Shopping Space and Number Theory

These days, Dayglovest Parsleysauce is probably best known for a branch of higher mathematics known by the rather technical sounding Big Numbers Theory. In this theory, Parsleysauce claims there is at least one number that is greater than seventeen and that twelve, as he says, has a great deal of explaining to do.

However, it is in the higher mathematics of Shopping Theory that Parsleysauce has made the most progress, especially in his study of Special Offers. His Special Theory of Special Offers claims that the numbers used in Special Offers often bear little or no resemblance to actual prices. Parsleysauce claims that some of them often work out to be more expensive than the original non-special offer prices.

Of course, theoretical physicists and mathematicians have long known about the alternative dimensions known as Shopping Space. This is the dimension where the usual rules of numbers and even the dimensions of space and time are quite different to what we see as normal everyday reality.

In shopping space, time often does not follow the same rules as ordinary time. In shopping space, for example, a Sale that Must End Soon, more often than not doesn’t end at all. Limited Special Offers, can in a classic case of Parsleysauce ‘s Shopping Uncertainty Principle both last forever and be unavailable or out of stock at the same time. As Parsleysauce put it in his famous Parsleysauce’s Price Tag Paradox, it is not until you actually come to buy anything that you really know what price it is. Until then the price lies in an almost infinite (or in the case of Parsleysauce’s General Retail Theory – an infinite) possibility of states from dirt-cheap to prohibitively expensive.

Of course, many claim that this area of mathematics and physics does somewhat overlap into economics. At various scientific conferences, there have been several disputes, and one rather feeble bar fight, over demarcation issues between physicists, mathematicians and economists. However, this is nothing like the fights when geologists and archaeologists kick off over sedimentary layers. After all, no-one can forget the great Burgess Shale riot of 1978. This was a time when practical archaeology proved its value when a police raid uncovered a flint-knapping ring of archaeologists. These renegade archaeologists were selling flit-tipped spears to other archaeologists about to venture off to interdisciplinary conferences with geologists and other earth scientists.

However, this is somewhat beside the point, even of it has resulted in some less dry than normal YouTube videos from recent archaeological and geological conferences.

Still, however, there is tension between economists and the maths/physics axis. Many economists have made wild and varied predictions to the eventual outcome. Nevertheless, as with all economic predictions, everyone will be unsurprised to see them all turn out to be – in the end – far from the truth.

While all this rather academic warfare takes place, Parsleysauce himself carries on with his researches into Retail Space. In particular, his investigations into why and how it bears little or no correspondence to this ordinary reality, as we know it.

For many decades now most people have been aware that the advertising using by those inside Retail Space bears no resemblance to the world the rest of us live in. Many, at first, put this down to the use of expensive drugs by those in the advertising industry. Now, though, more and more are, through the work of Parsleysauce and his contemporaries, coming to learn that these differences between Retail Space and our reality are very different. Normal everyday reality and retail space, it seems, are two sometimes incompatible and fundamentally different dimensions of our universe. Furthermore, it appears that the prices in one will never correspond to the reality in the other.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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