Let's think about water. Water can be measured: cups, gallons, and liters are all units we've devised to quantify a quantity of water. But if we have water, and we get some more water, we don't have [[waters]]. We have water. We can keep adding water, and keep adding it, and ke—\n\nOh dear. This isn't good. There's been [[an accident]] with the water.
I don't use the stove too often. I'm not a very good cook, and most things that I make use the toaster oven instead. Nothing against you personally, stove. We just have different lifestyles.\n<<if $juice>>\nToday is your day to shine, stove. If I pour the juice into my distillation apparatus, then carefully adjust your heat output, I can safely remove the excess water from the juice. Brilliant! Thank you, stove. I'll put the juice back in the refrigerator now.<<set $juice = false>><<set $juiceGood = true>><<endif>>\n\n<<display 'kitchen'>>
Let's think about numbers.\n\nWhat number should we start with? Well, zero seems like a good place to start. It's right in the middle of the integers, the rational numbers, and the real numbers. When you add zero to something, it doesn't change.\n\nLet's also think about [[counting]].
Someone claiming to be zero feet tall, for example, would seem to lack a proper spatial existence. Someone offering to sell you zero oranges is probably just trying to waste your time.\n\nWhen things exist in some quantity, we can count them. We can then proceed to compare two quantities of the same or similar things. However, not all things that are comparable are counted. These things are [[uncountable]].
These towels could be pretty useful for drying off some small objects. They're half-stuck under some cinderblocks, though, so I won't be able to bring the towels with me. I'll have to bring whatever I want dried to the linen closet.\n\nWhat, don't you keep cinderblocks in your linen closet?\n<<if $homework>>\nAlthough I can't pull the towels out all the way, I can get enough of it out to carefully pat my homework dry. Whew! I'll go put it back on the dining room table for now so I can finish it later.<<set $homework = false>><<set $homeworkGood = true>>\n\n<<display 'dining room'>><<else>>\n\n<<display 'linen closet'>><<endif>>
We can count with negatives if we really want to, though. It could be useful for the idea of owing something. If I owe someone ten dollars, then the next ten dollars I find don't really belong to me. They belong to the person I owe. They're taken away from me before I even really have them. Balances, therefore, are a common application of counting with negative numbers. [[But I digress.|counting]]
It's not a huge table, but it's the biggest one I've got, so it makes a good work area. I try to keep it tidy so my roommate can also use it, but I'm not very good at that. <<if not $juiceGood and not $juice>>\nI'll take the ruined juice with me for now.<<set $juice = true>><<endif>>\n<<if not $homeworkGood and not $homework>>\nI'll take the ruined homework with me for now.<<set $homework = true>><<endif>>\n\n<<display 'dining room'>>
When we count things, we generally use whole numbers. One, two, three apples. Four wheels. Of course, just as objects can sometimes be split apart, so too can our counting of them. It isn't hard to have two and a half apples. We generally won't [[count with negative]] numbers. But we can count with zero.\n\nIt shouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine having zero apples, zero shoes, zero books. But, [[not all things will make sense]] when the number zero is assigned to them.
<<display 'inventory'>>\n\nI'm in front of the linen closet. It's full of [[bedsheets]], [[towels]], and various [[cleaning supplies]].\n\n<<if $furnitureGood and $homeworkGood and $juiceGood>>Okay. I think I've managed to undo the damage. Time for a [[nap]].<<else>>There might be some useful things in the [[kitchen]] or the [[dining room]].<<endif>>
.passage .title {\n display: none;\n}\n\n//.passage .content .internalLink {\n// color: #000000;\n//}\n\n//.passage .content {\n// color: #8b7900;\n//}
This is the toaster oven. Blessed art thou, toaster oven, provider of toast and pizza bagels, reheater of things that would be ruined by the microwave. You are my favorite, and I do not care who knows. <<if $homework>>Alas, fair toaster oven, you cannot aid me in my current hydropredicament. Although you would surely dry the homework, it would just as surely catch fire within your warm embrace.<<endif>>\n\n<<display 'kitchen'>>
There may come a time where "six furnitures" //is// a standard accepted use of language, but that time has not yet come. Until then, "six furnitures" is likely to get you some raised eyebrows. [[But I digress.|uncountable]]
The microwave. I mean, it heats things up, I guess. I don't really trust it a lot. Anything with that much radiation flying around inside it is not something that has my best interests in mind. And don't get me started on the magnets in there.\n\n<<if $juice>>Aha! If I put the juice in the microwave, the excess water will boil away! Perfect! I'll give it twenty seconds, that should do it. Outstanding. Now I'll put it back in the refrigerator for safekeeping.\n\nMaybe those magnets aren't so bad after all.\n\n<<set $juice = false>><<set $juiceGood = true>><<endif>>\n<<if $homework>>Although the microwave might be good for drying out my homework, I'm not quite so sure about trying that out. I'm pretty sure that something would catch fire, or arc electricity, or open something eldritch. Magnets and homework don't mix.<<endif>>\n\n<<display 'kitchen'>>
What a tiring day. It started out well enough, but that water nearly ruined it. I should be more careful around uncountable things in the future. But for now, I'll give my bones and blood some rest.\n\n// THE END //\n\nyour score is:
I'm not sure any of these cleaning supplies would be useful, but there are quite a few bottles here, so I might as well dig through them.\n<<if $knowledge>> Blue stuff, green stuff, different blue stuff, and that weird red stuff. Nothing new.<<else>> Blue stuff, green stuff, different blue stuff... red stuff? I've never seen red stuff before. I'll give it a quick spr—\n\nI may have inhaled too much of the red stuff. "Too much," in this case, being "any at all." My head feels tingly, like I've been filled with amazing knowledge.<<set $knowledge = true>><<endif>>\n\n<<display 'linen closet'>>
<<if $water>>\nI have water.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $juice>>\nI have ruined juice.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $homework>>\nI have ruined homework.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $knowledge>>\nI have amazing knowledge.\n<<endif>>
I don't think bedsheets are going to help me out of this particular jam. Not even the flannel ones.\n\n<<display 'linen closet'>>
If this concept seems strange or unintuitive, it's because I've dressed it up in too many words before getting to the point. Let's move to a [[concrete]] example.\n\nIf I have one chair, I have furniture. If I have three chairs, I have furniture. If I have two tables, I have furniture. If I have three chairs, two tables, and a hammock, I have furniture. All these different quantities and objects are still called "furniture." To say in the last example that I have six furnitures would be a [[nonstandard use of language]].\n\nLet's move to [[another example]].
"Waters" may be found in common usage when referring to water that has been divided into specific quantities. In these cases, it is equally reasonable to say "I brought three bottles of water" as it is to say "I brought three waters" when it is understood that a single "water" in this case refers to a bottle of the stuff. [[But I digress.|another example]]
The refrigerator is full of many delicious things. Delicious things aren't much help when you're trying to solve problems brought about by a combination of entropy and uncountable nouns.\n\n<<if $juiceGood>>The juice is already back in here, where it belongs.\n<<endif>><<if $juice>>I have the juice, but I need to get the extra water out before I put it back in the refrigerator.\n<<endif>>\n\n<<display 'kitchen'>>
<<display 'inventory'>>\n\nI'm in the kitchen. It's got my [[refrigerator]], [[microwave]], [[toaster oven]], [[stove]], and lots of other useful machines.\n\n<<if $furnitureGood and $homeworkGood and $juiceGood>>Okay. I think I've managed to undo the damage. Time for a [[nap]].<<else>>There might be some useful things in the [[linen closet]] or the [[dining room]].<<endif>>
Well, there's no use just standing here. Let's see what I can salvage.\n\n<<display 'dining room'>>
Concrete, incidentally, is a good example of this, but I have [[a better one|uncountable]].
<<display 'inventory'>>\n\nI'm in the dining room. It's where I eat most of my meals. I also like to do my homework here, since it's the biggest [[table]] in the apartment.\n<<if $knowledge and not $furnitureGood>>\nThe furniture... of course! It's so obvious now! I'll just flap my arms as fast as I can to generate a wind current to quickly and safely dry off the furniture. I wonder why I didn't think of that before?<<set $furnitureGood = true>><<endif>>\n\n<<if $furnitureGood>>The furniture has been mostly restored to its previous state.<<else>>The furniture is soaked with water. Miserable.<<endif>>\n<<if $homeworkGood>>The homework has been dried out, and is not too much worse for wear.<<else>>The homework is hosed. The ink is starting to run a bit.<<endif>>\n<<if $juiceGood>>The juice's potency has returned to an acceptable level, and I put it back in the refrigerator.<<else>>The juice has been severely diluted by the addition of water.<<endif>>\n\n<<if $furnitureGood and $homeworkGood and $juiceGood>>Okay. I think I've managed to undo the damage. Time for a [[nap]].<<else>>There might be some useful things in the [[kitchen]] or the [[linen closet]].<<endif>>
When I was adding water to water, the water went and spilled everywhere. This isn't good. This is probably the opposite of good. There's water on the furniture. There's water on my homework. Some even spilled into the juice. They're ruined. They're all [[ruined]].<<set $furnitureGood = false>><<set $homeworkGood = false>><<set $juiceGood = false>><<set $water = true>><<set $juice = false>><<set $knowledge = false>><<set $homework = false>>
by matthew thompson