Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The problem of powering paradise
November 15, 2010 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Professor Brian Cox: "If there were an afterlife I would have to reconsider the engineering design of fridges with a very critical eye" The field of cessation thermodynamics considers how the hereafter might be powered - probably without 21 grams of human soul - and whether this may mean hell will freeze over. posted by rongorongo (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Everyone has known since Dante first published his Divine Comedy that Hell is frozen over. It's the point in the universe furthest from the warmth of the Love of God. As Dante makes his way across the frozen 9th circle, those who have committed the sin of treachery are frozen into the lake with less and less of their forms exposed (and thus able to have independent expression), until finally it's just a mass of barely visible bodies under the surface of the ice with no ability for the sinner to move or do anything. In the center, he finds Lucifer frozen halfway submerged in the ice, with each of his triune faces eternally devouring the three most treacherous: Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.

Isn't this common knowledge? Hell is cold as... well, cold as Hell!
posted by hippybear at 1:58 PM on November 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Firstly, six (as in the six dying patients) is not a large enough sample size. When I studied statistics, my lecturer convinced me that, concerning people preferring one cola to another, "8 out of 10 is not statistically significant, but 16 out of 20 is".

Huh? Is this a stats joke?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2010


Brian Cox is a rock star. (No, really!) I love watching his documentaries because I'm convinced that any moment the rest of the Hong Kong Cavaliers are going appear behind him and they are going to rush off to deal with that whole "Red Lectroids issue".
posted by quin at 2:13 PM on November 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Just because Robert Llewellyn says it's right, doesn't make it.. Right.. Right.
posted by hanoixan at 2:21 PM on November 15, 2010


1. This looks like quite a cool idea for a series, talking with people on a car ride.
2. This had literally the first pre-roll video advertisement I've ever seen that didn't cause me to want to break things. A WWII museum, interesting!
posted by JHarris at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2010


Much love for Dr Karl and I see his point on the "8 out of 10 is not statistically significant, but 16 out of 20 is". Viva larger sample sizes - what is true at a smaller sampling should hold up in a larger one, right? So wouldn't it be a stronger argument to prove things on a larger scale if you can? I'd rather 250 people out of a 1000 saying Ol' Raunchy's on the money, than 1 out of 4. That 1 guy might be a jerk.
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 2:37 PM on November 15, 2010


This of course assumes that the afterlife universe is subject to the same laws as ours.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:45 PM on November 15, 2010


Thanks for this rongorongo... just finished watched the latest 'The Trip' on telly, and it seems to have run out of intellectual steam somewhat.

More interesting blokes talking in cars!
posted by vectr at 2:48 PM on November 15, 2010


Huh? Is this a stats joke?

I don't think so. You can consider 16 out of 20 to be the equivalent to two studies, each of which result in 8 out of 10. Obviously this is arbitrary (you could say 4 out of 5 isn't significant, but 8 out of 10 is, by that logic) but the point (if memory serves) being taught is that the larger the sample size, the more significant the results (where the least significant result comes from a sample size of one, and the most significant result comes from a sample size of every single relevant person in your audience.) 8 out of 10 and 16 out of 20 may produce the same percentage, but one is definitely more relevant than the other.
posted by davejay at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2010


Or, what raunchy said.
posted by davejay at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2010


To quote Sir Henry: afterlife, aftershave... don't hold with any of it.
posted by Decani at 3:02 PM on November 15, 2010


Huh? Is this a stats joke?

Sample size. Specifically, the difference between 8/10 and 5/10 (the expected result if both categories are equally likely by chance) is a little shy of significant by chi-square test (p = 0.06), but the difference between 16/20 and 10/20 is significant at p = 0.007. So even though the 8/10 result might be totally accurate, it's actually not that strong evidence against random chance, especially compared to 16/20.

On preview, what everyone said, but with p-values I guess.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:03 PM on November 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


As for souls entering hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell.

From the last link. Brilliant!
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2010


Thanks for putting that better guys :) Glad someone knew what I was on about!
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 3:32 PM on November 15, 2010


Ah, thanks everyone. I got the 'bigger is better' part, but the difference in sample sizes struck me as being so small that I thought there might be a meta joke in there.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:41 PM on November 15, 2010


It is possible that this world is another realm's hell.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:33 PM on November 15, 2010


Stop waving your hands around and put them on the steering wheel!






Oh.
posted by emelenjr at 5:16 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just so you guys know, a Buckaroo Banzai reference is always good for One Free Favorite from yours truly.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:17 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Asking is a polite way of demanding.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:29 PM on November 15, 2010


« Older Elizabeth Warren on setting up the Bureau of Consu...   |   Tolia Demidov... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments