My Succulent Pig Ate Dinner Early

“Men are not prisoners of Fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’ve always agreed with this quote.  I feel that we are limited in our advancement only by the scope of our imagination.  Think about developments in literature, the formulation of delicious cooking recipes or even space travel.  All of these these things were dreamed up first, executed second.

The execution is the tricky part.  Because it is in the execution where we are constrained by the laws of the physical world.  I’d like to make a machine that let’s you capture your dreams and nightmares and save them in a viewable digital format.  Here’s the problem: I know nothing about the psychology of sleep (apparently no one does), the inner workings of audio visual equipment, or how to connect the two with some type of software program.  Even if it is possible, the math equations necessary for such an undertaking would be difficult, if not impossible.  Math has the final say.  It is the only truth, isn’t it?

I’m not so convinced and here’s why.  Order of Operations.  When a complex math equation is presented there is a predefined set of rules for how to go about solving the problem: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction.  Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

Example of the usual order of operations:

4+6*72= x  (exponent)

4+6*49= x  (multiply)

4+294= x  (add)

298= x

But what if we have the order of operations incorrect?  What if the rules that we’d adhered to for so long should be in a different order?  What if it was multiply, subtract, parentheses, addition, division, exponents?  My Succulent Pig Ate Dinner Early.

4+6*72= x (multiply)

4+422= x (add)

462= x  (exponent)

2116= x

Two identical equations reveal two completely different answers (but correct, according to the established order of operations).

What are the implications of this?  Well maybe we’ve been looking at our math in the wrong way.  It’s impossible to break the speed of light according to conventional math.  Who is to say the same would be true if only we tweaked a few rules. I know the phrase “tweaked the rules” in math is an order for death, but it’s just some food for thought.

P.S. This is probably all BS.  I encourage you, the reader, to enlighten me on how the Order of Operations is not just an arbitrary way of doing things, e-mail me at to explain.  This article was really just me thinking (typing) out loud.

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