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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb What If Our Math System Was Wrong?

    its amazinly hard to think about it but What if our very own math system that we created was off. think about it we are by nature imperfect beings. so everything that we create would theroticly be inperfect. and we see examples of that in everday life. like a computer is not perfect with virisuses and such and freezes. same with everything else that you can think of, candy is imperfect it has high suger content and increses the chances of tooth decay.
    So why you may ask? why would our very own math system be off? becuase i have read a thred in this forum (or it might be in another forum) that says
    .9~ = 1
    1/3 = .3~
    2/3 = .6~
    3/3 = .9~ or 1?
    this intregued me extreamly. becuase our system may be inperfect like for instance 1/3 = .3 FOR INFENITY, a perfect math system would have that equal a solid number that does not contunue for etertinty.
    To think about it, haveing our system that we use to prove things and disprove them to be wrong! and to think of it to be inproved? its extreamly complecated and i can seem to fathom the possiableity but i cannnot get it out of my mind! i want to hear your thoughts...

  2. #2
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    gah! i was thinking about that the other day and i hate it!

    as far as i'm concerned 1 =/= .9~ EVER.

    .9~ = .9~ PERIOD. it's point 9 repeating, forever, and it will never be 1, so what if it goes infinite, it's still not 1.

  3. #3
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    I would like to say that a volcano is a mess of impurities but it spits out diamonds that are crystalized perfection as far as composing carbon structures goes, Thus how is saying that humans are imperfect deny us the right to create something perfect. Also perfection of a being is religiously based which has little to do with math.

  4. #4
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    BTW, 1=9` is a mathimatical fact. Go to a university and ask a professor or two and you will find that this is a generally accepted fact. One proof of that is this:

    x=.999~
    so,
    10x = 9.999~
    subtract 1x from each side and you get:
    9x=9
    divide by 9 and you get:
    x=1
    therefore:
    .999~=1

    There are many other proofs of this. the 1/3 thing is not a proof, but helps people get this,a s it is rather counter-intuitive. Infinity does not behave in exactly the same ways as normal math concepts.

  5. #5
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    As for the imperfection of our mathimatical system, There are only so many option. For a math system, you start with a base (we use a base-10 system, whereas binary is base 2 [1's and 0's), and hexadecimal is base 16(0-9, and a-f)). All math we know is what follows directly and logically from that system. Matha s we see it today was not so much invented as discovered. That is why many scientists think hat a good way to communicate with aliens, should we ever encounter them, will be to start by establishing that we are sentient by sending mathimatics to them. It is universal, and a base 10 number system will be the same here or on any other planet in the universe.

  6. #6
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    Well you have to define what's wrong and what's right. The Romans had a base-10 number system, but did not have zero. They could do math that helped them, but it wasn't wrong, right?
    "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent." 1984, By George Orwell. Part 2: Chapter 9.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BinaryBum
    BTW, 1=9` is a mathimatical fact. Go to a university and ask a professor or two and you will find that this is a generally accepted fact. One proof of that is this:

    x=.999~
    so,
    10x = 9.999~
    subtract 1x from each side and you get:
    9x=9
    divide by 9 and you get:
    x=1
    therefore:
    .999~=1

    There are many other proofs of this. the 1/3 thing is not a proof, but helps people get this,a s it is rather counter-intuitive. Infinity does not behave in exactly the same ways as normal math concepts.


    GAH! my head hurts... wait a minute, i'm still lost. How are you to take off 1x from 9.9~? the way i would do it is 9.9~/10 = x

    because, 9.9~ is just 9.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999 forever, and that pattern never, ever, ever, ever, ever ends. but that still leaves you infinitely away from 10 ^_^

  8. #8
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    It is universal, and a base 10 number system will be the same here or on any other planet in the universe.
    A base 10 number system is not universal. Other cultures throughout history have based their mathmatics on other numbers. The Mayan's used 20 as their base. Ancient babylon was based on the number 60, and so on and so forth. It would be wrong to assume that our number system is universal throughout the universe when we have different systems here on earth.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  9. #9
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    Does .999~ = 1

    In my opinion it just depends on your purpose. If one wants to be truly accurate .999~ does not equal one. It may come infintetly close, but it will never reach it.

    Theres a joke that goes something like this:

    A man running a successful business knew he needed a person with mathmatical expertise, but he didn't know what kind of person he needed. So, he devised a test and invited three gentlemen to an interview. They were an abstract mathmatician, an engineer, and a theoretical mathmatician.

    The test was simple. The man's very attractive secretary would stand at the other end of a hallway from the interviewees with the man's old secretary. Each man would get a chance to kiss the attractive secretary, but they could only walk half the remaining distance at a time.
    First, the abstract mathmatician just gave up. "It isn't possible to get to her."

    Next, the engineer quickly jogs half the halway, then a fourth, then an eighth, and so on untill he was near the attractive secretary. Then he declares that he is within tolerance, picks up the secretary and gives her a big kiss.

    Finally, the theoretical mathmatician goes. He simply turns to the old secretary and gives her a big kiss. When the man who owns the business asked what was going on, he stated "I am a theoretical mathmatician. If I don't like the problem, I change it."
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  10. #10
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    nice joke. but why would you think that our math system is or has appreed on other planets? just becuase its on earth does not mean that its on other planets. aliens could be so extrealy advanced that they dont even need math. (but that may be highly debatable) to wrap it all up : just because its here does not mean its over there

    oh yea i think that our system is a base 0 - 9 system becuase you can make everything out of 0's 1's ect up to 9. a base to 10 would mean that you can use 10 to create 20. you can only do that by addint 10 + 10 or 10 x 2. and the reason taht i say this is because its a base system not a system that uses math its used for math. Ex: 1 and a 9 put together can make 19 or 91 or a 0 and 2 can make 20 or .02

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetarcliff
    I would like to say that a volcano is a mess of impurities but it spits out diamonds that are crystalized perfection as far as composing carbon structures goes, Thus how is saying that humans are imperfect deny us the right to create something perfect. Also perfection of a being is religiously based which has little to do with math.
    What has humanity ever created...that was perfect? And in what sense of the word does it qualify?
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KL
    The Romans had a base-10 number system, but did not have zero.
    That makes it base 9 (9 diferent digits)

    Just so we are clear, for any base, when you reach the final number type (9 for us), you just add another digit, up the number left of it, and reset the digit in question.

    Thus:
    8
    9
    10

    and

    998
    999
    1000

    in base 10.

    In base 2, it goes

    0
    1
    10
    11
    100
    101
    110
    111
    and so on

    if you were to do, say, base 6, it would be

    0,1,2,3
    4
    5
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    21
    22
    23
    etc.

    This is why I don't quite understand this:
    Quote Originally Posted by vance101
    oh yea i think that our system is a base 0 - 9 system becuase you can make everything out of 0's 1's ect up to 9. a base to 10 would mean that you can use 10 to create 20. you can only do that by addint 10 + 10 or 10 x 2. and the reason taht i say this is because its a base system not a system that uses math its used for math. Ex: 1 and a 9 put together can make 19 or 91 or a 0 and 2 can make 20 or .0
    Also, a base 10 system is a system with 10 possible single digit types (0-9).

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowKnight
    because, 9.9~ is just 9.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99 999 forever, and that pattern never, ever, ever, ever, ever ends. but that still leaves you infinitely away from 10
    I think you mean infinitely close, but not actually there.

    That's the thing, though. .999 is not 1, nor is .99999999999999999999999999, or .9999999 for billiuons and billions of miles to the right of the screen. .999 forever, though, actually does = exactly 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by chad
    A base 10 number system is not universal
    Yes, but what I'm saying is that in any base 10 system, wherever you are in the universe, the math derrived from it will be the same. There may be more added on, but triginometry, algebra, and arithmatic will still be the same, since they are the dierect result of the system, not a set of rules imposed on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad
    If one wants to be truly accurate .999~ does not equal one. It may come infintetly close, but it will never reach it.
    That's the common myth. I once had a rather lengthy debate with a mathamatician (bad idea, don't try it) on this. It is an established fact that .999~ does in fact, equal exactly 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowKnight
    How are you to take off 1x from 9.9~? the way i would do it is 9.9~/10 = x
    ????
    since a is equal to .999~, then 9.999~ minus x(.999~) equals 9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    What has humanity ever created...that was perfect? And in what sense of the word does it qualify?
    That is the beauty of things like math and programming. The answers processes are not limited by the imperfection inherint in human creations. Math was not created, so much as discovered. They started with a numbering system, and tried to figure out what could be done with it. Calculus was found, after much hard work. No one ever said "I think i'm going to make math work This way from now on".

  13. #13
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    It is my understanding that the Romans did have a notional nought or zero, but that it was always incorporated into those figures such as X (10), or C (100), they would then use the word for plus or minus if this was required and the word for nothing to cover 0 or zero. It was a clumbsy system, particularly when it came to very large figures, whether whole numbers or fractions. But I suppose in early times the astronomical calculations of modern maths or astro-physics were not a real consideration.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    What has humanity ever created...that was perfect?
    Me. Sorry, Apok, couldn't help myself. :D
    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Does .999~ = 1

    In my opinion it just depends on your purpose. If one wants to be truly accurate .999~ does not equal one. It may come infintetly close, but it will never reach it.
    I have a similar problem with infinity and my existence - should it be a case of, 'I think I think, therefore I think I am'?

    ps. Atticus, if you are perfect you have no need to say sorry.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  16. #16
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    I just had this thought, but isn't a possible reason we have a 0-9 base number system, because of the fingers on our hands. Since ancient civilizations didn't have a ready way to keep track of numbers, fingers seem to be a plausible option.
    By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
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    A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
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  17. #17
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    What about the English archers who had their draw/pull fingers cut off when caught by the French, what about a base 00 7 for them? - Apologies to Ian Fleming.

    (Origin of the 'two fingers', supposedly first signalled to the French army at Agincourt.)
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  18. #18
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    I think the 10 base system caught on by then.
    By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
    Socrates
    A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
    Bob Hope

  19. #19
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    Hadn't thought of that, Demo, but you are probably right. Any base will work. 2-6 is kinda small, which makes for long numbers, but 20+ is kind of hard to keep track of. 10 is the finger number, so it works as well as any. Some cultures used 60, others 16, but most(because they all mixed together) used 9 and/or 10.

  20. #20
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    Binary Bum, your keep assuming that 10 is universal. And Im sure you know what happens when you assume.

    Think about it 10 is universal because we have ten fingers. Why not 12? What if an alian race had 12 fingers or something?
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

 

 
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