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exponential vs polynomial

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Topher, Sep 15, 2017.

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  1. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Not exponential. Velocity^2 or velocity^3 (depending on what you are talking about), Not e^velocity which would be exponential.

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I derive some satisfaction from not being the only one who gets schooled around here.
     
  3. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Yup, never pass up an opportunity to learn something new. Double points if you are unlearning something false at the same time.

    Thank you kindly
     
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  4. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes true. Non-linear would be more accurate.

    Thanks.
     
  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I try to remember nowadays to write something like "aero forces are related to the square of the speed."
     
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  6. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone using exponential instead of geometric, logistic, etc...
     
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Lucky we have the computer to correct our typos ;-)
     
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  8. Rashomon

    Rashomon Member

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    I was aware of the distinction, and the precise definition of exponential. See: How do you explain cubic growth of a function However, in English for non-mathematicians, we are lacking a good word for "polynomial" growth. In non-technical English, "exponential" has largely taken on the role for defining growth that's defined by a power function. I'd love to have a more precise word that would actually be understood. What do suggest?
     
  9. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    There isn't anything else in comman usage, at least in my experience, because exponential is a catchall for any change that's faster than linear.

    I would use Quadratic or cubic as more specific descriptions.

    How do you explain cubic growth of a function

    Exponential growth - Wikipedia
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    In non-technical English, then:

    So ... ummm ... yeah.
     
  11. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Exponential is more informative, in that case. :rolleyes:
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Somewhere along our national march into fake news as truth, non-technical came to mean acceptably inaccurate rather than simply verbose. Unfortunate, really.
     
  13. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    I would suggest using the correct words. If enough people do, then they WILL be in common usage. It doesn't help anyone to allow people to remain ignorant by misusing words. Don't insult people by assuming they can't learn.

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  14. alpinebum1

    alpinebum1 Member

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    That hurricane's strength grew quadratically! Hmm, sounds kind of lame....,
     
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    The proper insult is to presume they do not WANT to learn
     
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  16. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    "That hurricane's strength grew quickly." Unless you are going to claim that someone plotted strength versus time, to a fine enough degree as to be able to tell the difference, why not stick with a perfectly descriptive word without implying math that never happened?

    Better of course, would be an actually useful math expression: "Hurricane Maria went from category 1 to category 5 in less than 24 hours."

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  17. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    Well, it's better than incorrect, which applies to anything IRL that's described as exponential.
     
  18. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    We're far off topic. But like it or not, usage dictates definition, and the definition of exponential includes:

    (with reference to an increase) more and more rapidly.
    "our business has been growing exponentially"

    Pretty vague, and in line with most people's usage. Hence, the definition. Language is annoying that way.
     
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  19. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    In english perhaps, not all languages. I am not a fan of enshrining mistakes into the language. That seems an easy way to destroy your language.

    Thank you kindly.
     
  20. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    It's every language, since the advent of speech. That's how we have the variety we do, and yes, that's how languages get destroyed and new ones arise.

    Linguistics 001 -- Language Change and Historical Reconstruction
     
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