The Division By Zero Conspiracy
April 7, 2003 4:25 AM   Subscribe

For Great Justice. Man appeals to High Court of Australia to apply their jurisdiction to the laws of mathematics. Justice Kirby not amused.
posted by Bletch (17 comments total)
Did Monty Python write that sketch?
posted by Eirixon at 4:37 AM on April 7, 2003

Hmm. Does he ever suggest that Mr Justice Kirby deserves to be spit upon publicly?
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:35 AM on April 7, 2003

Good lord. I suppose this is what happens when you ignore a crackpot.

Any Aussies care to tell us what the American (or British) equivalent of the High Court of Australia is? Is this some guy getting laughed out of a local court, or is the High Court of Australia more significant than that?
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:40 AM on April 7, 2003

This T. J. Rout?
posted by carter at 8:53 AM on April 7, 2003

what an evil bastard.
posted by angry modem at 8:57 AM on April 7, 2003

looks likely carter...
posted by twine42 at 8:57 AM on April 7, 2003

Sort of reminds me of this classic U.S. case [PDF]
posted by boltman at 9:57 AM on April 7, 2003

Johnny Assay: Australia's High Court is the highest in the land, and so would be equivalent to the US Supreme Court I think. I can't imagine how this poor loon even got a hearing there; I'd have thought lower courts would have prevented it.
posted by sennoma at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2003

So.... If I'm reading this right......

He wants the court to force some politician to accept his atomic fusion theory, because once the politician accepts the theory he will be able to make the votes cast for that politician cease to exist?

Interesting. A science where the physical forces only apply if all parties involved agree they are valid. So, we are all "all powerful" but only so long as those around us agree to our will. Cool.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:33 AM on April 7, 2003

boltman - Great link! Excellent decision from Judge Weber.
posted by tdismukes at 11:28 AM on April 7, 2003

I like how the judge was patient and kept his composure. I'd have tossed him out, guess that's why I am not a judge.
posted by riffola at 1:33 PM on April 7, 2003

KIRBY J: It makes statements concerning the former Chief Justice and said that he is off with the late Mr Skase in Majorca in Spain, which is simply not the case.

MR ROUT: Yes, a little humour added there.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:49 PM on April 7, 2003

I'm certainly no expert, but I'm guessing the fellow suffers from some illness, possibly bi-polar disorder.

Reading this exchange just made me sad.
posted by mazola at 2:08 PM on April 7, 2003


Loony old men make the world such an enjoyable place.
posted by qDot at 3:14 PM on April 7, 2003

y6y6y6: close, but I think his fundamental argument isn't about his fusion theory but about the validity of the accepted behavior of the multiplication and division operators -- since he, and only he, understands how foo*0 and foo/0, the court must force everyone else to understand it as well. Which will make everything okay, and legitimize his nuclear theory.

But his argument really is fantastic, if also stupid. It boils down to this, as I understand it:

(1) The elected official to whom the petition refers got elected by some number "n" of votes.

(2) Something fairly axiomatic to mathematics is wrong. (Specifically, multiplication and division by 0.)

(3) Operating from this incorrect understanding, one can "prove" falsities, which allow, for example, the creation of something from nothing, and the reduction of something to nothing.

(4) The incorrect mathematics thus allow the "n" votes to be reduced to 0 arbitrarily.

(5) Therefore, unless the court enforces Rout's proper math, the candidate in question can be said to have lost the election.

Q E Dizzle, mah nizzle!

Also, I'm reminded of sci.math fixture James Harris.
posted by cortex at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2003

Johnny Assay: the HCA is the final legal arbiter in Australia - equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sennoma: from what I can tell this is an application for special leave to appeal. i.e. A subset of the full bench of seven judges (in this case Kirby and Heydon JJ) give an applicant 20 minutes to outline their case. At the end, the mini-bench concurs (usually at the table, muttering under their breath, behind their hands, sotto voce, very amusing) and say whether or not they'll grant leave to appeal. If leave is granted then it's off before the full bench and the whole nine yards.

Usually, the HCA will set aside the best part of a day to hear a whole truckload of these applications at once. Imagine a room full of be-wigged barristers traipsing up one by one to make their case, and then this guy somewhere in the middle.

I'm not sure why this particular nutcase made it before the HCA, but I'm guessing that because the matter concerns an electoral petition, the HCA may have had original jurisdiction. i.e. matters concerning elections may get bounced straight up to the HCA.

For more amusing HCA special leave transcripts see:
Knight v Bell and Fyffe v Victoria (two guys running the same Masonic conspiracy line)
Wilson v New South Wales

It's not that I collect these things ... :)
posted by bright cold day at 8:12 PM on April 7, 2003

Australia's High Court is the highest in the land, and so would be equivalent to the US Supreme Court I think

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. It was established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Constitution. The functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts.
posted by dg at 12:10 AM on April 8, 2003

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