Forums > Social Chat > Is the internet infinitly big?

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caz86
Twister Fire Starter ridin on a tratter
Location: Bristol/Exeter UK
Member Since: 27th Oct 2003
Total posts: 156
Posted:Is the internet infinitly big?

We were discussing this in Maths today. I'm interested in your views!


Caz

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Magnus
member
Location: Bath, UK
Member Since: 5th Sep 2002
Total posts: 279
Posted:No.

I work for a company called Netcraft, we do Internet market research and metrics - we map and measure the internet.

Every month we visit 40 million websites, hosted on about a million computers worldwide. As far as users go, there are barely 1 billion users yet.

Believe it or not, there are not an infinite number of websites, though there are a lot.

It's a bit of a silly question, really.


Magnus... pay it forward

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Posted:No it's finite.

you can actually measure the amount of storage on the internet, albeit in millions of terabytes, therefore it has an end, and is not infinite.

Although the internet is expanding at a remarkable rate, and you'd could probably argue that in the time it takes you to measure the amount of data (read: pr0n) on the internet that data would be hideously out of date! so you might get a kind of pseudo infinity, you might want to drop into the 2012 thread, there are some sites there with interesting theories on data doubling.

But if we assume that we know the amount of data on the internet at any one time instantly then it is finite, although it is growing.

PsyB.


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Matthew B-M
Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds
Member Since: 9th Jul 2003
Total posts: 605
Posted:Define "Infinitely big", and do you mean the "Internet" or the "World wide web" (hint: yes, there is a difference in this case)?

Short answer: "no".

Not worth bothering to read below this point if you don't care

There are a finite number of machines, and a finite number of connections between them. The graph is not a full mesh. So, however you look at it, the size of the internet is still finite. (Think also about the number of IP addresses (== 2^32) and the number of possible NAT gateways, and the way things are connected behind them.)

With respect to the world wide web, the answer is still "no", but it's more complicated. In essence it takes energy to store information, and there is a finite amount of energy in the world (all our energy comes either from the radiation in the earth's core, and is therefore limited by the mass of the Earth in terms of E=mc^2, or from the Sun, in which case it's limited by the mass of the sun in a similar relation.

So neither the internet nor the world-wide web can be described as infinite.


Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Posted:spot the techies...

PsyB.


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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:geeks spoil everything

I'm pretty sure theres an infinit amount of parallel universes, so yeah, it is


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Matthew B-M
Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds
Member Since: 9th Jul 2003
Total posts: 605
Posted:If that is the case, what chooses which one we experience?

Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Laytin
member
Location: bottom left of the US
Member Since: 3rd Nov 2003
Total posts: 111
Posted:If I am not mistaken the internet is a group of computers that are linked together via a phone line or other source. While the internet can end, it can also expand infanently. It can only be as big as there are computers connected to it, and in that case it is constantly expanding and contracting as users get on the internet and off.

Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:now now, we've already had lots of threads about lsd

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:can also expand infanently

"640kb ought to be enough for anybody."


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Bird
Bird

now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall
Member Since: 25th Aug 2003
Total posts: 6086
Posted:In a physical sense the internet doesn't really exist, it only exists within the memory of comuters so it, itself cannot be infinately big!



I think!!


My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:my friend used to have as his voicemail message as "Hi you've reached the end of the internet... That's it! There's no more!! Go watch some TV or something and we'll let you know when there's more of it!"

i thought it was funny

ok so i have nothing to contribute to this conversation

you gotta love tangential thinking


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:the end of the internet

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:we must realise the truth that there is no internet.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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shadow steppin
shadow steppin

official hop irken
Location: Tucson USA
Member Since: 12th Aug 2003
Total posts: 401
Posted:OMG!!! what about my porno!! **sobs**

In my hands I hold your smile and in my heart it runs so wild You are the one you are unique I'm so in love you make me weak And the reason that I feel is like a shadow from a light so if you have the chance to be with me be my shadow in the night

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Bobo DCL
member
Location: Halifax
Member Since: 17th Aug 2003
Total posts: 141
Posted:I heard that all the space on the internet will run out in something like 15 years.

I like orange.And don't take my cookies.

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mad monkey
member
Location: stockholm
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2003
Total posts: 25
Posted:but if the space really runs out there's always the real world left to totally invade.
as long as people have a little individual space and freedom left, it can aaaaaaaalways expand.

the options:
#1 revolution
#2 perfectly manufactured poi spinning program
so what's it gonna be?


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zwitterion
zwitterion

member
Location: Iowa
Member Since: 17th Jul 2003
Total posts: 52
Posted:"i beat the internet
the end guy is hard"

--bash.org


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Stubbs
member
Location: Kingston
Member Since: 23rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 31

DarkDevil
DarkDevil

member
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.
Member Since: 18th Aug 2003
Total posts: 233
Posted:Somehow i perfer this one...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a trick, this is a stunt. The difference between a stunt and a trick is that a trick is something that tricks or fools the audience, a stunt is something that only an idiot would do -Ivan, Ash Circle, 10/04/03

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:wow there's at least three different end of the internet sites. i'm confused. are they all the end? i guess the internet isn't linear then?

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:The internet may be infinate but as the vast majority of it it utter crap who really cares?

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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caz86
Twister Fire Starter ridin on a tratter
Location: Bristol/Exeter UK
Member Since: 27th Oct 2003
Total posts: 156
Posted:The internet does exist physically though. Therefore it is as finite as the space we have to store it. So if space is infinite so is the internet!

Caz

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:are we perhaps missing the fundamental protocol limitations of the internet here?

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shadow steppin
shadow steppin

official hop irken
Location: Tucson USA
Member Since: 12th Aug 2003
Total posts: 401
Posted:will sombody PLEASE think of the children!

In my hands I hold your smile and in my heart it runs so wild You are the one you are unique I'm so in love you make me weak And the reason that I feel is like a shadow from a light so if you have the chance to be with me be my shadow in the night

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oli
not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...
Member Since: 24th Jul 2003
Total posts: 2052
Posted:quote:Originally posted by caz86:
The internet does exist physically though. Therefore it is as finite as the space we have to store it. So if space is infinite so is the internet! space isnt infinite .....

quote:Originally posted by oli: (in the Cyclic deconstructionism within the framework post-modernist poi thread)
i dont think its actually infinite, not that any one atually knows, but i think scientists have geussed that the mass of the universe is about 10^53 kgs (not at all sure about this...)
anyway since there is a finite mass, and we know from day to day experience that this mass is fairly dense, the universe should be finite...


Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:I think you're confusing the word 'infinite' with 'really, really big'. As a human mind can't properly comprehend the concept of infinity it instead visualises something really big. Infinite has no end.

Everything about the internet is limited - the electricity that powers the servers, the hard drives that store data, etc...

And the internet is a data system. This data is held on something, and to be infinite this data would have to be stored on every quantum particle in the universe. But then each quantum particle has it's own data about it's state and location. (yes, I know that in quantum physics this isn't straight forward)

So the only infinite data system is data about all quantum units in an infinite universe.

Well, actually it isn't. If the universe was infinite a data system that stored data on 1% of the universes would be an infinite data system as 1% of infinity is still infinity.

Physics. It'll do your head in.


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mad monkey
member
Location: stockholm
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2003
Total posts: 25
Posted:wow! that means earth is infinite as well since we are a tiny tiny part of a percent of the infinite universe...

...or universe isn't infinite


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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:there is no such thing as one percent of infinity!

to get one percent of an amount you take the total and divide by 100 which we obviously cannot do with infinity.
any fraction of infinity we care to consider is too small to quantify.

example: say we had an infinite amount of juggling balls.
if we take say 1,000,000 of them to play with we could never quantify that number of balls as a percentage.
the amount we have is a fraction of infinity but that fraction is infinitessimally small - and no matter how many juggling balls we get be it 1 or 1000,000,000 the fraction of infinity we have remains the same - unquantifiably small.

so to follow, the universe is infinitely big, but the amount of matter/energy (and hence quantity of particles) in it is finite.
so no, the earth is not 'infinite'.

the really confusing thing is when you get into different sized infinities (or more acurately infinities over different bounds) of which mike gave an example here.

this is not as useless as it sounds either.
for example in quantum field theory positive and negative infinities over the same bounds can be used to cancel each other out and normalise the equations.

agreed: physics is confusing.


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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simian
simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London
Member Since: 11th Oct 2002
Total posts: 3149
Posted:hmm

if i sat down making juggling balls for an infinite amount of time, i'd make an infinite amount of juggling balls.

And if every hundredth one was orange with blue spots, then 1% of that infinite amount would be orange with blue spots.

innit?


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:"any fraction of infinity we care to consider is too small to quantify" - surely any fraction of infinity is also infinity. But see what you mean - a million as a percentage of infinity is infinitely small.

1% of infinity isn't a mathematical fraction, but a concept. So an infinite amount of juggling balls would be orange with blue spots. At the same time an infinite number of balls would also not be orange.

I think.


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