Our latest Cricinfo piece has been a huge hit. Here’s what the critics are saying about it.

“Assume someone eats 10 apples per day and wants to reduce the number of apples he eats per day. He decides to counts two apples as one(or one as half) and claims that he has reduced the amount of apples he eats by half. This is total nonsense.”

To have half an idea what the bloody hell he’s on about, start by reading the article.

How many oranges are equivalent to ten apples?

Asking for a friend.

6 bananas

Or we can have only 3 balls per over and still count it as 6 balls

That will also have the added benefit of reducing the time taken to play an ODI

Dont take this the wrong way, but the below the line stuff is quickly threatening to take over your Cricinfo articles. Some magnificent stuff there. Trying to work out who is taking the piss with you and who is just a moron is a great pastime.

I love the rejoinder by “GrannySmith”

“It is in no way similar to the man eating too many apples, if he wants to cut back he can get help at Apples Anonymous.”

As an economist, I feel bound to point out that the direction of travel is all wrong here.

Inflation is the natural consequence of governing and regulatory bodies doing what they do best, i.e. ballsing things up.

Deflation is an abomination which leads only to pain for all concerned, including the governing/regulatory lot whose ball (or balls up) it is, after all.

So the more natural way to achieve KC’s wishes is not, as he suggests, to count each run as a half, but to count each ball as two balls.

The very first Cricinfo comment-writer, bless him or her, almost got there when suggesting 25 over matches, but missed the vital component of inflation which is to take stuff away without people noticing.

My way, these would still be 50 over matches, they’d just be that little bit smaller (roughly half the duration) and the price could remain the same.

A for the apple man, he would get exactly what he wants. Imagine you eat 10 apples a day and want to diet by eating half the apples you were eating before. You simply switch to eating 10 apples of half the size and you are achieving your aims. If the shopkeeper can continue to charge you the same amount of money, because 1 diet apple is priced the same as 1 large apple, everyone wins.

Problem solved.

All of this is why I only watch and follow test cricket.

Can we just get rid of India and pyjama cricket?

If you assume the Axiom of Choice, making ten apples into five apples by simply cutting them up and rearranging them is quite straightforward, so I feel your correspondent is wrong. In cricket terms, this could add another facet to an already more-than-sufficiently faceted game. As well as Powerplays, the captains could be offered two five-over periods when Zorn’s Lemma was assumed to be false. The set of all their scores would then have no least element, so in the case of rain the match would necessarily be a draw.

Informally put, the axiom of choice says that given any collection of bins, each containing at least one object, it is possible to make a selection of exactly one object from each bin.

I’m not sure cutting up 10 apples and putting them into bins would ensure that you could pull out the pieces and make 5 perfect apples.

I’ve been a mathematician longer than Bert but I don’t know what Zurn’s Lemma is or was: I’ll google it.

To be fair, to do that dividing thing you do need to be able to cut the apples along fractally complex lines with infinite divisibility, so you need a very, very sharp knife.

Can I do my “What is an anagram of Banach-Tarski” joke? Can I? Oh go on, please, can I? Ace, thanks.

What is an anagram of Banach-Tarski?

Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski

I’ve got loads more mathematical jokes that are absolutely hilarious and requiring only moderate-to-advanced mathematics to understand. If you like, I can spend a while telling them all to you several times. Oh what fun we’d all have together. Like why is a non-Abelian group like a homeworker? Because it doesn’t commute. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I wrote them all out on a spreadsheet called Maths Jokes. It’s in my folder called General Technical Jokes, which includes hilarious stuff on chemistry and physics as well as maths. Two cats on a roof, which fell off first? The one with the smallest mew. You have to say it out loud, but when you do it is hilarious. I should have said that the roof was a sloping roof – if you were imagining a flat roof it wouldn’t be in the slightest bit hilarious. And I guess that even on a sloping roof neither cat would fall off unless the breakaway friction had been reached, so it could be said that the correct answer is none of them. If the angle of the roof were to steadily increase it would be accurate though. Two cats on an hydraulically actuated roof with variable and increasing pitch, which fell off first? Hilarious.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is every bit as hilarious as we imagined it would be.

Ahem.

Bert?

Is that you??

Because the header says Court of Arbitration for Sport???

What’s going on????

What sort of mathematician doesn’t know what Zorn’s Lemma is?

I’ll answer that question: an applied one.

Shame on you, Thesaurusrus.

The bastards. It just goes to show that you can’t trust lawyers even a little bit.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know how to change the default name that a comment box comes up with in IE11?

All you silly mathematicians are missing a crucial point: apples don’t make you fat. No, it’s that large pizza you stuffed into your gut last night, you pathetic piece of shit. You got absolutely no self control, do you? What about the fucking resolutions? What about them, you moose-faced bitch? You are going to give up all plans of getting ripped, aren’t you? Aren’t you? Yes, they are going to laugh at you. Every one of them. And you’re just going to stand there, not knowing what to do. Just like second grade when those heartless girls made fun of you. You’ll die a sad man. A very sad man.

This may or may not be self loathing.

I think it’s self loathing

To be completely fair on all correspondents – no-one has suggested that the purpose of the apple intake reduction is to reduce fat. The Cricinfo apple man merely says “reduce the number of apples he eats per day”.

I introduce the term “diet” and apologise if the use of that word inferred fat reduction, but the purpose of a diet is not necessarily to reduce fat intake.

Imagine, for example, a fruitarian who is eating rather too many apples per day – say 10 large ones – and is advised to reduce their intake of apples and widen their diet of other things. That widening will not possibly include pizza, but is still a change of diet.

I also really resent being described as a silly mathematician, Deep Cower. In no way shape or form am I a mathematician – that is a slur on my good character and indeed a slur on the good character of mathematicians.

I accept the adjective “silly” wholeheartedly and reciprocally.

Anyway, imagine someone, who might or might not be named Deep Cower, who eats 10 large pizzas a month and wants to diet by eating half the quantity of pizza he was previously eating…

This is an amazing thread. I am saving it to remind myself why this site is perfect for me.