Beta
×

### Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

# Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics

#### timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the hangman's-noose dept.

51

mikejuk (1801200) writes "The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties. The problem was that we thought we knew how many ways you can tie a tie. The number of ways had been enumerated in 2001 and the answer was that there were exactly 85 different ways but the enumeration didn't include the Matrix way of doing it. So how many "Merovingian" knots are there? The question is answered in a new paper, More ties than we thought [PDf], by Dan Hirsch, Meredith L. Patterson, Anders Sandberg and Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson. The methodology is based on the original enumeration and an interesting application of language theory. The idea is to create a programming language for tying ties and then work out how many programs there are. For single depth tucks there are 177,147 different sequences and hence knots. Of these there are 2046 winding patterns that take up to 11 moves, the same as the The Merovingian knot and other popular knots, and so these are probably practical with a normal length necktie."

cancel ×

### ties (4, Funny)

#### Moblaster (521614) | about 5 months ago | (#46679327)

Tie boy: Do not try and tie the tie. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Tie boy: There is no tie.
Neo: There is no tie?
Tie boy: Yes, you jackarse, this is a techie film and people don't wear ties unless they dropped in accidentally from the Wall Street movie set next door.

### I prefer the variation... (2)

#### Coditor (2849497) | about 5 months ago | (#46679477)

of the null knot. The question is, is a null knot a knot at all or a knot of null?

### Re:ties (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46681555)

As a ninja techie ,I find a tie with a knot most useful as a quick way of silencing PHB's

### Re:ties (-1)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46681565)

Some of us in none merkin land not only wear ties to work but big boy pants too!

### Arghhh (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689607)

Tie boy: Yes, you jackarse, this is a techie film and people don't wear ties unless they dropped in accidentally from the Wall Street movie set next door.

The expression is JACKASS, not "jackarse". While an ASS is the American slang term for the English/Australian/German "Arse", the term "jackass" is an English AND American term for a male donkey, which Americans use as invective.

Please don't use the cringe-worthy fuckup "jackarse" it just demonstrates ignorance.

### You've been living in a Dream World Neo (5, Funny)

#### ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 months ago | (#46679351)

Morpheus: The Link-bait is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very article summary. You can see it when you load up your RSS feed, or when you log into Slashdot. You can feel it when you're skiving off at work... when you're tweeting during church... when you're moaning online about politics and taxes. It is the distraction that has been pushed into your eyes blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That You are the Product, Neo. Like everyone else you have logged into a panopticon. Into a marketing scam that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your attention-span.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679431)

Would upvote if I hadn't been an AC since 2001.
++ on the nose insightful.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (0)

#### lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46679999)

Heh, don't feel bad, I get about 30 positive karma a week and I haven't received mod points for a couple of years now. Guess I shouldn't have criticized Dice ...

### moderator selection (1)

#### sshore (50665) | about 5 months ago | (#46680157)

Heh, don't feel bad, I get about 30 positive karma a week and I haven't received mod points for a couple of years now. Guess I shouldn't have criticized Dice ...

If I remember correctly, moderators are picked from users with an average amount of activity. You might be falling into the obsessive side of that particular curve :)

+5 classic shit.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (3, Insightful)

#### zr (19885) | about 5 months ago | (#46679923)

Score: +5, Not funny.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (1)

#### GTRacer (234395) | about 5 months ago | (#46682307)

Please tell me I'm not the only one who read this in Fishburne's voice?!

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (1)

#### JudgeFurious (455868) | about 5 months ago | (#46684699)

We all did. Each and every one of us. It's impossible to resist and at the same time it doesn't work nearly as well if you don't do it.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (1)

#### Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 5 months ago | (#46689761)

I read it in Samual L. Jackson's voice.

### Re:You've been living in a Dream World Neo (1)

#### ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 months ago | (#46713609)

Well I wrote it in Fishburne's voice, but I guess the real oscar here goes to Edward Snowden and the Wachowskis.

### Started something (1)

#### artor3 (1344997) | about 5 months ago | (#46679437)

The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties.

Did it?

### Re:Started something (3, Insightful)

#### Titus Groan (2834723) | about 5 months ago | (#46679449)

The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties... the thing it started was millions of geeks saying what a shit film it was.

### Re:Started something (2)

#### rnicey (315158) | about 5 months ago | (#46680379)

Matrix Reloaded was merely a disappointing film. Matrix Revolutions was a shitty, nasty sorry excuse and complete waste of time for a film. Mostly because it wasn't set inside the fucking Matrix. Honestly, if you're going to have a final war between man and machine, set it up to occur inside the matrix, not just the final fight. An army of super humans against machines.... much better than that mech crap we all fell asleep watching.

Now you've got me started ... Ties pfft ... goddam

### Re:Started something (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46686255)

It's been a while since I seen this, but how can you be so sure that it wasn't still inside of the Matrix? I felt they fell short of what they could have done, almost like they backed out of something.

### Re:Started something (2)

#### plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#46679523)

Whatever it may have started, a love of neckties was not it.

### Re:Started something (1)

#### Quirkz (1206400) | about 5 months ago | (#46686601)

I had a very brief moment reading this summary when I thought, "Gee, I didn't know there was mathematical complexity snuck into the Merovingian's ties." Then I thought, "Damn, I wish they'd taken that four hours of thought into the script. They could have doubled the satisfaction value of the story with that effort."

### Matrix ties (5, Informative)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679443)

Nice article [xirdalium.net] about the matrix ties.

### What about the clip? (3, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679459)

Those fancy knots are very nice, but how do you clip it to your shirt?

### Re:What about the clip? (1)

#### Immerman (2627577) | about 5 months ago | (#46679623)

You don't, clips are too complicated. Blu-Tack is much more convenient.

### Re:What about the clip? (1)

#### slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46680897)

Ties get stuck in printers. Screw ties! They're an IT working hazard.

### I don't care. (-1)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679527)

I'm sorry, I don't.

### Re:I don't care. (1)

#### wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46681863)

And yet you cared enough about not caring to post this. That's just weird.

### It's about language theory, not just ties (1)

#### billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#46702349)

There's a whole lot of deep security and programming thought that goes into most of Meredith and Dan's papers (I don't know the other two authors), so while I haven't read this one yet, I'm expecting good things from it. Go check out the whole "weird machines" security discussion.

Also, I've got a closet full of ties, most of which I haven't worn this millennium, so hey, why not :-)

### Must be a slow news day.... (1, Informative)

#### Proudrooster (580120) | about 5 months ago | (#46679535)

Hmmmm... geeks don't wear ties and this was published back in January (3 months ago), and the videos have been on Youtube [youtube.com] for years. How is this news?

### Re:Must be a slow news day.... (1)

#### careysub (976506) | about 5 months ago | (#46681035)

Perhaps published earlier, but I had never heard of this. To those of us intrigued by topology and algorithms (and a bit of whimsy) this article is absolutely delightful. I'll have to pull out one of my ties and try some of these out.

### You really scared me for a second. (1)

#### GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 5 months ago | (#46679545)

I thought I read: Of these there are 2046 winding patterns that take up to 11 movies

### Re:You really scared me for a second. (4, Funny)

#### FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 5 months ago | (#46681077)

The Matrix
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Replicated
The Matrix Revenge
The Matrix Relapsing
The Matrix Regurgitated
The Matrix Rewindings
The Matrix Reconjiggered
The Matrix Repugnant
The Matrix Revenue

### Re:You really scared me for a second. (1)

#### grimJester (890090) | about 5 months ago | (#46681931)

Luckily they never made a sequel.

### Re:You really scared me for a second. (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690337)

Luckily they never made a sequel.

the obligatory ref https://xkcd.com/566/ [xkcd.com]

### Black on Black (1)

#### chill (34294) | about 5 months ago | (#46679671)

For someone seemingly intelligent enough to try and enumerate the tie options in code, they were brain dead fucking stupid enough to try to illustrate it with small pictures of a black tie on a black shirt.

Sheer genius.

### Re:Black on Black (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679873)

For someone seemingly intelligent enough to try to comment on a slashdot post, you were brain dead fucking stupid enough
to not even look at the article and academic paper and realize:

1. the small pictures of a black tie on a black shirt are screen grabs from The Matrix Reloaded, so very appropriate.
2. the small pictures of a black tie on a black shirt are in the article about the academic paper, not the academic paper itself.

Sheer genius.

### Re:Black on Black (1)

#### qpqp (1969898) | about 5 months ago | (#46680587)

They also added the source at the end. Visualize yourself.

### WHO (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46679915)

Who wears ties anymore?

### Re:WHO (1)

#### ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 5 months ago | (#46680365)

graduations, weddings, funerals, job interviews where you don't want to scare HR with your forest of chest hair.

### Re:WHO (1)

#### dont_jack_the_mac (2882103) | about 5 months ago | (#46683629)

... or lack there of

### Re:WHO (1)

#### billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#46702369)

Back in the 90s and early 2000s I was consulting, so whether I wore a tie or not depended on the customer. The sales guy I worked with brought me along to one Japanese company in the late 90s, so I guessed conservative and wore a tie. They asked me not to do it again; they'd convinced their management that nobody in Silicon Valley wears ties, and didn't want anybody to mess that up :-)

I did wear a tie to a New Year's party recently, and I wore one to a trade show a year or so ago just because I hadn't had any excuse to wear a tie in ages.

### Re:WHO (1)

#### billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#46702353)

Yes, Dr. Who wears ties any more. (Or at least, David Tennant and Matt Smith did; haven't seen the latest Doctor yet. Bow ties are cool, right?)

### Ediety Tie (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46680117)

Merovingians tie was an Ediety Knot, and does not work very well unless you hide the bottom with your jacket.

### Probably practical? (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46680457)

If the 2046 winding patterns of up to 11 moves are practical, then why don't you run through a few? I mean, it's only a f*cking tie and f*cking 11 moves max.

### They had to find out how the tie was tied (1)

#### bytesex (112972) | about 5 months ago | (#46681731)

They didn't think to just make a phonecall to the producers of the movie?

### There's in infinite number of ways (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46682035)

Since you can in theory also braid ties, and the number of braids is known to be infinite (given a tie of infinite length) the number of ways to tie a tie is infinite.
(However in practice you won't braid it of course; you'll almost always use a Double Windsor.)

### Re:There's in infinite number of ways (1)

#### Kinthelt (96845) | about 5 months ago | (#46683381)

There's danger to be had when Slashdot ventures into knot theory (and braid theory).

BTW, you forgot to mention the important lemma that you can turn any braid into a knot by adequately connecting the ends.

### Re:There's in infinite number of ways (1)

#### vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46686707)

(given a tie of infinite length)

Are we given a tie of infinite length? No.

### i have no life and (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46682283)

i have no life and i think you need a hobby

### James Bond (1)

#### Doctrinsograce (1149443) | about 5 months ago | (#46686057)

If I remember correctly, James Bond didn't trust a man who used anything except a Double Windsor to tie his tie. But that was a long time ago... I think about the time I stopped reading Ian Fleming. :-)

### When I smoke crack (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46686661)

I do the same types of experiments...

# Slashdot: News for Nerds

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"

Need an Account?

# Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

• b
• i
• p
• br
• a
• ol
• ul
• li
• dl
• dt
• dd
• em
• strong
• tt
• blockquote
• div
• quote
• ecode

### "ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

``<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>``