then b(2-b) = (1-e)(1+e) = 1-e², which is quadratically closer to 1. Repeat until you get close enough.

        Binary has a clear advantage over ternary here, because 2-b is the two's complement of b. You compute the two's complement by taking the logical not and then adding one. Adding some extra bits of precision means that you can avoid the plus one in practice, using only the logical not!

        So ternary might make the multiplier slightly more efficient (we'll assume a Wallace tree of CSAs, and you could almost certainly do base-3 Booth encoding), but you would lose at least some efficiency in division.

        But I think that the operation that would take the biggest efficiency hit would be calculating logarithms.

    • Gatlin says:

      I'm not entirely certain if you're serious.

    • Pseudonym says:

      Not quite.

      Think of an elementary computing operation as composed of a certain number of discrete devices (say, gates or full adders, or what have you), which in turn are made of components (say, transistors). You're trying to decide which is the optimal base for your arithmetic, which we will call b, in terms of transistor count.

      If the maximum number that you need to work on is M, then you need log_b M digits to store it. This should not be controversial.

      The slightly controversial claim (but if you think about it, it's somewhat plausible) is that a device requires bN components, for some N. So, for example, if it takes 2N transistors to build a single-bit binary adder, you should be able to build a single-trit ternary adder with 3N transistors.

      So how many components do you need in total? Well, you need bN log_b M of them, where N and M are fixed. This function is minimised when b = e, the base of natural logarithms, and it's smaller when b=3 than when b=2.

      Putting some numbers on it, suppose that N=1 and M=2^64. Then you need 128 components to store M in binary, and 122 to store M in ternary. That's about 5% fewer components.

      So that's the theory. Now here's the practice.

      This analysis may have made sense in the days of wire wrap transistors, flip chips or hand laid-out ICs. Today, transistors are absurdly cheap. We can fit squillions of them on a single chip. And only a tiny fraction of them do actual computation.

      Most of the transistor count on a modern CPU die is cache (data, tags, TLBs etc). Most of the rest is dedicated to prediction (target prediction, branch prediction, cache prediction, instruction prefetch etc). Most of the rest is control, pipeline and bus logic (reorder buffer, bus interfaces, multiplexers, reservation stations, register renaming and so forth).

      Take a look at the R10K die as an example. This is a little old now, but it's instructive. Pretty much the entire upper half of the chip is cache with a bit of instruction fetch logic. In the lower half, we see it's almost all instruction reordering logic. There's register renaming, the register free list, the ROB (here called "graduation unit") and the three sets of reservation stations (here called "queues"). There's a little bit of clock/sequencing logic.

      Finally, there are the two datapaths (integer and floating point), and the FP multiply unit, which is where the actual computation happens. Judging by the picture, it looks like about half of the data path units are register storage, and the rest is computation.

      So there's actually very little die space that you'd save by going to ternary. You might save 5% of the transistor count of half of the integer ops and FP ops, as well as the FP multiply unit. That's pretty much it.

      Ternary arithmetic may be one of Sedgewick's "galactic algorithms", in that it provides a theoretical advantage which can't be realised in practice in this galaxy.

      • Joel Carter says:

        Gamers might benefit from better chip set instruction on video cards.

      • Mike Clarke says:

        I'm pretty sure I didn't follow all of that, or even Mark's comment about building ternary systems in CS class, but that's b/c I haven't read the details of how a 3-state logic system works, true-false-maybe. But isn't this the very purpose of quantum computing, i.e. the logic base of the system, as well as the hardware base, quantum dots or wires to replace the macro transistor and it's fundamentally binary states? We are quickly approaching Moore's energy-density limit in silicon technology, so technology is forced to create a new solution (Quantum computing) which will not only contain a new hardware system (dots, wires, nanotube or w/e) but will also be definition contain ternary based logic as its fundamental Turing Machine.

        • MarkCC says:

          The purpose of quantum computing is very different.

          In a classical ternary system, you've got three values; 0, 1, and 2. (Or A, B, and C, or ...). Ternary doesn't have a maybe state - it has three specific, distinct, discrete states.

          Probabilistic systems have a sort-of "maybe", but it's not like the third state in a ternary system. A probabilistic third state doesn't have a single value. It's a range.

          A quantum machine is something even different. Quantum isn't yes/no/maybe. It's yes and no at the same time, with a probabilistic distribution that's captured in the quantum state until you collapse it. That's nothing like ternary computation.

          Even quantum computing doesn't change the fundamental limits of what a computing device can do - but it does dramatically improve the performance of certain specific classes of problems.

  • Blake Stacey says:

    That video. . . ow.

    It's like. . . every buzzword from every pop-science book of the past thirty years, dumped through a Markov chain. It might actually be more Timecube than Timecube. Watching it is like trying to read The Eye of Argon without gutlaughing, except that the comedy turns to horror when you see the audience lapping it up.

  • Deon Garrett says:

    I read that excerpt through a chrome extension that randomly translates the occasional word to Icelandic, and it actually made more sense than the original.

  • JR says:

    Yeah I lost respect for TED when they let a dude who did a magic trick on Oprah come on and pretend it was science.

  • MrB says:

    You should probably note that it's a TEDx, not TED itself.

    TEDx are independently run but are affiliated with TED as long as they follow some rules laid out by TED, but TED itself has nothing to do with who's invited to speak. If this guy was allowed to speak about whatever inane crap he's come up with, blame the TEDx Charlotte organisers not TED.

  • Stuart says:

    Obviously, ternary is less efficient than binary. What we need to do is move to unary computers: half the number of symbols of a binary computer, meaning twice the speed!

  • Wolfgang Keller says:

    I disagree with your statement
    "We've had the capacity to create ternary computers for a long time - there's just no reason to."

    According to

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ternary_computer#History

    there was a ternary computer built - called "Setun". "it [event] had notable advantages over the binary computers which eventually replaced it (such as lower electricity consumption and lower production cost)".

    IMHO unluckily ternary computers didn't gain enough acceptance, though.

  • Johnny Mnemonic says:

    Sounds like a new KIND of science! No wait, that was Wolfram.

    • Joe Gaspar says:

      Actually, that's a very bad comparison. Stephen Wolfram is actually useful to society and represents a net positive, granted though, that he is somewhat arrogant.

      This guy from TEDxCharolette represents the worst aspect of humanity. He's either a snake oil salesman trying to purposely deceive people with big words and see how far he can take it, or a complete idiot. In either case, he belongs with the perpetual motion machine crackpots and that worthless waste of oxygen that authored a crap science/math book called "Our Undiscovered Universe: Introduction to Null Physics" (I had my university library remove it from their shelves for it's absolute inanity, though I've kept it as an heirloom alongside other books given to me for free with similar lack of intellectual worth, such as Ray Comforts annotated "On the Origin of Species".

      • no says:

        "He's either a snake oil salesman trying to purposely deceive people with big words and see how far he can take it, or a complete idiot."

        The only flaw in your logic is assuming that he cannot be both.

        • Jeff says:

          That's a topic for an interesting discussion - are the most effective charlatans the ones that are doing it in a very strategically deliberate way, or is it the ones that are just naive enough to believe that the snake oil actually works.

  • Jacob says:

    Shouldn't that be numeric apophenia?

  • So, I'm not about to waste my time with this nonsense when there are so many episodes of "Two and A Half Men" to watch... does he give any explanation or justification for his claims... anything at all... or is it like a campaign commercial, just a list of what this thing will do with no details how it will actually happen?

    I'd find the concept slightly less pathetic (maybe 0.000001%) if he tried to justify his claims with some kind of explanation.

    • Drake Pitts says:

      He can't give an explanation because then all the scientists working for private corporations will get ahold of his ideas and use them for evil.

  • Carsten Grimm says:

    If this guy is a real mathematician, then I am the real wizard of Oz.

    It is rather atypical for a mathematician to be this vague and unspecific about any technical details. As someone pointed out: This is just a buzzword talk.

    I am lead to believe that this is just an experiment of how this kind of audience would react to complete and utter nonsense. Or maybe a test of what kind of content you can smuggle into a TEDxCharolette talk ...

    PS.:

    "... squares and square roots -- all doubling ..."

    If you are going from square to square roots you are most certainly not doubling anything. Actually, you are taking the 4-th root ...

    "doubling is motion at an angular momentum"

    ... yes ... sure ... for 'appropriate' definitions of "doubling" and "motion at an angular momentum" ...

  • John Fringe says:

    It's wonderful! Since I use Rodin's Vortex-Based Mathematics, my sexual life greatly improved and my wife even no longer snores anymore! As seen on TV!

    This kind of thing makes me curious about the whole business of crankery. I have lots of questions. There are a lot of obvious cranks out there, and everyone seems to carry his own entourage of followers. They cover the whole spectra: from lonely cranks in their houses to multimillion business like creationism. Can you actually live from crackpottery? How many money does it moves? Are their books and talks lucrative? Are the successful cranks cold minded business men? Or do they begin as little scammers that grow uncontrolled? Does the internet actually amplify the phenomena or only apparently? Do people actually believe in that?

    I would love that a good reporter investigate the matter, or at least some of the cranks.

    • MarkCC says:

      I don't think that there's any one route that cranks follow.

      There are some that truly believe in their crankery, and don't benefit from it in any way. For example, you can look at the tangent 12 guys - they clearly believe in their rubbish, and they're going nowhere with it.

      There are some who are deliberately deceiving in order to make money. Look at the hydrino guys - for 20 years, they've been selling this ridiculous line in order to rake in investment bucks.

      There are some who are deliberately deceiving, but for religious reasons, like William Dembski.

      There are some who've been fooled by one of the above.

      And there are some who've convinced themselves that they must be right, because they want to be great discoverers, without doing the work or taking the chances that lead to real discoveries. (Try Ted Holden for a great example of this. Ted dearly wants to be recognized as a brilliant scientist. He's adopted Velikovskianism, electric universe, Lamarkianism, etc.)

    • John Fringe says:

      I understand that there are various kinds of cranks.

      I'm not worried by lonely cranks. They can't do much harm. A web page, a book printed on their garage. Some pollution on the internet, some traffic for people like you, some entertainment for people like me. Maybe their mothers can believe they are geniuses. I can be wrong, and maybe there is a long-tail effect, but I'm not worried.

      The problem for me is when crankery becomes a profitable business. And, more specifically, when several people lives from one of these theories.

      It can have a cumulative and a calling effect. If it's profitable, more people would want to live from it. More propaganda would be generated, with more resources. So it would attract more people. Other people would want to earn that kind of money, so more cranks would appear.

      I may be very suspicious, but I don't really believe there is more motivation beyond money for organized crackpottery. I even doubt about Dembski. He may be religious (and I don't have absolutely any objection against that), but he sure is earning good money with his propaganda directed work. He can formally check the structure of his arguments, and they are fallacious. It's not a matter of belief. I believe he had two options: work for science, which is hard and frustrating, or work for creationists, which can be profitable. In the second case, he would be a big fish in a small tank, and there are resourceful creationists. So he choose the second option, but that has nothing to do with his beliefs, I believe. Thought coldly and rationally, it may have been a good personal choice. Motivation can blur in that situations.

      And why are there people willing to pay him for that? Because creationism is a good business. And famous creationists are business people, like Ken Ham. He moves millions. That's a good motivation.

      And when an organization like this makes a living for several people, it lives by its own. You can easily imagine a person seeing a business opportunity on crackpottery, launching such a business despite not believing, hiring people who don't believe but see an opportunity to make a profit. Then the first person can go, the others would run the business.

      This is the kind of organized cranks that worries me, because they can actually pollute people's opinion on science. None of us can know everything, but you can usually know if something is crankery by formal structure of the arguments (logic=good, fallacy=bad), and openness to external blind testing. Formal structure is particularly powerful. But common people does not think in these terms, so they can be fooled.

      So that's why I would love to know the real magnitude of the phenomena. How much people believes in creationism, for example? How much money does it move? Is the phenomena expanding, or receding? How many organizations are living from this? I would love to know more, even if I have to assume some common tactics (I believe there is less variation in organized cranks: a lot of strategies may be common).

      (Sorry for the long post.)

  • keithb says:

    The Saturn CPU in my beloved HP71 is BCD:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Saturn_(microprocessor)

    (And I think it was one of the first calculators/computers that were IEEE 754 compliant.)

    No wonder I love it so much, the vortexes are affecting my brain!

    • Pseudonym says:

      Incidentally, modern POWER CPUs (as seen in IBM mainframes and possibly games consoles) still have BCD units.

  • Jaime says:

    There are more fundamental reasons why ternary systems would be better than binary:

    http://calamitiesofnature.com/archive/?c=548

  • Tom Marks says:

    "equi-potential major groove"

    I thought James Brown discovered that.

  • Filip Niksic says:

    Mark, there's another TEDx talk related to computer science you might find interesting. In this talk, entitled On the nature of genius, trading and hindsight, Philip Maymin describes his paper Markets are Efficient if and only if P = NP.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iOJZZFDKpc

    The guy clearly talks rubbish, but is somehow well respected and his paper is often cited. Well, at least I haven't been able to find any critique of his work by a quick Google search. It would be interesting to have the work analyzed and commented by a computer scientist who actually understands the P vs NP problem.

  • Julian Frost says:

    It's a sequence of 1-digit, base-10 numbers. To get it, you start, obviously, with 1. So take the number 1. Double it. You get 2. Double it again, and you get 4. Again, 8. Again, 16. But 16 is two digits - so add them together: 7. Double 16 again, and you get 32, 3+2=5, so 5 is next. Double 32, and you get 64. 6+4=10, 1+0=1. Etc. You get a repeating cycle.

    I'm sorry but...is this guy serious? I worked this out as a child. It works for any number that's not divisible by 3. And he's acting as if he did the equivalent of solving Fermat's Last Theorem?
    Sheesh.

  • Zenon says:

    This is exactly the way someone who does not understand math or science would approach making a theory - finding patterns and then due to vague associations or similarity, jumping to the conclusion that its a perfect mathematical explanation.

    Found six numbers? Sure, let's slap them on a circle, why not, at equal distances and call it a hexagon. Hexagon similar to beehive cells? Of course! My numbers must be the source of this! Oh, tornadoes are also it, and also I'll claim they're more powerful than an atomic bomb, for some reason.

    Spirals? Toroids? Those are like hexagons too right? So DNA, Galaxies, and all are vaguely like a hexagon, and since my numbers that I chose to place on a circle form a hexagon, they must describe all these phenomenon perfectly! Show exact math? What are you, a sheep who suppresses knowledge!?!

    He also makes statements that are not very mathematically impressive, yet he speaks as though they are.
    The whole "you can do all the functions of all the branches of math instantly" statement sounds like something a man unfamiliar with actual math would say, while trying to impress people to thinking he's great. To top it off, he has to say "instantly" as if that makes it somehow better.

    ...

    This absolute batshit insanity seemed funny at first, but it's pretty scary when you realize that there is a large number of people apparently accepting this as real science.

  • "nuthin' up mah sleeve...."

  • Ryan says:

    These TEDx talks really let in the crazies. This happened at the Boulder TEDx too: http://www.tedxboulder.com/thad-roberts-visualizing-eleven-dimensions/

  • [...] Numeric Pareidolia and Vortex Math by MarkCC [...]

  • lily says:

    hey thanks =p

  • Jarmo says:

    I think these kind of things are related to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqU5s8hYqvs

  • [...] gave a standing ovation to a talk on Vortex Mathematics that turned out to be entirely bogus. I think. Is Marko Rodin, the person who thought up and is promoting vortex mathematics, deluded or trying [...]

  • I am not certain of the proper name of the mental disorder, however, the film "A Beautiful Mind" makes me think of the mental condition(crypto-schizophrenia?) I see exhibited by Mr. Rodin's theories. I have not been working with Maths and Physics for a long time (very "old fashioned" understanding,) however, logic and reason are eternal.

    The pity is that too many naïve "true believers" become enmeshed with wrongheaded delusions such as mechanical or electron means to free one's self from natural laws or make contact with the devine. People like Mr. Rodin and his followers seem to be only a step away from the empty, self referential halls of insanity.

    I think it very sad and, like some of the above comments, provide reasoned, reality based alternatives.

  • Ken says:

    If it isn't true, why do I always win at sudoku now?

    People often try to emulate the eccentric genius, and use any slight relative advantage over an audience (quasi- mathematical knowledge, linguistic prowess, charisma, etc) to gain acceptance.

  • [...] reader who saw my earlier post on the Vortex math talk at a TEDx conference sent me a link to an absolutely dreadful video that features some more [...]

    • frank says:

      im sure all of these people are fools and you can show it , Supporters of the Rodin Solution and contributors to the work include :

      • Russell P. Blake, Top scientist and senior research engineer at Microsoft, Microsoft Corporation (10/1/88-1/3/96) Senior Researcher, Advanced Technology (9/93-1/96).
      • Prof. Scot C. Nelson University of Hawaii Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences
      • Dennis Watts, Senior Engineer of Communications for NASA and leading
      engineer for Boeing Aerospace;
      • Dr. Jonas Salk, offered to be Rodin’s personal physician and told him his
      work was so advanced he’d never complete it in his lifetime unless he
      cloned himself;
      • Dr, Hans Nieper, world renowned cancer doctor, German Society of Oncology
      and former physician to President Reagan, invited Rodin to submit a paper to the prestigious
      medical journal he is president of because he believed in Rodin’s work;
      • Christine Jackson, editor of “Explore More”, the most cutting edge medical
      journal in the U.S.;
      • Keith Watson, in charge of the Bikini Atoll nuclear testing research project
      for the U.S. government, believes in Rodin’s work and introduced Rodin
      before his presentation on power and propulsion systems at the Air Space
      America convention in 1988;
      • James Martin, the editor of Defense Science Magazine - the largest U.S.
      military journal calls Rodin’s work “the most revolutionary propulsion
      system ever created for outer space”;
      • Sal Rosenthal, inventor and patent holder of the tuberculosis test,
      regularly invited Rodin to participate in his California think tanks;
      • Tom Bearden, an alternative energy expert considered one of the world’s
      foremost experts in zero point energy says Rodin has “accomplished what
      he has been advocating for over 20 years and should continue his work”;
      • Oscar Hu, the astrophysicist at NASA who successfully recovered the
      Probe when it was lost going into the magnetic field of Neptune, has
      written papers on how Rodin Torus Coils can be used to create an artificial
      man-made black hole and an electrical wheatstone bridge that creates a
      gravity well on a laboratory bench top;
      • Jean Louis Naudin, the foremost international expert in vertical lift space
      and aircraft, uses Rodin’s work as proof that the B-Field Torsion Effect is
      real;
      • Maury King, author of “Zero Point Energy”;
      • Robert Emmerich, head of the Materials Testing Department at Hewlett
      Packard, tested the Rodin Torus Coil and concluded it had more than 60%
      greater output than anything presently existing or being used in antennas.

  • AP says:

    I bet Mr Rodin never studied Abstract Algebra including Number Theory..

  • [...] “Types Gone Wild! SKI at Compile-Time” and “Turing Equivalent vs. Turing Complete”  at Good Math, Bad Math [...]

  • YeahRight says:

    The whole argument about ternary vs binary is ridiculous. You don't need a special transistor for ternary. You don't need a transistor for binary. Binary is the root of computers because of the "on" or "off" mode of any type of switch, not just a transistor. With modern chips, you can establish a ternary state simply by allowing for "on" to be either positive or negative voltage. Then you have "on negative," "on positive," or "off" and voila, ternary. But what's the point? It's still not any faster or more efficient, just harder to program and harder to build.

  • You seem to be a bit close-minded. Have you attempted to apply this theory you're bashing? Have you built a computer using this system? How do you know compression is impossible? People used to think, I'm sure, that space travel was impossible. If you're going to set out to debunk something, you should provide actual proof.

    • Compressing "everything" is impossible because the number of possible things with N bytes in them is smaller than the number of possible things with N+1 bytes in them. It's actually basic arithmetics.

  • Conspirified says:

    Interesting, I was diagnosed with pareidolia in the aspect of seeing geometric shapes.

    Sucks because my photography now isn't a good way of capturing such concepts as its attributed to a negative condition.... :(

    On that note, I am here to state a fact.

    Marco Rodin is NOT the presenter at that specific TEDx talk, its an individual by the name of Randy Powell whom studied Rodins' work and went on a tangent.

    Can you please edit your blog to stipulate this fact.

    Kind Regards
    Conspirify

  • Jimbo says:

    So .. Is vortex math real?

  • Marko Rodin says:

    Hi MarkCC,

    It is very true that I have never shared publicly my superb peer review and I understand your complaint about my enormous claims. Unfortunately, I work long hours and can only respond late at night.

    I will more than gladly email whoever requests the over 200 page original document "The Mathematical Formulation of the Rodin Torus" and also the "Analysis of the Rodin Coil and its' Applications" written by Microsoft's senior research manager Russell P Blake but it is way too long to publish here and very tedious algebra for most readers.

    My email is rodincoil@gmail.com

    RUSSELL P. BLAKE ABRIDGED RESUME

    Microsoft Corporation (10/1/88-1/3/96) Senior Researcher, Advanced Technology (9/93-1/96). Develop performance tools for optimizing all Microsoft products. Develop a Decision Theoretic system for the automatic detection of bottlenecks in computer systems (US patent pending). Systems Performance Manager, Advanced Operating Systems (10/88-9/93). Build and lead team for benchmarking, analysis, and tools for OS/2 and Windows NT performance optimization. Invent and co-develop Windows NT Performance Monitor. Invent Windows NT Code Profiler, Working Set Tuner (US Patent), and Synthetic Performance Test Bed (US Patent). Create the Winstone industry standard benchmark. Author the book Optimizing Windows NT: over 100,000 copies sold, translated into French, German, and Chinese.

    Very shortly, I will be uploading a new video explaining the secret to Artificial Intelligence on my YouTube channel and ask that everyone who is interested to subscribe there at http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkoRodin

    Thank you!
    Marko Rodin

    Two years ago I met Marko Rodin through a mutual acquaintance. Mr.
    Rodin shared some of his results with me at that time. It became clear
    to me that Mr. Rodin's work was a synthesis of numerical patterns
    which had previously been overlooked by conventional science and
    mathematics. In hopes of bridging the gap between Mr. Rodin's
    discoveries and conventional science, I put forth an analytical
    framework in which mathematical formulae generate the numerical
    patterns of the Rodin Torus. These formulae suggested that the Rodin
    Torus lies not just on the surface of the "doughnut" shape, but into
    the interior as well; in other words, the Rodin Torus is three
    dimensional.

    This mathematical formulation is as yet incomplete, and the physical
    meaning of these numerical phenomena remain unexplored still. Yet in
    my career I have several times discovered new mathematical
    formulations which have led to new products. In the late 1970's I
    discovered Atomic Modeling which revolutionized computer performance
    modeling, measurement, and sizing. In the early 1990's I discovered
    new ways to express the time-dependent behavior of program code, which
    led to reductions of program code size of 50% of the original size for
    all programs to which it was applied. I mention these facts merely to
    convince the reader that my intuition has a history of success in the
    practical application of new mathematics.

    Now I am completely convinced that the Rodin Torus will likewise lead
    to new and revolutionary advances in art and science. Mr. Rodin's work
    has suffered from a lack of adequate scientific attention, and I am
    sure that as the research momentum builds and the proper relationship
    between the Rodin Torus and conventional science is fully understood,
    both areas of endeavor will attain new heights. I am very much
    looking forward to playing a role in this adventure.

    Russell P. Blake

    Former Senior Researcher

    Microsoft Research

    • barry says:

      No energy can exits without form. No form and no energy! In all the forms of energy we have known so far, the energy ended up being the byprooduct of its chosen form. Now hear this : The moment they make that donut, it will experience an immediate melt down, because the god they have chosen to believe as energy don't like being caged in! ha ha ha ha ...........

  • xx says:

    Man you are a fucking idiot,just research his papers carefully and you will see how many things he has mapped with his mathemathics.Get a life you loser.How can you possibly be that stupid and mock TEDX conferences? do you know how many smart people are working all theyir lifes just to go to those conferences,do you actualy think that those people are all stupid and pseudoscientists? SCIENTIST is an abstract concept,you can be one at 13 years old like Jake Barnett if you have Einstein's iq.

  • oo says:

    This guy stayed at my house for a while...he is quite crazy and his "followers" are almost like cult members. Thankfully the rodin believers moved out and there are no more crazy conversations about it. I just kept saying... show me the proof. Oh, I'm just supposed to believe it? Yeah, no. My math and science background just can't do it!

  • Sabermetrics Bob says:

    But there are space ships in Area 51!!!

  • J.W. says:

    "For those who haven't heard the term, pareidolia is seeing patterns in randomness."

    Therefore, given your definition, chaos theory is crackpot.

    I assume that you will soon be posting a column condemning all the physics and the accompanying mathematical processes used in the formulation and teaching of chaos theory.

    The term crackpot has become a self parody of the user. It's overused, cliched, used as a pejorative more than as an instructive term, and usually signifies the user has little knowledge of the subject they are trying to belittle.

  • GAH says:

    The beginning of the scientific validation for Marko Rodin and Randy Powell's work?

    Can anyone else see the parallels?

    https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20130917-a-jewel-at-the-heart-of-quantum-physics/

  • […] source of quote found in comments: http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2012/06/03/numeric-pareidolia-and-vortex-math/ […]

  • Dave says:

    I see it as interesting, but of no practical importance whatsoever. Mind you I'm not a scientist so who knows.

    If anyone can explain to me the importance of this I am all ears.

  • I have linked Vortex Based Mathematics with Physics and can prove most physics using vortex based mathematics. I am writing an article call "Temporal Physics of Vortex Based Mathematics" here: http://www.vortexspace.org

  • […] new and amusing comes along. Today I've got an example of that for you: one of the proponents of Markus Rodin's "Vortex Math" has returned to tell us the great […]

  • still learning says:

    If vortex math can show me how to build an electrical device 3 dimensionally, show me how it works and show me why it works.....I just don't see how anyone can say a single negative thing about it. Flux thruster atom pulsers ( I believe that is the correct term) need more research.

    • MarkCC says:

      If such a device actually existed, and it actually was derived from vortex math, then I would retract my criticism and apologize. I've done that in the past when I was wrong. But the fact is, no such device does exist outside the minds of the crackpots. Vortex math is a pile of garbage, for the reasons I detailed in this post.

  • beNice says:

    ..the comments are more interesting then the unfinished thoughts of markCC .... im a programmer and doing my homework and you have no clue you are talking about.
    like somebody stated the hardware needs ternary transistor concepts which have to be attached to a new way of seeing relationships of calculations. So far the library's are accomplishing over 10k % overunity just in an ordinary calculating processor (PC)..
    quaternians and all kind of trigonometric concepts are inherit in a ternary system and dont have to be named as limit or case givers, and then translated out of and 2d carthesian coordinate system understanding... only cause u can put 3 of them together doesnt mean u have 3D !! And anyway it seems u have no clue about the fractal nature of dimension... cause u dont have words for it ! VBM is vedic math related and explains the phonetic nature of human communication modalitys as example of how live mirrors its environment. Everything is a reflection of a symmetry energy exchange model. differentials are like interference patterns which explain underlying cycles of connecting harmonics..

    why am i writing here and wasting my time with u anyway... i want to see u get ride of radiation, if u have a better idea of explaining electro magnetic sound propagation and which curle around them self btw without harming ACTUALLY this planet.
    Yea sure i will use you super computer which is just stacked nano meter bullshit, but not seeing that the crystal the most important part is.

    • MarkCC says:

      Never ceases to amaze me how twits keep coming back to this post, and shouting about all of the amazing vortex math inventions that I'm ignoring. And yet... they can never actually say anything that makes the slightest bit of sense. Lots of talk about amazing inventions, but nothing that actually exists. Lots of content-free babble about the amazing discoveries that it uncovers - but no actual discussions of the discoveries.

      In particular, this jackass is talking about ternary transistors as if they're something that would make a real difference. Guess what, moron: you could invent ternary, quadrary, quintary, 18-ary transistors, and it wouldn't change the fundamental capabilities of a computer at all. That's easily proven: you can emulate an N-ary computer for any N using a binary computer. Doesn't change anything.

      Worse for the vortex math bozos, computers don't do math in base 10 - they do it in binary. And all of the patterns that the VM guys are so obsessed with do not exist in base 2.

      • beNice says:

        wtf..serious ?? homework ! with open eyes ! and actually more w ur EARS !
        It takes just some observation. please.. all the fruits and flowers. fluid dynamics.
        OMG yea the meaning why everything moves.. how inconvenient no riddles more to solve...thanks farnsworth..futurama is perhaps the best place where a marko rodin should be presented.. but to predict the bs humans do would be great. VBM is a system which could help you figure that out, the potential bs multiplied with itself divided by the rest of everything probable, could tell you when where and how much bs you will encounter... if it needs that to make your live easier.

        To know the "constant" which is the variable is just btw quantum concepting but yea shit on it. 4 of the 7 mathematical problems are on their way to getting solved ... just for guys like you. Prime numbers show clearly for the trained eye a fractal constant, like a path leading spin. The stem of the "evil" root of intuition and appreciation for mathematics in music. The meaning of Prime numbers end at 19 OMG again there was something in the bible or koran written about it OMG it must be about the devil 0=

        we shouldn't fight , even this is just a predicted result. The reason for this lies clearly in our language. it is simple not capable to explain math and social things in a short comment under your sadness of misunderstandings...

        in the end it doesn't matter at all.. i will build a button for you in so u can press something without the need of knowing what happens inside, like you do to of all things you pressed on so far, ..of course the space is empty..only for you.

        ps: ur welcome to ask, i would be glad to help u connect the loose pages.. i hate wasted potential

        • frank says:

          Have you been in a cave go to freeenergynews.com you have something to wake up to. You know we are a developing people its always changing for the better or haven't you noticed. You are going to be left in the dust. As you may well deserve. Piss off with that poor attitude mister and use your talents wisely for a change or go back to your cave an wonder how stupid it sounds when you call people names.

        • MarkCC says:

          It's amazing how you expect to be taken seriously as some kind of authority, and yet you don't know how to actually write a grammatical sentence, much less a sentence that makes the least bit of sense.

          VBM remains, as far as I can tell, a meaningless pile of garbage based on observing random patterns in arbitrary numerical notations and concluding, without the slightest bit of evidence, that they're important.

          There are patterns that you can find by doing random stuff in base-10 exponential notation. There are also patterns - different patterns - in base-8, base-11, base-12, base-13, base-16, base 60. There are also very different patterns in non-exponential notations, like prime-number systems. There are even more patterns in extended roman numerals - different patterns for each different way of extending roman numerals to arbitrary size.

          These patterns aren't surprising. They're inevitable. It's a simple thing to prove: by doing a single repeated natural-number operation over a finite set of natural numbers, you're going to get a repeated sequence. It doesn't really matter what operation, or what sequence of values you're talking about.

          But Vortex math says that the specific use of base-10 is privileged. That utterly boring, predictable, inevitable pattern is special when it's base-10.

          Why? The vortex math guys can't say. They just assert that it is, because the pattern is so pretty.

  • Mauro Franco says:

    Well, What I'm saying is that exist a consistent type of operations called trasforms
    that work very well in math, physics and engeneering and, that the all thing about rodin and other mistics and ocultists is like some afirmations of David Bohn about
    a strange reality that is possible int terms of that transformations, going out of normal space of logic and representations. That can be any truth in that material if this is
    taking serious in some way. A field can't be zero... but... if the field is zero some thing hapens there and the if explanation may not be so acuratelly the phenomen persists.
    It's a question of time to get close the real teory about it. It's occur very times in the past of cience history.

  • bunch of seriously clueless people commenting on here...youre the ones that are bat shit crazy...there isnt any amount of proof that would persuade such ignorant people...
    the logic and reasoning is simple enough to follow if you can entertain an open mind.
    skepticism is perfectly fine for smart people, but this isn't true for the rest i am afraid

  • Hello,
    Excellent post. This post will help to practice the numerical reasoning and the math part. Thanks for sharing it...

  • Dan Vike says:

    I am not a math or science guy so I am able to understand some of the comments here in the way I would understand someone communicating with Latin because of the English language use of Latin root words, prefixes and suffixes. However, watching the TEDx video was easy to understand because he used simple illustrations and ridiculous claims. It didn't take a man genius or prodigy to smell BS. What caused me to second guess myself was the response from the audience. I guess the people there wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt with the intent to follow up later which is why all of you and others have called BS. Common sense dictates that a donut created through math is not going to cure diseases, feed the world, provide endless energy and all travel throughout the universe. Anyway, it is good to know that a common guy who wears cowboy boots, drives a jeep, works everyday to make ends meet and has survived some crazy things using my wit, experience, and my Mama's advice of if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, is able to trust my instincts. Thanks to you all.

  • Flavio says:

    I can only read envy here.

  • Olli says:

    Well, as a child I was fascinated by the fact that the 1/7 ... 6/7 all have endless repeating series of 1,4,2,8,5,7 ; just the starting point would differ.

    Now, I was fascinated that he was able to point out the same numbers... but in a different manner. As to the rest, I am less convinced that the vortex based math will solve all our problems.

    On the other hand, if we think about the binary system, you could easily come up with similar peculiarities...0+0=0, 0+1=1, 1+0=1, 1+1=0, and so on.

    In binary system, 2*1=10 which is "1", 2*10=100 which is again "1"... --> the "god" number is 1 ?

    Modeling our world, while having an intuition that God does certainly not roll dice, I would be tempted to look forward to binary vortex math solving all our problems rather than following some strange decimal system with all the unnecessary numbers which in the end the nature seems to have compressed to either 1 or 0... ;)

    Well, while decimal system and vortex based math has not been studied enough to prove significant advances in solving a problem (or, "any" problem, actually), the binary system has been extensively studied and it has certainly shown advances in modeling our world in many ways. Just a final breakthrough we might still have to wait at least to judgement day (or later).

    Another thing that bothers me with the decimal system based solution is the fact that while someone has claimed that similarity does not exist with any other number system - I tend to ask for scientific proof that any "other n-based system" could not be found with same or maybe even different "rules".

    While not judging the vortex based math, I simply have made up my mind: I sit back and relax until something very concrete has been shown - similar to what many here have also said - instead of stepping into the hype mode.

    greetings to y'all from darn cold Finland, where the temperature currently seems to be on the "negative pole" of the torus, and unfortunately beyond the levels describable by any vortex based math cell.

    • _Arthur says:

      Olli, you can predict the lenght of the period of the inverse of a prime, 1/p, by looking at a table of the prime factors of 10^N-1, so 9, 99, 999, 9999 etc..
      2 and 5 will have a period of 0, no periodic representation.
      3 is a factor of 10^1-1, so it will have a period of 1: 0.33333.. or 0.[3]
      7 is a factor of 10^6-1, so its inverse will have a period of 6, and so will 13 and 37
      11 is a factor of 99, so it will have a short period of 2 digits, 0.[09]

      What is length the period of 1/271? 271 is a factor of 9,999,999,999 so 10 digits.

      That property is related to Fermat's Little Theorem (beyond my pay grade).

      More mathematical explanations of this by Erik W. Weisstein at http://mathworld.wolfram.com/DecimalExpansion.html

      See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeating_decimal