Okay, so in 2006 I took a famously bad proof, namely
and modified it to include an additional terrible pun in its punchline. This sat for years unperturbed before it was (as mentioned on Monday) suddenly discovered and, apparently, Bluesnewsed and Digged (or is the past tense Dugg?) and StumbledUpon and went viral from there.
The end result is that it’s gotten its collection of interesting comments, several of which merit mentioning. If you haven’t read any of them yet, you should. (It’s okay… I’ll wait.)
IF — and this is up for contention — IF we assume that “money is the root of evil,” it is reasonable to assume the root refers to the square root (which is what is unambiguously meant by the root operator), this is equivalent to money2 = evil. Since girls = money2 has been established, this implies girls are evil directly, and the original conclusion holds.
However, as a corollary, this also asserts that money2 is negative, so that money is purely imaginary. Several commentors have in fact given compelling evidence in support of this, ranging from the grimly academic (John in #9) to the economically savvy (Flinthart in #28).
I think there’s a revolutionary new economics paper in here somewhere.
However, IF we assume that money is real and IF we still assume that “money is the root of evil,” then a reasonable interpretation of the latter statement would in fact be money = sqrt(|evil|), on the grounds that the quotation is an expression about a magnitude of money contributing to a magnitude of evil. If this is the case, then the argument presented in the article holds, namely, that girls = |evil|.
…But kudos to Yanni (#31) for finding the immediate — and contradictory — conclusion that if evil is a negative quantity, then -(evil) = |evil|. Since good is the opposite of evil, this implies that girls are good. That’s the spirit of komplexification!
As an immediately corollary, Yanni’s argument shows that, in particular, goodness is absolute evil. I think Yanni may have more or less proved the logical inconsistency of the concepts of “good” and “evil.”
I think there’s a revolutionary new theology paper in here somewhere.
However, a large (unnecessarily large, in fact) number of commentors have noted that the Bible asserts that “love of money is the root of evil”,” or
love(money) = evil1/2
although few have attempted to carry this to its logical conclusions.
A notable exception is DL (comment #54), who follows this line of reasoning to an unexpected conclusion. However, while I cannot argue against the conclusion DL draws, I must sadly point out that the statement DL provides — namely “I love you twice as much today as yesterday and half as much as tomorrow” — implies that love(t) is an exponential function, rather than a linear one; in fact, it asserts that love(time) = C(2time) for some constant C.
Assuming C=1 (and I have no good reason to do so, admittedly, other than to simplify things) and following the equations, all I can come up with is
girls = (1/4) (log2evil)2,
which doesn’t lend itself to a pun particularly well.