Caveat: meameamealokkapoowa oompa and other curiosities of googology

Googology, apparently, is a subfield of mathematics dedicated to the study of large numbers. It has its own wiki. I found this wiki after attempting to read an old article by mathematician Scott Aaronson about big numbers. Actually, what surprised me about some of the material on the googology wiki more than anything else was that, in fact, I found myself making some effort to understand it, despite the dense mathematics.

I more-or-less understood the idea behind hyper-operators (and up-arrow notation), but became lost by what was called BEAF (a sort of systematic way of specifying functions with hyper-exponential growth, I guess), and I was eventually sidetracked by the plethora of whimsical terminology: big numbers beyond - way beyond – googol, with names like boogagoogolplex or meameamealokkapoowa oompa (which is defined by {{L100,10}10,10&L,10}10,10 , in case you were wondering – and no, I don't understand that).

There's a nice glossary of recently-coined, really big numbers (many created in response to Aaronson's original article) at an aesthetically-challenged web page called Infinity Scrapers. Note that the "meameamealokkapoowa group" appears at the bottom of the list (does this mean that it is really the biggest-of-the-big numbers? or just the most recently to be characterized?).

It is worth noting, for the uninitiated, that the absolute smallest of these numbers (but the largest which I can be assured that at least a few of my middle-school students, for example, might be aware of) is googol (= 10100), yet that number is still greater than the estimated number of elementary particles in the observable universe, 1086.

It's rare that I've tried so hard to penetrate a mathematical concept since my first year in college, when, after a semester of trying to make sense of the number-theoretical foundations of calculus under the unkind tutelage of Professor A. Wayne R__, nicknamed "B" Wayne R__ since he never gave A-grades. I concluded I wasn't cut out to be a math major, and abandoned ship for the more hospitable fields of the humanities surfing around to Religious Studies and English Lit before landing in Linguistics, which was a semi-return to the more rigorous fold. It's one of my few genuine regrets in life, I suppose. Not a regret at having jumped ship – rather, a regret to having found myself obligated to do so… which is to say, it's not really regret, more like disappointment with myself. 

[daily log: walking, { {}, {{}}, {{},{{}}}, {{},{{}},{{},{{}}}} , {{}, {{}}, {{},{{}}}, {{},{{}},{{},{{}}}}} } (=amount in km, represented set-theoretically using Von Neumann ordinals)]

Caveat: Estás mojado, ya no te quiero

Lo que estoy escuchando en este momento.

Los abuelos de la nada, "Mil horas." 

Letra.

Hace frío y estoy lejos de casa
Hace tiempo que estoy sentado sobre esta piedra
Yo me pregunto
Para que sirven las guerras
Tengo un cohete en mi pantalón
Vos estás tan fría como la nieve a mi alrededor
Vos estás tan blanca, que yo no se que hacer

La otra noche te esperé
Bajo la lluvia dos horas
Mil horas como un perro
Y cuando llegaste me miraste
Y me dijiste loco
Estás mojado, ya no te quiero

En el circo vos ya sos una estrella
Una estrella roja que todo se lo imagina
Si te preguntan, vos no me conocías
No, no
Tengo un cohete en mi pantalón
Vos estás tan fría como la nieve a mi alrededor
Vos estás tan blanca, que yo no se que hacer
Te esperé bajo la lluvia
No, no, no, no

La otra noche te esperé
Bajo la lluvia dos horas
Mil horas como un perro
Y cuando llegaste me miraste
Y me dijiste loco
Estás mojado, ya no te quiero

La otra noche te esperé
Bajo la lluvia dos horas
Mil horas como un perro
Y cuando llegaste me miraste
Y me dijiste loco
Estás mojado, ya no te quiero

[daily log: yes]