# The Final Pathetic Bleatings of the Forum

Question:
I humbly request the wisdom of Alex Trebek

What is a Finite State Machine?

Replies:

On the screen is an address where you can send your tag offering or gift of love.

Well, it's like this.

Imagine you have a bunch of ponies in your corral (all different).

A finite number.

Well, no duh, Andrej. There's no such thing as an infinite number of ponies. How could you feed them all?

And let's say you always start by riding the same pony. Let's call that the "start pony".

Teletubby start pony! Teletubby smart pony!

And let's say that your friends the Power Puff girls are yelling weird streams of commands at you, like "aaaabbbbabab"

aaaaabbbbabab

And you want to "accept" some of the things the power puff girls say, and reject other things.

Oh god, I know where this is going. I'm always the one getting rejected.

Now, each pony has a little instruction manual etched into its saddle. The instruction manual contains commands like "if you hear an a, jump to the pink pony, but if you hear a b jump to the yellow pony"

No two ponies have the same commands etched into their saddles. OK?

Not OK. This violates the Objectivist principle of A is A.

Finally, some of the ponies have a ring in their nose. When the power puff girls stop talking, if you end up on a pony with a ring in its nose, you win!

Otherwise, you lose.

I know it seems complicated, but it's fun once you get the hang of it!

OK, let's play a game!

Here is a corral of ponies that accepts any utterance made out of a's and b's if either (the number of a's is even and the number of b's is even) or (the number of a's is odd and the number of b's is odd)

Red Pony: if you see an a, hop onto the yellow pony.
If you see a b, hop onto the green pony.
The red pony has a ring in its nose.

Yellow Pony: If you see an a, hop onto the red pony.
If you see a b, hop onto the blue pony.

Green Pony: If you see an a, hop onto the blue pony.
If you see a b, hop onto the red pony.

Blue Pony: If you see an a, hop onto the green pony.
If you see a b, hop onto the yellow pony.
The blue pony has a ring in its nose.

READY? Start at the Red Pony.

aaabaa

Wasn't that fun?

ababa

I think that one FAILS.

ababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababaababbabababbabbbbababababaababbbbabababababbabababababbbbbbbaababaaaaaaaababababababaababaababaabaabaababaabababababababa

Insolent.

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