2:54 AM
@Bookworm this question is contained in the HNQs

2 hours later…
5:14 AM
@Bookworm This question has leaped into the raw HNQ list.
And two new answers from the Other Gareth.

5:58 AM
@Randal'Thor I had fun putting together the answer, but spent entirely too long on it. Imma flunk my maths class and it'll be all your fault. Ironic, considering that you're a mathemagician by trade

@verbose hmm

@verbose Oh, I forgot to ask: what kind of maths course are you taking?
And thanks for the answer! I was expecting one from you :-)
I was even going to ask in a comment if the Rāmopākhyāna was ever published separately, like the Bhagavad Gita, or if the Rāmāyaṇa is people's go-to for a stand-alone story about Rama. But you already answered that along with everything else.

@Randal'Thor Somehow I'm imagining an unimaginative calculus 1 for English majors class where an old American professor writes special case equations on the blackboard, like what the integral of x·ln x dx is, with basically no material that the students will ever use or background that they learn something from.

@Randal'Thor precalculus I. It's not difficult per se, it's just ... very different from what I usually do. And I haven't done any actual maths in decades. The hope is to actually take calculus at some point
@b_jonas I guess I don't know what use I'll ever have for maths, but I'm not sure what use I ever have for literature either.
I mean, I don't see "useless" as a good reason not to take a class.

@verbose What is in this precalculus 1? Did they tell you about complex numbers and how every one-variable polynomial factorizes to the product of linears?

6:11 AM
@b_jonas Not yet. But it's only week 2.
Also, the professors are French and Italian

only week 2? then Rand can't make you flunk yet!

@b_jonas I wouldn't put it past him to try 😐

hmm, in that case, have they told you about the distributivity of multiplication of real numbers then?
I don't know what counts as precalculus 1 overseas these days
I'd ask if the course matches your existing background knowledge but you might not be able to tell that before the sixth week

@b_jonas yes, they have, but I actually knew that from before
@b_jonas Oh I'm certain it doesn't. Owing to the peculiar education "streaming" one has in India, I haven't taken maths since tenth grade. The highest maths class I took was Trigonometry. I never got as far as calculus. I am taking precalculus simply because it has been long enough that I need to brush up on stuff I have forgotten how to do.
I mean, I used to program, but couldn't have ever proved to you why one algorithm was more efficient than another, for example.
I do understand big-O notation but I can't prove things.

@verbose That's one of the useful things where I want to teach the basics to people who don't want to program as a carreer.
some basic intuition at least, I don't care if you can give formal proofs

6:21 AM
@b_jonas Right, I have the basic intuition but I can't give formal proofs

@b_jonas Are you pulling his leg? That's at least three courses ahead of precalculus 1, I'd guess.

@Randal'Thor I don't mean the proof of that, that's much harder, just the phenomenon
and that was before he said "precalculus"

12 mins ago, by b_jonas
@verbose What is in this precalculus 1? Did they tell you about complex numbers and how every one-variable polynomial factorizes to the product of linears?
^ "precalculus"

no wait, sorry, that was after he said precalculus
anyway, no, I don't expect them to prove that
but I expect some motivation about why complex numbers are useful
and of course the usual one given is cubic equations, which is useful, but it's not the only motivation

@b_jonas I suppose the phenomenon could be in precalculus, but only if they explain what complex numbers are.
Dunno what level they introduce complex numbers in US education, but I thought it'd be later than precalculus 1.

6:25 AM
@Randal'Thor yes, I assume they'd have to explain complex number arithmetic first

I ... do know what complex numbers are?

From this course, or from your previous knowledge?

previous knowledge. Not high school maths class, but some CS stuff
Either that or I read Calvin and Hobbes where Hobbes speaks of "imaginary numbers like eleventeen and twenty-twelve" and I looked up imaginary numbers and fell down a rabbit hole

:-D
checks calendar Nope, twenty-twelve was definitely real.

ha

6:32 AM

Y'know it occurs to me that Gareth McCaughan's answer bears the same relationship to mine as the Rāmopākhyāna does to the Rāmāyaṇa

6:45 AM
Oh the mention of Ṛṣyasringa brings to mind a funny story about how my husband grew used to the vagaries of Indian mythology. One of the chief characters in the Mahābhārata is a lady named Satyavati. She is the daughter of a fisherman and guts fish all day. So she always carries the odor of fish with her. So one of her nicknames is Matsyagandhā
Zephyr came across the name Matsyagandhā and asked me what it meant. I said, "the lady who smells of fish." He refused to believe me and insisted I was pulling his leg / making it up.
A couple of years later, he came across the name Ṛṣyasringa and asked what that meant. I said, "the dude with antlers." And his response was simply, "oh, okay." I took that contrast as an indication of how much more familiar he had become with the stories I grew up with

:)

That reminds me of an interesting observation (I think made by BESW in here?) about how some mythologies, notably Native American, usually have character names translated morpheme-by-morpheme when the stories are translated into English, while others like ancient Greek (and Sanskrit/Indian, evidently) keep the names more or less in the original language.

That is interesting

May 24 '18 at 21:41, by BESW
How would Greek history seem if we translated all names and terms, as happens with Native American history?
Found it.
@verbose heh :-D

7:11 AM
@Randal'Thor Yes, someone mentioned that about Chinese legendarium, mostly because the phonetic transcriptions from Chinese are not very faithful and a bit silly.

1 hour later…
8:39 AM
Meaning of the phrase “If ever a man leaped across time into the raw…”: this question, which I migrated from Language Learning Stack Exchange, went HNQ.

4 hours later…
1:02 PM
@b_jonas Solving ∫ x ln x dx is something that I've found useful a few times — it comes up in the runtime of algorithms that need to sort arrays of different lengths. There's an example in this Stack Overflow answer

0

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Elizabeth used the presence of Vicki at her place as an excuse for sleeping nearly every night at Philip’s. He did not mind: he was not the kind of person who could be bothered minding. But he stayed out later, fell into strange beds in ho...

1:50 PM
@verbose Excellent observation! In any case, your answer is clearly a much better one than mine.
@Randal'Thor How dare you, sir? I insist that Mr Rees is the Other Gareth.
(For the avoidance of doubt, I don't actually mean that; especially here on Literature he is plainly the Primary Gareth.)

@GarethMcCaughan On Puzzling, he would be :-)
In one Doctor Who episode, an expedition crew included two men called Dave. They went by Proper Dave and Other Dave.

Didn't know Gareths were so territorial :)

2:41 PM
(also does that need an author tag?)

@bobble You should see them in the lek season.

1 hour later…
3:52 PM
Today, the 5th of May, marx the 203rd birthday of Karl.

@Tsundoku March?
I think you have too many puns on the brain.

4:54 PM
@GarethRees Hehe. Ok.