BREA, California – Ladies and gentlemen, your humble correspondent has been on a bit of a mathematical bender of late.  I assure you it will soon be done.

Over the years scientists and engineers have come up with many ways to make reality conform to expectations.  Chief among these is the introduction of corrective factors to basic equations.  A good example is the z factor in the ideal gas equation.  This has led to some universities to eliminate the teaching of petroleum engineering equations (see 2P News, October 1, 2014).  However, most schools continue to teach these equations.  We at 2P News believe it to be worthwhile to explain to a general audience how these corrective factors are used to make the equation fit the universe and vice versa.  It also explains why scientists and engineers are so often wrong.  There are four primary factors:

The Fudge Factor, Kfu, (sometimes known as the variable constant) changes the universe to fit the equation.  It takes the form of

X1 = X + Kfu

Any measured variable, X, can be made to agree with any theoretical value, X1, with the simple addition of a Fudge Factor.  This simplicity was adequate for centuries.

The complex plane. How complex is it, really?

As scientific knowledge grew and spawned more complex situations, the Finagle Factor, Kfi, was introduced.  This factor alters the equation to fit the universe and takes the form of

X1 = KfiX + Kfu

Note that this is a general form equation and the K factors may be equal to 0 or 1.  This was deemed adequate until mid-20th century when the advent of the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) machine made it necessary to add the Diddle Factor, Kd.  The equation now becomes

X1 = KdX2 + KfiX + Kfu

You may also note that it is taking on the form of a quadratic equation and all that that implies.  This makes the equation and the universe appear to fit but without making any real changes as long as you stick to Cartesian co-ordinates.  For some reason, UNIVAC couldn’t handle polar or equatorial co-ordinates.

When the New Horizons space probe first began transmitting data from Pluto, scientists were baffled because the data stream sounded like a Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga duet.  Cleaning up the data stream required the introduction of the fourth and hopefully the last factor, the Bamboozle Factor, Kb, named for Professor Hiram Bamboozle who first used it to differentiate between shit and Shinola (see 2P News, January 22, 2021).  The general equation now takes on the form

X1 = KbX3 + KdX2 + KfiX + Kfu

 This factor depends on almost no one comprehending a cubic equation and the factor doesn’t change either the equation or the universe but rather changes the observer so that any disagreement between the two becomes accepted fact.


Editor’s Note:  The theoretical underpinnings of this article came from the Journal of Irreproducible Results.


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