# Empirical Evidence for Distance Metrics in Counterpart Theory

by on April 13, 2006

Sorry to inflict kid-related anecdotes on you all. However. Scene: Two-year-old sitting in her cot with Teddy and Elmo. She has put a sippy-cup in front of Teddy. Me: “Oh, is Teddy drinking some water?” Pause. Kid: “No.” Me: “Why not?” Kid: “Teddy has no mouth.” Me: “Ah.” Kid: “Elmo has mouth. Elmo drink it.”

1

Redshift 04.13.06 at 11:32 pm

For some reason, I’m reminded of my friends who back in the 80s had buttons made with a picture of Hello Kitty and the caption “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.”

2

Erik 04.14.06 at 1:13 am

Okay, possibly it is now my life’s ambition to have a child who says cute things which I then hopelessly nerdify by relating them to things like distance metrics in counterpart theory. Because, as far as I’m concerned at this moment, this post is coolest thing I have encountered in a while, and I heard NPR’s Michele Norris describe a pillar of diet coke shooting up 12 feet in the air today.

3

joel turnipseed 04.14.06 at 1:44 am

Kieran,

I’m more concerned that you’re inflicting Lewis on us, but as to that: yes, watching the cognitive development of kids is exceptionally cool.

My twenty-month old is just now getting simple binaries like “Yes” and “No” straight, but a friend of mine had a wonderful experience in counting with his four-year-old.

He asked him, “If I gave you ten candies, and I took away one, how many would you have?”

After some consideration, his son answered, “Nine.”

“And if I took away another one?”

“Eight.”

This continued, until they got to one. At which point, my pal wondered, “Does he understand the concept of zero?” After all, the Counting Numbers don’t include zero. So he asks, “And if I take away another one, then what do you have?”

“One–I take it back!”

Now, that’s a long way from (Z) Î»xÂ¬(x = x), but it represents a pretty damned good existential understanding of zero.

4

dearieme 04.14.06 at 5:32 am

Glad to see that you’ve not given up self-indulgence for Lent.

5

eweininger 04.14.06 at 9:07 am

Okay, possibly it is now my lifeâ€™s ambition to have a child who says cute things which I then hopelessly nerdify by relating them to things like distance metrics in counterpart theory. Because, as far as Iâ€™m concerned at this moment, this post is coolest thing I have encountered in a while, and I heard NPRâ€™s Michele Norris describe a pillar of diet coke shooting up 12 feet in the air today.

My wife and I have been dreading the day our 6-month old pops her first tooth, since that gummy little smile is so damn cute. But now whole new vistas are unveiling themselves….

6

rea 04.14.06 at 8:48 pm

Our 3-year-old discovers taxonomy:

“We poop inside.”

“The cat poops inside”

“The dog poops ouside.”

“Do dinosaurs poop outside?

7

goatchowder 04.15.06 at 2:45 pm

Hello? Elmo has eyes ON TOP OF HIS HEAD!

What’s up with that?

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