Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The Batman Equation (stackexchange.com)
241 points by meadhikari on July 30, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

The original submission at reddit had several interesting threads including strings ready to paste in Mathematica and attempts to run it in WolframAlpha.

"Do you like Batman? Do you like math? My math teacher is REALLY cool" http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/j2qjc/do_you_like_batm...

It's shameful of HardOCP and others not to credit the original submitter.

I must admit that this strikes me as rather dull: make the equation complicated enough and you can obtain any shape you'd like. I would far be more impressed by a simple one-line equation that drew this shape.

How long are your lines, how small is your font/letter-spacing .. du-duh! One line!

that first answer is basically pretty basic procedural graphics. There's a whole scene of people using smartly combined simple functions to create pretty and/or realistic shapes.

Check out 'cdak', a 4kb executable realtime animation for a rather impressive example: http://capped.tv/quite_orange-cdak (video) or ftp://ftp.untergrund.net/users/ized/prods/cdak.zip (4kb windows executable)

I saw this posted on Reddit a few days ago. I briefly considered submitting it here, but thought 'This kind of thing belongs on Reddit, not HN.' But what do you know, here it is with 182 points. Oh well.

Is there a way to massage this so that Wolfram Alpha can graph it in whole?

once upon a time, I thought this is how computer generate graphic shapes...

The "batman" image and icons are under IP protection... I wonder if this equation automatically falls under that umbrella. And what about the particular result of that equation , when graphically rendered. Could I sell T-shirts with that equation's rendering on them?

Assuming copyright/trademark in place on the image, probably not (although, IANAL - so take the following with an appropriate dose of salt).

The short reason why is that bits have color ( http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23).

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_prime for a concrete example.

Every image can be rendered by an equation. How do you think JPEG works? Why would this be any different?

Huh, I was expecting something like this: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1870

Thankfully, this link wasn't quite as depressing as T-Rex's Expected Real Life Batman Generation Rate.

Note, there's even less cerebral things you can draw with polar co-ordinates.

That trick always seemed incomplete to me because the output only contains part of the formula; it's missing the constant that actually encodes most of the information. Has anyone ever made one where the output contains everything you need?

Yes! To both.

Calling Tupper's formula "self-referential" (which he did not) is essentially cheating: https://shreevatsa.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-does-tuppers...

But someone has made one where the output contains everything: http://jtra.cz/stuff/essays/math-self-reference/

A little discussion on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/i75t1/tuppers_formula_...

If you consider outputs for equations other than Cartesian graphs, then Quines should get you what you want.


Yes, I think a "Cartesian" quine would be pretty tough to create, because you're going from a symbolic representation to an inefficient visual representation. Could a more efficient visual representation solve it? One approach might be to output a bitmap that looks like this:


where ######## is a bitmap representation of the raw input to gunzip.

I wonder what the equation would look like if a 3rd dimension was added.

How long before this is converted into css3 ?

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact