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What books are you reading?

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wraith808:
@IainB -- we are largely in agreement,
you appear to have misunderstood my point though - I do not "want him to be perceived as speaking as a proponent of QE". FWIW I have no vested interests in seeing him in any particular way -- I have no reason to project here.

I was simply pointing out his seeing it as pragmatic when things get that bad. That was it.
-tomos (July 04, 2017, 03:45 AM)
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Look up a few Tomos.  He just misquoted- it was Deo.

Deozaan:
Look up a few Tomos.  He just misquoted- it was Deo.
-wraith808 (July 04, 2017, 09:44 AM)
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Yes, that's true. But he then clarified his post to say that he thought tomos might also doing what I said I may have been doing. So it's not that different.

I think you may be unconsciously doing what @Deozaan says of himself, "I suppose I may have projected my own opinion of the situation into my interpretation of his meaning."
-IainB (July 02, 2017, 09:34 PM)
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panzer:

-panzer (June 28, 2017, 11:00 AM)
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The Long Walk is one of my favorite Steven King books.  I had it in an anthology called The Bachman Books (a lot of his stories written under the Richard Bachman pseudonym), and to tell you what it's about would be to ruin the pathos of dawning horror.  But it is very good and recommended.  Also in that anthology are Roadwork (arguably- at least by me- Falling Down is based on that) and the Running Man (nothing like the tepid Schwartzenegger flick)
-wraith808 (June 28, 2017, 12:30 PM)
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Only problem with it is that King had no clue how fast a human can walk. Hundred of miles with speed over 4 miles per hour (6-9) is just not realistic. Not for a bunch of teenagers ... I can do almost 7 km in one hour (average speed of 7,5 km/h on a distance of 500 meters and 8,4 km/h on same distance on uphill road with small elevation) but after several hours I would surely drop below minimum speed ... And they walked that fast while eating, smoking and speaking with each other ... I feel he should do some more research on the matter ... Otherwise it is a good book, a little bit too long, but good ...
-panzer (June 29, 2017, 02:19 AM)
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I didn't find it unrealistic.  Especially with the other factors considered that I don't really want to go into for concern at spoiling the novel.  But we can agree to disagree on that.
-wraith808 (June 29, 2017, 09:54 AM)
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This would only be possible only if King meant professional walking like you see on competitions like WC or Olympics (funny leg, arm and hip movement) and not the ordinary one. In ordinary walking, at six miles/hour you are not walking anymore - you are running. But even if we assume that, walking at the speed of 10 miles/hour means that some of those teenagers (amateurs) for some time walked faster than the average speed of the current world record on 50 kilometers.

I was baffled because of another thing: none of the 100 contestants from that year (or any previous ones) tried the winning strategy. All of them walked pretty fast from the start. But that is not the right strategy.

Since this race is not about who walks the longest distance but rather who can walk over minimum speed for the longest time, then winning strategy becomes clear: walk with a speed just over 4 miles/hours and nothing more than that (and not talk to others like a teenage girls and don't smoke during the race because you need oxygen). That way you can save energy and outlast your rivals. Going any faster than that is just uneccesary consumption of energy you will need later on.

For example: Let assume that there is a teenager who know all this. He knows that he has let say at least 4 percent less stamina than the best walker. So if that guy can walk 330 miles and no more, than he would stop at 316,8 miles.

In ordinary walking competition where guy who will come the furthest wins, he would clearly lose. But this is not an ordinary competition.

So if a group around the winner from the book walks at a pace of 5 miles/hour while he intentionally travells at a pace of "only" 4,5 miles/hour, he "saves" 12 miles of walking per day, 24 miles in two days and so on. So in just two days the others would cover almost a distance of a marathon race more than he would. Thas is a lot of unecessary distance covered. When others will feel the first signs of being tired, he would be still fresh as a Daisy. When they would feel really tired, he would just be a little uncomfortable. 66 hours later, the last walker would reach 330 miles and would drop out of the race. At that exact time our winner would be at 297 miles, well within his dropping out point at 316,8 miles.

Even with his 4 percent less stamina, he would still win easily since his slower walking speed alowed him to cover 10 percent less distance than others in the same time period.

If the others would walk with even greater speed, his win would be even more convincing: at their 5,5 miles/hour versus his 4,5 miles/hour, he would cover 24 miles in one day less than others, 48 miles in two days and so on ... 60 hours later, the last remaining member of a group would reach 330 miles and drop out (since his average speed is a little bit higher he probably wouldn't even reach 330 miles due to faster energy drainage but nevermind that). Our guy would at that time cover 270 miles. So, he would win six hours earlier than before while covering 27 miles less distance that before.

And so on and so on ...

In reality, unless all contestants are braindead, someone would figure that out and would've won with this strategy. From next year on, all others would use it too.

Maybe writing about a race where all of contestants would try to be as close to minimum speed while trying to avoid being penalised because they would dip under it is not as exciting as writing King's version, but it looks like King never figured it out how you could win more easily than walking at the speed you feel comfortable with while crossing fingers that you will have more luck than your rivals ...

panzer:


Interesting read, but could be better ...

wraith808:

-panzer (June 28, 2017, 11:00 AM)
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The Long Walk is one of my favorite Steven King books.  I had it in an anthology called The Bachman Books (a lot of his stories written under the Richard Bachman pseudonym), and to tell you what it's about would be to ruin the pathos of dawning horror.  But it is very good and recommended.  Also in that anthology are Roadwork (arguably- at least by me- Falling Down is based on that) and the Running Man (nothing like the tepid Schwartzenegger flick)
-wraith808 (June 28, 2017, 12:30 PM)
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Only problem with it is that King had no clue how fast a human can walk. Hundred of miles with speed over 4 miles per hour (6-9) is just not realistic. Not for a bunch of teenagers ... I can do almost 7 km in one hour (average speed of 7,5 km/h on a distance of 500 meters and 8,4 km/h on same distance on uphill road with small elevation) but after several hours I would surely drop below minimum speed ... And they walked that fast while eating, smoking and speaking with each other ... I feel he should do some more research on the matter ... Otherwise it is a good book, a little bit too long, but good ...
-panzer (June 29, 2017, 02:19 AM)
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I didn't find it unrealistic.  Especially with the other factors considered that I don't really want to go into for concern at spoiling the novel.  But we can agree to disagree on that.
-wraith808 (June 29, 2017, 09:54 AM)
--- End quote ---

This would only be possible only if King meant professional walking like you see on competitions like WC or Olympics (funny leg, arm and hip movement) and not the ordinary one. In ordinary walking, at six miles/hour you are not walking anymore - you are running. But even if we assume that, walking at the speed of 10 miles/hour means that some of those teenagers (amateurs) for some time walked faster than the average speed of the current world record on 50 kilometers.

<snip discussion>

-panzer (July 05, 2017, 02:56 AM)
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I'd suggest that if you're going to continue to discuss, you do it in spoilers, as some have not read the book, and might want to.

SpoilerThere is currently a walking challenge to do just this- to walk trails at a minimum of 4 mph, and the walker that walks the furthest wins. I walk 4 mph for my normal walk, and I am nowhere near running.  Also, the difference in speed wasn't a couple of miles per hour, but less than one mile per hour.

As far as your ideas, Stebbins did do exactly that.  And almost won.  But in the end, he lost.  No matter what you prepare for, the fact that there are other factors (weather, your body, etc) means that you can't prepare for all of them.  His final weakness was mental. 

And remember that the object wasn't to make it fair, nor even possible.  It was to make it entertaining, and get down to the winner in an entertaining manner.  And with the penalty for losing, that drives them.  And you're forgetting that they have multiple warnings, and they fall off per hour. 

You seem to be thinking that this was about the race.  It's about bread and circuses- akin to reality tv, but in a multi-day event, and that was made abundantly clear in the beginning of the short story.

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