# What are numbers? are they absolutes or abstracts?

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years ago

Some people think that zero is nothing. I know for a fact that zero represents "cannot count".  Because we create units and assign numbers to them.  that is why zero=infinity.

Numbers are abstracts that allow us to measure whatever it is we like to measure. Zero is just a beginning of measurement or a direction of value.  You go to zero, you diminish in measurable value. You towards infinity, you diminish measurable value.

But numbers are abstract tools to measure whatever we want. we can count heads, or hairs, assign values like one head or million hairs. and count them in 1s or 1 million, two million etc all the while counting the same things.

Do you agree or disagree?

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bestislandposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Can you have zero zeros?

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Brenda Durhamposted 9 years agoin reply to this

I disagree.
Numbers are absolutes.
It's only when people try to "crunch" the numbers that the situation gets iffy.  lol

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Susana Sposted 9 years agoin reply to this

I agree that numbers are abstracts - handy tools for measurement - but numbers only make sense when the units are agreed by users. Here's a great program on the difficulty involved in measuring and defining units - in this case "one degree" of temperature. I'm sure you'd enjoy it Cecilia if you had time to watch it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 … ne_Degree/

This thread reminded me of another documentary I saw fairly recently where several top mathematicians proposed that numbers do not go on forever and that you cannot always add one. It was pretty mind boggling, but the basic idea was the number 1 represents the whole, therefore numbers can only represent fractions of the whole, which makes numbers finite, rather than infinite.

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Pcunixposted 9 years ago

How many elephants in your sink, Cecila?

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

What was the temperature yesterday. That's right zero. Oh that's right celcius or fahrenheit? need to clarify what unit of measurement.

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Pcunixposted 9 years ago

Cecilia dent believe in integers. She says famous mathematicians don't either.

She will expand on this, I'm sure.

Point of reference: this all came about when Cecilia got terribly confused in another thread and didn't realize we were actually talking about logic zero and logic one. Ever reliable, she grabbed that and swam hard to prove  that nothing can be zero, but can only approach it.

I've been laughing ever since.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

That's like saying I don't believe in colors.

i however know what colors are. They are the illusion of my optic nerves. You however think that even if you are blind the color yellow still exists. If you are a fly, yellow is still a reality.

and you are laughing just like a two year old would laugh when I say, "you're a bag of mostly water." of course its funny to you.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Where did you ever get that idea, Cecilia?  Trying to put words in my mouth?  Search around: you'll find me pointing out that yellow exists as a range of wavelengths over and over again.

Zero does not equal infinity.

Zero is an integer. Logical zero (which is what started you on this nonsense) is a representation of false.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Zero, the biography of a dangerous idea chapter 6.  chapter title : Infinity's Twin,
the infinite nature of zero. -charles siefe

"Zero and infinity are two sides of the same coin, equal and opposite, yin and yang"

reviews: A stunning chronicle of denial, heresy, and grudging acceptance of zero and its companion concepts, infinity and void."
-US news and world report.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Opposite.

OPPOSITE.

Not 0 =infinity.

Sheesh..

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Zero is nothing.

One is something.

And zero is the opposite of infinity.

Edit: Have a nice day.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

really, then why is zero=infinity? because you are not counting absolutes, you are counting units of measurement.

zero=infinity because you both can't count them. after the whole number 1 fragment to fractions, it heads towards zero but never really gets there.

zero apples, 10 oranges. zero oranges, 2 apples. there is always a qualifier of what is being measured. in truth, zero represents starting point of measurement. not an actual value.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

What does a logical zero count?

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

nothing. it doesn't count anything.  It however determines the position where measurement begins.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

A logical zero determines position?

I'm still laughing. A little louder just now.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

a beginning of measurement. yes.

it is a position of the number line that identifies value.

But if you count, scalp to one inch of hair. you start with scalp as zero. But when you are measuring density of scalp. does that make scalp zero still? no. zero is the beginning of measuring. But zero itself means nothing to count. not nonexistent.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

How many inches are your rainbow hair? then measure that in centimeters. then measure that in millimeters. Notice that the numbers are changing but the length of your hair has not grown?

numbers are units of measurements. they are abstracts.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

What does logical zero measure?

This is where you went off the deep end in that other thread.

For those who were not there, I used a NAND gate as an example of a decision making mechanism and mentioned that its inputs and outputs are zero or one.

This sent Cecilia into a rant about zero not existing. She even read a book that says it doesn't exist, so therefore I was absolutely wrong about decision making.

This is why I am still laughing.

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If you go to my profile page and click the link at the top, one of my associates will discuss this with you.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

well you can discuss it with oxford prof, kaplan. because he wrote a book explaining zero as a direction in his best-selling paperback the history of zero.  I cannot believe you guys don't understand what I mean that zero is a beginning,  a starting point of measurement.

zero degrees celsius in not the same as fahrenheit. the numbers are different but the heat presence is the same. it all depends where you start measuring.

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And I canâ€™t believe you didnâ€™t go to my profile pageâ€¦

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

I did. your associates and oxford can discuss it.

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*** POOF ***

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

oh, let me go through it, after I chew my milkfish and carrot.

I did look and was pleased to see mandelbrot sets...did not find the zero hub though, send me a private email with the link.

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Itâ€™s been known to make peopleâ€™s heads explode so be careful.

In fact, Iâ€™ve just reread itâ€¦

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____*____*____*____
-1       0     +1

Notice that it doesn't go:

____*_____*____
-1      +1

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

notice how you're the only one who is not getting the argument.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Yeah. He's the only one Cecilia.

How many elephants?

What is a logical zero?

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

what is the temperature? zero degrees are you frozen solid?

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superwagsposted 9 years ago

I'd question whether infinity can exist. It doesn't make sense in terms of representing a number. I guess it's down to interpretation, we need it for calculations obviously. It is an interesting concept. It certainly is't an absolute.

The largest finite number s Graham's number. But there isn't enough space in the universe to write it down. We know that the last digit is a seven.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

it is just a way of saying "cannot be counted". in truth zero has no opposite.

but people here think that zero and infinity are opposites. they are  not. they are equal, because both cannot be measured, cannot be counted. my daughter gets this. and she's 6.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Well, that does it then.  If a six year old believes it, it must be true.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

no she figured it out. by thinking about it. luckily her abstract reasoning is the 95th percentile as measured by standardized tests.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

I have her beat.  I score above that by far.  99+ on all measures except spatial reasoning (I can't fold up little boxes in my mind).

So I guess that's that, right?  I'm smarter so I win.  Standardized tests say so.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

well, it doesn't seem that way since you cannot get the concept that numbers are measuring units. but WE assign the units.

I can count in hair, or in heads.
in ones or in tens. It all depends on where I start counting or what I'm counting.

So your premise of losing wallet is not zero, it's negative wallet. because you are measuring wallet that used to exist. clear? not clear. maybe you should retake those standardized tests. they improve in time you know. how long has it been?

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skyfireposted 9 years agoin reply to this

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superwagsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Zero can be measured. You just have to have defined a scale against which to measure it. It doesn't need an opposite.

It is essential to mathematics and quantifiable by mathematics and is therefore a number.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

A number is a unit of measurement. And zero is the beginning of measurement. It does necessarily mean there is nothing there.

the confusion here is a true zero can ever be achieved. it is a direction of counting in the number line.

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superwagsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Again, it depends upon the scale; it is a number between -1 and 1. What temperature does water freeze at (to the nearest whole)? Zero doesn't have to be the start of a measurement.

True zero can't be achieved in terms of physics inside of the universe. That's what universe is; maths, effectively. Is that what you mean?

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bestislandposted 9 years agoin reply to this

If I have one donut I eat that donut. How many donuts do I have. Absolutely zero. Am I close?

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superwagsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Yep, you're bang on.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

until you start measuring the donuts in molecules. that's when the number changes.

see, it depends on what you start measuring.

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superwagsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

That isn't how we measure donuts.

Once the number has been assigned to a concept then it becomes absolute. It doesn't mean that zero doesn't exist, it does, look at the temperature scales that you just mentioned; both have zero intergers.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

really? did you check your teeth? You could have 1/100th of a donut.

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bestislandposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Trust me I got it all.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

you licked your fingers and everything?

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Everyday I learn something here. Today it is Graham's number (pesky arrows...).

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Graham's number...that is new. (beelzedad, is still giving me elementary arguments....glad to know YOU CAN ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING NEW IN FORUMS)

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Considering that your understanding of the subject matter does not appear to have achieved elementary levels as yet, the response was fitting and easily refuted your assertions.

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In the Education and Science Forum, yes.

As to certain other well-known forumsâ€¦

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superwagsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

Graham's number is so large that if you could write a sigle digit of it on an atom, then there wouldn't be enough atoms in the universe to fit it on.

Isn't science baffling and wonderful?!

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

the amount of things the human mind can conceive is indeed wonderful, and that extends outside of things we can prove.

human imagination is truly a wonderful thing.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

You ought to know..

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

yes, live vicariously through me. Because your wiring makes it impossible for you. I'm really sorry but it is true.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

My wiring certainly is different than yours. I have to agree with that.

However, unlike you, I actually understand mathematicss, science and logic.  I don't read books and misunderstand them so badly that I make ridiculous statements as you have here.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

mathematiccssssss...?

like the non-ridiculous statements you made about proving no gods exists because  sentience needs a storage of memory, but only if sentience is not measured or defined. yes absolutely your wiring is different.

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Pcunixposted 9 years agoin reply to this

The ridiculous statements that none of you can refute without magic..

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skyfireposted 9 years ago

Eh ? Zero is not an infinite number.

Zero is absence of quantifiable whereas infinite numbers are things which are not quantifiable. You don't count zero stars in the sky but you do attempt to count few starts out of infinity(which is again assumption that there are infinite to begin with).

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

quantifiable is the correct term.

you assign what is being measured. zero is not descriptive of a thing. or an existence. it is descriptive of a position in the measurement of things.

zero is when no "thing" can be measured. thing being an X which you can assign.

zero is an abstract.

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fatfistposted 9 years ago

Last Sunday Service, my Pastor told me that he was going to show me a "zero"-dimensional Black Hole, of "infinite"-density.

I freaked out...so I immediately called the police and had him arrested for attempted indecent exposure. I hope that jail-time will teach him to choose his words wisely.

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Apeppersonposted 9 years ago

I had a theory about numbers after I barely passed Algebra I. After passing Algebra II with a steep grading curve and flunking Trig, my theory was proven to be a fact.

Numbers are Evil! Pure Evil!

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years agoin reply to this

you had bad teachers and you probably missed one class and the rest unravelled. Math understanding is based on a heirarchy of knowledge. if you missed a class, then the picture will be confusing.

good teachers have been known to make mathematicians out of artist types.

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ceciliabeltranposted 9 years ago

Hey, look the dictionary has all the definitions, including mine!

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/zero

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Susana Sposted 9 years ago

On another point, when talking about zero it's well worth looking at the history of zero: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/zero.jsp

I think zero is a function, not an absolute.

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