EppsNet Archive: Numbers

Likes and Dislikes

18 Dec 2017 /


Dogs, books, spicy food


Systems of thought that reduce the richness of human lives to impersonal laws, systems and numbers. Oxford commas.

Dog and books

The Aliens Have Landed in Irvine

8 Sep 2013 /

It’s about one in the afternoon at the Irvine In-N-Out Burger. A guy who looks to be in his early 20s comes in wearing a backward baseball cap, dark sunglasses (which he never removes) and — despite a temperature in the high 80s — a pullover sweater.


To simplify the storytelling, let’s call this guy Alf.

Alf waits in line, places his order, then immediately walks over and stands in front of the pickup counter. The place is packed, and I can tell from looking at the number on my own ticket that there are about 10 more orders ahead of me, and since I ordered before him, there are about 15 more orders ahead of Alf, so there’s no reason for him to be standing at — in fact, leaning on — the pickup counter.

After a few moments, the kid at the pickup counter asks Alf what his number is.

“Eleven,” Alf replies.

“OK, we’re calling numbers in the 90s, so it’s going to be a few more minutes.”

Alf then sits down on a bench to the left of the pickup counter, where he waits patiently until they call order number 6, which happens to be my number, at which time Alf asks the kid at the counter if his order is ready yet. It’s the same kid he talked to before, and the kid knows Alf’s number is 11, so he says, “No, not yet.”

When the alien invasion come to your town, you will know them by the following signs:

  1. Inappropriate attire, e.g., sweaters in a heat wave, dark glasses indoors, caps on backwards . . . no, scratch that last one. Some Earthlings do that too.
  2. Ignorance of the most basic social scenarios, like how to order and pick up fast food.
  3. Inability to count.

The Epps Ratio

10 Mar 2013 /
Golden Section Ratio

(Photo credit: Patrick Hoesly)

There should be some way to measure a person’s need to be heard against the value of what they have to say. This measure should be calculated automatically and be available online, like a Klout score.

If anyone figures out a way to do this, please call it the Epps Ratio, because it was my idea. Value should be the numerator, so an Epps Ratio greater than or equal to 1.0 would be considered good, and obviously the higher the better.

There should be an API so a person’s Epps Ratio can be accessed and displayed along with any online content they create . . .