So there was this story where someone was caught jerking off in a business meeting or something, thinking his web cam was off.

But why's that so bad? Let's analyze the situation a bit.

The

jerk, of course, is the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of position, i.e., the derivative of the derivative of velocity, i.e., the derivative of acceleration. But it's unclear what jerking off means. Did he "jerk of" in the sense of having a constant large jerk? Or an increasing jerk?

Either one may be unusual. Like, I can imagine different kinds motion. The one where position is a constant. Easy. The one where the derivative (i.e., velocity) is a constant. Sorta easy. And the one where the derivative of the derivative (i.e., acceleration) is a constant. Still doable.

But a constant jerk? Very strange. I don't know if humans have the capacity to differentiate constant-jerk motions and constant-acceleration motions. So perhaps it's understandable if people found it strange to see someone jerking off. And if it means an increasing jerk, that's even weirder.

At the same time, one should have some sense of proportion. Imagine if instead he was seen popping off. The

pop, of course, is the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of position, i.e., the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of velocity, i.e., the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of acceleration, i.e., the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of jerk, i.e., the derivative of the derivative of snap, i.e., the derivative of crackle. So if popping off means a constant large pop, seeing someone popping off would be bizarre indeed. Not to speak of an increasing pop.

Something I've wondered for a long time is if real motion always has continuous functions of position, velocity, acceleration, jerk, snap, crackle, pop, et cetera. Intuitively, it seems like it may be the case that all of those, and infinitely more, are required to be strictly continuous. But it also may be that you can go from 0 to a specific jerk in an instant.

And now that I understand physics a bit better, I think the latter may be true! Because force is proportional to acceleration, so if you drop an object in mid-air, its acceleration should immediately jump to a certain value, thus creating a discontinuous jerk; it's 0 - infinity - 0. In other words, normal objects tend not to jerk off, I believe.

Then again, Newtonian physics is an approximation. Perhaps if forces are treated as themselves moving only with the speed of light, things change.