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Thread: It sure is tough being a mathematician

  1. #1 It sure is tough being a mathematician 
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    Someone wants to know what the difference between +0 and −0 is.

    You explain that there is no difference between +0 (which can be simply written as 0) and −0: In algebra, −x is defined to be the number y such that x + y = 0; since 0 + 0 = 0, it follows that −0 = 0.

    But the person insists that +0 and −0 are different and even links you to the Wikipedia article on one-sided limit to try and prove you wrong. He claims (without a clue what the notation mean) that because and mean different things, therefore +0 and −0 must be different.

    How would you feel? How I am now feeling is what. Because this just happened to me on another forum.


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  3. #2  
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    I barely have highschool maths behind my name and even I can understand the difference between his quoted equations. It is simply to denote from which direction should approach zero, no?

    I hope I am not making an ass of myself. :?


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    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  4. #3  
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    Thatís right. And the point is? It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether +0 and −0, as numbers, are same or different!!
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    That’s right. And the point is? It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether +0 and −0, as numbers, are same or different!!
    I am agreeing with you here. :wink:

    I am saying that even I, with barely highschool maths behind my name, can understand why his quoted equations only use +0 and -0 to show from what side approaches zero and does not say that +0 and -0 are different in their own right.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  6. #5  
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    Yup. In the notation for limits, and are only part of the notation. They do not have any independent existence outside the notation.
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  7. #6 Re: It sure is tough being a mathematician 
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    Someone wants to know what the difference between +0 and −0 is.

    You explain that there is no difference between +0 (which can be simply written as 0) and −0: In algebra, −x is defined to be the number y such that x + y = 0; since 0 + 0 = 0, it follows that −0 = 0.

    But the person insists that +0 and −0 are different and even links you to the Wikipedia article on one-sided limit to try and prove you wrong. He claims (without a clue what the notation mean) that because and mean different things, therefore +0 and −0 must be different.

    How would you feel? How I am now feeling is what. Because this just happened to me on another forum.
    You must not have ever had to teach freshmen. I think I understand your problem. You have never seen the work of an "average" student. All that you have seen is your own work.

    Unforunately, it is only going to get worse.

    The good news is that William McCormick seems to be confined to Pseudoscience.
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  8. #7  
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    The person I was trying to reason with is not a student. He knows nothing about maths but pretends he does by simply quoting random math pages from Wikipedia. It happened here:

    http://www.philosophorum.org/index.p...13414#msg13414

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    In mathematics −0 = 0. There.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jafet
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    The person I was trying to reason with is not a student. He knows nothing about maths but pretends he does by simply quoting random math pages from Wikipedia. It happened here:

    http://www.philosophorum.org/index.p...13414#msg13414

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    In mathematics −0 = 0. There.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jafet
    You will not convince him. He is an idiot. The best that you can do is to correct his nonsense for the benefit of others. Or you can just ignore him.

    Given that the topic started over the issue of "Karma points" I think it unlikely that correcting him will benefit the general audience much -- casting pearls before swine.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    The person I was trying to reason with is not a student. He knows nothing about maths but pretends he does by simply quoting random math pages from Wikipedia. It happened here:

    http://www.philosophorum.org/index.p...13414#msg13414

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    In mathematics −0 = 0. There.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jafet
    If he is quibbling about the notation, why not point out that you are speaking of

    +0 and -0

    while he has linked you to the irrelevant

    0<sup>+</sup> and 0<sup>-</sup>.

    Ask him to demonstrate that what he has linked to is the same thing about which you have spoken...

    Or would he like to claim that

    1<sup>2</sup> = 2<sup>1</sup>?
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