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Pointless Large Number Stuff
a website on large numbers, by cookiefonster

"There is no infinity. Googology is a never-ending quest to outrun itself."
Nathan Ho (source)

Welcome to my website about large numbers, a website that covers two main topics: numbers in general and very large numbers, my goal being to give a web-book style comprehensive coverage of the topics (particularly the latter) useful for newcomers and "experts" alike. If you're new to large numbers or this site, read the introduction (link below) for more on the purpose of this site and how it is intended to be read.

The site is currently on an indefinite hiatus. Previously I had updated it with new content quite regularly, but I eventually became bored of googology due to lack of activity in the community. I hope to once again pick up on this project at some point in the future, though the question of when remains to be answered.




Read the introduction if you're new to large numbers or this site.


Let's begin our journey through the large numbers with the numbers that we actually use every day, and then some larger numbers we sometimes see in science. Additionally we'll examine how people have stretched the names used in the English language to outrageous heights.


In this section we learn about the popular tools for making numbers MUCH larger than those we learned about in section 1, like Knuth's up-arrows or Conway's chain arrows. We'll also go over a few famous large numbers like Graham's number.

SECTION III: Hierarchies, Arrays, and Hydras

In this section we go beyond the popular large numbers discussed in section 2, to explore some much lesser-known and much more interesting googology. This is where googology as we know it really begins: serious attempts to explore the best ways to make large numbers, rather than just coming up with some numbers that are really big by most people's standards and calling it a day.


Section 3.2: Googological Notations Part 2 (coming eventually)

Section 3.3: Fast-Growing Sequences in Googology (coming eventually)

SECTION L: The Pointless Gigantic List Database

This is the supplemental section of my site, devoted to lists of anything. The main thing there is the Pointless Gigantic List of Numbers (PGLN for short), and there's also some other lists, including a timeline of large numbers, a list of infinite numbers, and a list of large number functions.


Occasionally on this site, I'll write up a joke article, typically for a holiday like April Fools Day or whatever else. For convenience they're all archived in this section.



Updates*

9/15/2018: A few months ago, Jonathan Bowers, legendary pillar of googology, released an unfinished webpage about the periodic table! Didn't find out about it until today. For some reason I never thought of what it would be like for him to provide his take on a subject I loved so much as a kid; I highly recommend checking it out!

Also, if anyone has any idea what Sbiis Saibian has been up to lately, please let me know! I've always been a big fan of his work and I haven't heard anything from him in a long time.

7/19/2018: Just found out "New Google Sites" is a thing. I looked at it and don't see any reason to update my site to this; it seems to have more features removed than added. Honestly run of the mill for things run by Google. Here's hoping they don't eventually force all sites to convert to this format, or alternately that the new version isn't as bad as it seems.

5/28/2018: Happy fourth birthday to this website! Kind of weird to imagine the legacy this site has gotten, as a silly project I started exactly four years ago.

5/18/2018: For some reason I never said here that I came really close to having the motivation to update this site again during a time of turmoil on Googology Wiki. I guess the time I finally gain the motivation for real is later than I thought it would be.

11/22/2017: Since people still seem to stumble upon this website pretty often, I've updated my biography to more accurately reflect who I am today and elaborated a bit more on my contact information.

* At this point "Updates" might not even be the right term, it might be moving to more of a "Things of Interest" sort of thing.




Additional Info

About the Author

If you're wondering about who exactly wrote this site, read below.

I am a human male who identifies on the Internet under the screen name cookiefonster. In real life, I'm a college student in Ohio, USA, born April 3, 1999. At the time I regularly updated this website, I specialized mainly in two fields: mathematics and music. Both fields have interested me since childhood, the latter of which I've worked with especially much in recent years. Since then, I've branched out into studying linguistics and computer science. These days, in my free time I like to read things online that interest me, make music and videos (largely involving Internet memes), and sometimes work on ambitious projects in a similar vein to this one. 

As a child I was never very interested in large numbers; I did not really get into large numbers until late 2013, after googling the -illions due to boredom. This led me to discover Googology Wiki (of which was for quite a while a regular contributor) and learn about large numbers. On May 28, 2014, I decided to launch this website. It started as a random website with just some random large number stuff on it (hence the name of the site), although I soon got rather carried away with this project and it grew into a serious attempt to cover any and all large numbers. To this day, I am impressed with myself that I maintained something so ambitious that got to a pretty far degree before it faded away.

Additional Links

Here I will share links to anything on the Internet that I find noteworthy that relate to large numbers.

Sbiis Saibian's Large Number Site (One to Infinity: A Guide to the Finite) - This is Sbiis Saibian's large number site, by far the biggest inspiration for this website. It is a web-book under construction that gives a detailed and thorough review of numeral systems, large numbers in the real world, functions that generate googologically large numbers, and more, and like my site it's designed to be a googology resource for newcomers and "experts" alike. Perhaps the most notable thing there is his own Extensible-E notation for making large numbers, where he names literally over 15,000 googolisms!

Googology Wiki - This is a wiki and forum dedicated to large numbers that anyone can contribute to, founded by Nathan Ho. It's how I myself discovered the wonderful world of googology. The wiki has pages about numbers, large number functions, people, and some concepts. It's also a great hub for people in the googology community to chat about googology, share their own large numbers, and analyze/formalize systems.

Notable Properties of Specific Numbers - A very long list of numbers sorted by size, by Robert Munafo. It lists any and all kinds of numbers with interesting properties, ranging from purely numeric properties to numbers like 42 or 666 with huge significance to human culture. The list of numbers only goes up to Steinhaus's mega, but he discusses far larger numbers in his large numbers site. It's a major part of the inspiration for my own list of numbers.

Robert Munafo's Large Numbers - This is the part of Robert Munafo's website where he describes various large numbers and ways to notate them. It is one of the very first serious coverages of large numbers ever created on the Internet! He goes over large numbers and ways to denote them in order of size in a way accessible to the layman. Unlike Sbiis Saibian's long articles, this website's information is presented quite concisely.


Questions?

If you have questions or comments about this site, or would like to point out a mistake (pointing out mistakes I happen to make is encouraged, as I want this website to be technically accurate) I made, feel free to email me:

cookiefonster99 [at Google's mail domain]

You can also contact me on Twitter (@cookiefonster) or Discord (@cookiefonster#5454, I'm on the googology community server).

If you're curious about some of the other works I've put out on the Internet, you can click "MORE LINKS..." above.