Talk:2193: Well-Ordering Principle

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Still a "trap": POOF, you're now the worst McFly cosplayer; here's a mirror.

She asked about people who 'tried' to dress as Marty McFly. So unless Megan has ever tried to dress as him, I don't think she can be the answer.Barmar (talk) 00:10, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
_Technically_, Megan never used the formal "I wish" construction: she had "my wish is" and "just show me." Since the genie didn't immediately grant it in response to "my wish is," either (1) it's not possible (see other folks' comments below), (2) like Alex Trebec, he requires the proper format, or (3) we can assume that he'll respond to a direct order ... in which case, Megan will become a McFly cosplayer in a subsequent panel. :p
Considering that wishing for any of the genie's suggestions would make her a wanted criminal that stole a billion dollars, a housefly in a room full of irritable people, or a genie trapped in a lamp for all eternity, this is hardly a terrible fate. 14:04, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Beware. The worst Marty McFly may be truly terrible. Or it could be a little kid in a costume they made out of craft paper and colored in crayon, terrible but adorable... but it could involve (1) real lightning, (2) real plutonium, (3) the band McFly, (4) actually a dog in costume, (5) actually a fly in costume, (6) Jeff Goldblum from "The Fly" i.e. fly head not Jeff Goldblum head - in costume, (7) Cthulhu - in costume. (The last and worst trick-or-treat you'll ever see; he would qualify.) [email protected] 14:36, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
She only wished to see "their costume". So the genie could trap her by only showing the costume, without letting her know how it looked on the wearer. In fact, the genie can also opt to ignore the "singular they" madness and bury her in a pile of costumes (of everyone who ever wore one for Halloween). 16:50, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Are* costumes well-ordered? Even leaving aside the subjectivity of any ranking, there are several different criteria which could be used, and many ways of combining them. (What if the costume which looked least like Marty wasn't the ugliest, nor the one showing least effort?) — Also, may be worth qualifying the explanation of Halloween by mentioning the USA; some other countries don't celebrate it, and of those that do, not all do trick-or-treating or dressing-up &c. Gidds (talk) 00:23, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
Saying there are different criteria kind of overlaps with saying the ranking is subjective. But far worse, even individual preferences are preorders aka quasiorders, which absolutely does mean that there may not be a worst, or even a set of costumes tied for worst. However, the fact that you can always find someone (e.g. on Amazon Mechanical Turk, or off the street, or on a wiki somewhere) to give you another opinion means that well-foundedness can be rescued with their mean opinion score. I wonder if the genie is powerful enough to know the asymptotic MOS ranking right away, or if it will have to wait for enough Amazon Mechanical Turk HITs to be completed. Given that there must have been at least hundreds of thousands of consumes so far, that could take quite a long time to achieve p<0.05. 04:00, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
I've spent way too much time on this, but the more I do, the more I think Randall is trying to say something about the simulation hypothesis, related to the theme on Watch Room (warning: somewhat creepy but otherwise ok sci-fi short.) 12:32, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

I hope this Munroe lowkey challenging the internet, that we might actually celebrate our infamous king (or girl marty queen) of crappy costume. -- 00:37, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

The "worst McFly" and "even" sounds like there should be a math pun in there somewhere, but I don't see it. 01:36, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

"It's been over 30 years since Back to the Future came out." That makes me feel old. Isn't that something that Munroe does regularly? Should that be mentioned in the explanation? 10:42, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes, I am sure there have been at least two comics where the often surprising ages of things formed a central part of the theme, but I can't remember enough about them to find them. Anyone? 11:55, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
Just see Category:Comics to make one feel old :-). --DaB. (talk) 12:29, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks  Done 12:38, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

"The real Worst McFly is probably lost to time" is also a pun regarding the fact that Back to the Future is a time-travel story.--MCBastos (talk) 17:20, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

I wonder if this could be trap from Megan - even unintended one: in some stories, the Genie could get into problems if he CANT fulfill the wish ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:07, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Even if "preference" is a total order (i.e. connex and anti-symmetric, I think both of these are debatable) it isn't necessarily a well order, however, since the set of costumes is finite, there would still be a "worst" one. Probably not Douglas Hofstadter (talk) 03:17, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

It's not a total preorder unless you don't let people have "no opinion" about some pairs, which is an acceptable constraint for preferences based on established objective criteria, but not something so subjective like quality of fashion. In practice, a lot of people are going to have least favorites between which they don't care. Surveys of subjective preferences almost always allow people to say that they don't have opinions or are not sure. Even in technically objective measures, like short- versus long-term bond yield curves, you can sometimes prove that people objectively should have certain preferences upon which they are clearly not acting. 07:40, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Sounds like a trap -- for the genie. Keep it busy so that it can't inflict "wishes" on others. Much more subtle than "find the last digit of pi", but possibly still a "halting problem" that can never be fully solved.

Actually, this wish is simply if not easily fulfilled, and it may indeed be a trap for Megan. Simply show her every Marty McFly costume ever worn. At some point she would have to have seen the worst, no matter how worst was determined. Depending upon the method, this could take a very long time. 00:48, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Good point; added. 06:34, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Knowing this community and knowing the story, I'm already looking forward to this year's Halloween Kventin (talk) 06:13, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

What if the genie sends Megan to the time and place when the worst McFly costume was put on... and it sends her there naked... and the genie disappears from the scene and never answers another with from Megan ever again? Trapped in another time, possibly another country with a different language, and then promptly sent to prison for years. 01:10, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Aren't stick figures regularly naked? This isn't a low-res nudist special interest comic? 20:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

The person Megan would see is most likely Eric Stoltz. He was replaced as Marty McFly after the film makers (and the actor) realized he had been miscast. I propose he did the worst job of dressing as McFly (in this timeline) as he lost his job in his attempt. In an economic sense, principally that of lost potential earnings (from the movie, and further including earnings from the sequels, and from being a more bankable following a starring role in a hit movie), he would likely out rank all other contenders. Neffo (talk) 13:44, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

(wishes for infinite wishes and then control over everything in the world and magic and shapeshifting powers) I AM UNSTOPPABLE lol The orange crewmate ඞ (talk) 14:36, 7 May 2024 (UTC)