November 15, 2006

Pattern recognition

I decided to start a new project today, one that I've been contemplating for a while. Every morning, I'm going to take a photo of my shirt and tie for the day (unless it's a combination I've photographed before). This is, it occurs to me, not all that dissimilar from the 365 Days project that Rose is doing, but it won't be every day, and I have no idea when it will end -- obviously I own less than 365 shirts, but if you remember your combinatorics from the I Hate Mathematics book, there are way more than 365 pairings to be had. Not to mention all the shirts and ties I haven't acquired with my greedy little hands yet. Anyway, so it begins.


Posted by Francis at 09:10 AM in Ties

Is it really necessary for me to comment to let you know how much I love this idea?

I suppose it is, as I am ... and I'll keep an eye out for new ones for you at the (now within walking distance) huge Chicago thrift store!

Posted by: Erin at November 15, 2006 12:28 PM

Dziendobry -- jak sie masz?
Pardon the nitpicking: it's actually possible to have 364 shirts and only 364 combinations -- or 182 shirts and only 364 combinations -- or...

funny how "theoretically" and "technically" are always interchangeable in this conext.

I happen to be wearing a great shirt from a Chicago thrift store at this very moment. I highly recommend them.

Posted by: Ruby at November 15, 2006 01:23 PM

If each shirt had one and only one tie which I wore with it (or if I -- god forbid -- only owned one tie), then, yes, there would be a number of combinations equal to the number of shirts. And it's true that due to the difficulty of matching shirts and ties that are as busy as the ones I own, there are many shirts which only match one tie -- but others have multiple options. Were I not to limit myself to combinations that are actually aesthetically pleasing to me, there would be thousands and thousands of options.

Posted by: Francis at November 15, 2006 01:46 PM

I believe Ruby is suggesting that if you had 364 shirts and 1 tie, there would only be 364 combinations. Unless you count shirt + no tie as a combination.

19 shirts * 19 ties = 361 combinations of shirt + tie.

Posted by: David Scrimshaw at November 15, 2006 05:32 PM

Yes, I was speaking of the case of one tie, then two, etc... purest and simplest combinatorics.

Beautiful as mathematics are, it's stuff like visual aesthetics that are the abstraction, as opposed to the other way around, besides which, trolls are colorblind. :-(

Posted by: Ruby at November 15, 2006 05:43 PM

oops, I meant "which are the abstraction in a mathematical/logical problem".

Posted by: ruby at November 15, 2006 06:11 PM

David: Yes, I understood what Ruby was saying, although since I never implied that what she was saying was impossible, I'm not sure why nitpicking was required. Anyway, I own approximately 150 shirts and at least that many ties, so I could be at this a while (if I manage to stick with it).

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