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Teglon (for those who have read the book)


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Initial post: Oct 13, 2008 2:32:22 PM PDT
luciente says:
So... does the Teglon have to do with sending a message/signal/call from Arbre to Urnud? The arrival of the Geometers at Arbre was the Fourth Advent. Jad made the fourth solution to the Teglon at Elkhazg

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2008 9:42:49 PM PST
Intriguing. Who knows what Jad was up to. To solve the Teglon, he had to envision the completed solution. When he placed a tile in the middle, he had to also know what effect that would have on the edge many tiles away. Was he also envisioning the "butterfly effect" all the way to the Geometers' Ship?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2008 11:16:53 AM PST
No. The message was an analemma (the figure eight on the cover). Orolo sent the analemma by tracing it out in the sky with the guide lasers for the directional telescope. The analemma is the pattern traced out on the floor of the temple of Orithena by the sun's light going through the oculus in the ceiling.

The Teglon is a of the class (NP-complete) such that it is easy to verify a solution, but cannot be reduced into smaller pieces which may be solved independently. These are the sorts of problems that quantum computers can outperform silicon, since quantum computer memory exists in the superposition of all possible solutions or in the polycosmos/many-worlds interpretation it exists in many universes at once. Thus the point here is that Fraa Jad is able to use his brain as a quantum computer to solve the Teglon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 12:15:45 AM PDT
"To solve the Teglon, he had to envision the completed solution"

i assumed he looked at the various narratives that followed from putting tiles in various positions, then chose the one that completed the puzzle

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 12:28:29 PM PDT
I think the teglon tile puzzle would make an interesting desk toy or computer game (like mine sweeper). Someone get on that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2011 8:25:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2011 8:29:19 PM PST
etaoin says:
Try the Family Games tantrix discovery game pack. It is a decent edge matching puzzle that becomes more and more complex as you try to link more and more tiles.

Posted on May 22, 2011 1:01:39 AM PDT
For anyone interested, take a look at the wikipedia page for "Penrose tiling". I'm pretty sure it's the Teglon. Stephenson acknowleged the work of Roger Penrose in his acknowledgements.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2011 4:23:45 PM PDT
Similar, but I don't think the Penrose sets are formalized in the way the Teglon is.

I've been on a quest for a while now, trying to find a Teglon-style game; it would be so easy to make something up in Flash, but I don't have the skills to do it myself :(

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2011 4:24:19 PM PDT
Seriously! It would be so easy to do in a browser -- like online "paper" dolls.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 7:40:48 PM PST
Quantum computers aren't necessarily good at NP-hard problems; they're good at factoring, but factoring isn't NP-complete.

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 10:29:46 AM PDT
To create a teglon, you'd need a computer that could generate arbitrary penrose tile sets, then trace a single unbroken line at random across the tiles. Then scramble the tiles. The question then becomes, are there any solutions to putting the puzzle back together other than the one originally 'discovered' by the computer?

Posted on Jan 4, 2014 9:28:11 AM PST
sierraseven says:
I was reminded of "Entanglement", although that is a much simpler tesselation puzzle.
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Discussion in:  Anathem forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  Oct 13, 2008
Latest post:  Jan 4, 2014

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Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Hardcover - September 9, 2008)
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