Wednesday, April 19, 2006

computer illiterates

This is what you get in your email-inbox if ... like I have to. Please give attention to the actual content of the email, one line at the top, and 11 generations of redundant fullquotes below.

5 comments:

phil said...

The interesting parameter here is the proportion of the mail consisting of '>'s. If you assume that each mail consists of l lines with c characters each, then you get c*l characters per mail. For n mails, you will have c*l*n text characters.

Each new mail iteration gives a new '>' to each line of all previous mails, forming a triangular series. The total amount of '>'s is then (n-1)*n*l.

We can then deduce the critical number of email iterations required that the text characters are outnumbered by the '>'s.

n_crit = c + 1 (that's a one, not an l)

irrespective of how many lines you write per mail. For a typical line length of maybe 40 characters, including empty lines this means that you can happily send another 28 replies before things get serious.

phil said...

Bugger, I screwed up by a factor of 2. As it is a triangle there are only half as many '>'s as I calculated, so the result should be n_crit = 2c + 1.

Christian Vogel said...

Yes, there's a long way to go until total insanity...

perreira said...

> The interesting parameter here is the
> proportion of the mail consisting of
>'>'s. If you assume that each mail
> consists of l lines with c characters
> each, then you get c*l characters per
> mail. For n mails, you will have c*l*n
> text characters.


> Each new mail iteration gives a new '>'
> to each line of all previous mails,
> forming a triangular series. The total
> amount of '>'s is then (n-1)*n*l.


> We can then deduce the critical number
> of email iterations required that the
> text characters are outnumbered by the
> '>'s.

> n_crit = c + 1 (that's a one, not an l)

> irrespective of how many lines you write
> per mail. For a typical line length of
> maybe 40 characters, including empty
> lines this means that you can happily
> send another 28 replies before things
> get serious.

Does that apply to Blog Comments as well?

Christian Vogel said...

Yes

perreira wrote:

>> The interesting parameter here is the
>> proportion of the mail consisting of
>>'>'s. If you assume that each mail
>> consists of l lines with c characters
>> each, then you get c*l characters per
>> mail. For n mails, you will have c*l*n
>> text characters.


>> Each new mail iteration gives a new '>'
>> to each line of all previous mails,
>> forming a triangular series. The total
>> amount of '>'s is then (n-1)*n*l.


>> We can then deduce the critical number
>> of email iterations required that the
>> text characters are outnumbered by the
>> '>'s.

>> n_crit = c + 1 (that's a one, not an l)

>> irrespective of how many lines you write
>> per mail. For a typical line length of
>> maybe 40 characters, including empty
>> lines this means that you can happily
>> send another 28 replies before things
>> get serious.

>Does that apply to Blog Comments as well?