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From: superpollo on 3 Apr 2010 10:28 Mensanator ha scritto: > On Apr 3, 8:00 am, superpollo <ute... (a)esempio.net> wrote:>> Patrick Maupin ha scritto: >> >> >> >> >> >>> On Apr 2, 2:41 pm, Andreas Waldenburger <use... (a)geekmail.INVALID>>>> wrote: >>>> While everyone else is mocking you: Can you please elaborate on why you >>>> want to know and what kind of problem you're trying to solve with this? >>>> Also, don't you think you should have picked a maths forum for this >>>> kind of question? >>> Methinks the OP is fluent in the way of choosing newsgroups. >>> According to google, he has posted 6855 messages in 213 groups. >>> http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?enc_user=ul3SQhIAAAAYmLD0Oj5Y... >>> And I can't speak for anybody else, but I just assumed it was an April >>> Fool's question. I meant to be laughing with the OP, not at him, so >>> sorry if I misunderstood. >> no no you understood prfectly *but* the thing is i am a regular in an >> italian language math ng which is haunted by a crackpot who insists that >> 1/2 * 1/2 cannot be 1/4, "because multiplication means getting bigger", >> so i took a semi-serious stance and made a few posts as a statistical >> tentative to "convince" said crackpot that the world is not going crazy >> (but maybe he is) > > I seriously doubt your crackpot friend actually believes that. > Probably more troll than crackpot. Showing him articles and > programs that prove your premise will accomplish nothing. probably so, but you cannot imagine the traffic he generates... > However, if you personally wanted information on programming > with rational numbers, you came to the right place. > >> thanks >> >> ps: note that my nickname is not unique, and there are a few people >> whith the same one... and i didn't ever post using googlegroups > > What does it mean, "super chicken? yea! http://www.renegadechickens.com/chickens/Toons/superchicken.gif
From: Martin P. Hellwig on 3 Apr 2010 10:43 On 04/03/10 14:38, Steve Holden wrote: <cut> > > If you think you will persuade a crackpot to drop his lunacy by logical > argument you are clearly an optimist of the first water. But since I > like a challenge (and bearing in mind this is OT so I don't claim to be > an expert) you might try first of all persuading him to agree to the > commutativity of multiplication (i.e. x * y == y * x for any x and y). > > If he agrees to that, then get him to agree that x * 1 == x for any x. > > If he agrees to that, then set x = 1/2 and see if he'll agree that 1/2 * > 1 == 1/2. > > If he does, then surely he must also agree that 1 * 1/2 == 1/2, i.e. > multiplication can indeed "make things smaller". > > Good luck, though. Crackpots aren't generally responsive to appeals to > rational thinking. > I am replying to this post not because I disagree but because it postalogically fits the best (I am by no means an expert either). IMHO, the crackpot in this regard is actually partially right, multiplication does mean that the number must get bigger, however for fractions you multiply four numbers, two numerators and two denominators. The resulting numerator and denominator by this multiplication get indeed bigger. -- mph
From: Matthew Barnett on 3 Apr 2010 10:38 superpollo wrote: > Steve Holden ha scritto: >> superpollo wrote: >>> Patrick Maupin ha scritto: >>>> On Apr 2, 2:41 pm, Andreas Waldenburger <use... (a)geekmail.INVALID>>>>> wrote: >>>> >>>>> While everyone else is mocking you: Can you please elaborate on why >>>>> you >>>>> want to know and what kind of problem you're trying to solve with >>>>> this? >>>>> Also, don't you think you should have picked a maths forum for this >>>>> kind of question? >>>> Methinks the OP is fluent in the way of choosing newsgroups. >>>> According to google, he has posted 6855 messages in 213 groups. >>>> >>>> http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?enc_user=ul3SQhIAAAAYmLD0Oj5Yxp-liP3Vw9uApbyajUBv9M9XLUB2gqkZmQ >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> And I can't speak for anybody else, but I just assumed it was an April >>>> Fool's question. I meant to be laughing with the OP, not at him, so >>>> sorry if I misunderstood. >>> no no you understood prfectly *but* the thing is i am a regular in an >>> italian language math ng which is haunted by a crackpot who insists that >>> 1/2 * 1/2 cannot be 1/4, "because multiplication means getting bigger", >>> so i took a semi-serious stance and made a few posts as a statistical >>> tentative to "convince" said crackpot that the world is not going crazy >>> (but maybe he is) >>> >>> thanks >>> >>> ps: note that my nickname is not unique, and there are a few people >>> whith the same one... and i didn't ever post using googlegroups >> >> If you think you will persuade a crackpot to drop his lunacy by logical >> argument you are clearly an optimist of the first water. But since I >> like a challenge (and bearing in mind this is OT so I don't claim to be >> an expert) you might try first of all persuading him to agree to the >> commutativity of multiplication (i.e. x * y == y * x for any x and y). >> >> If he agrees to that, then get him to agree that x * 1 == x for any x. >> >> If he agrees to that > > he does not, since "you cannot multiply something, and not getting some > more of it" ... he is stuck with the latin etimology of "multiply" > ("multiplicare" means "increase quantity", like in the fish and bread > miracle) > Do he also think that division always makes it smaller? What about division by a half?
From: Steven D'Aprano on 3 Apr 2010 11:17 On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 15:43:41 +0100, Martin P. Hellwig wrote: > I am replying to this post not because I disagree but because it > postalogically fits the best (I am by no means an expert either). > > IMHO, the crackpot in this regard is actually partially right, > multiplication does mean that the number must get bigger, however for > fractions you multiply four numbers, two numerators and two > denominators. The resulting numerator and denominator by this > multiplication get indeed bigger. But you're not multiplying four numbers, you're multiplying two numbers. One-half is not "two numbers", that would be a tuple or a list or possibly a coordinate pair. One-half is a single number, the number which if you double it gives one. Fortunately multiplication is consistent. Multiplying the two numbers 0.5 and 0.5 is exactly the same as multiplying 1*1 and 2*2 then dividing to get a single number. It's not the same as multiplying 1*1 and 2*2 to get two numbers, 1 and 4. You say that multiplication means that the number "must get bigger". 5*1 = 5 5*0 = 0 5*-2 = -10 I hope you won't try to argue that 5, 0 and -10 are all bigger than 5. There really is no point trying to dignify superpollo's friend's assertion on the basis of some technicality. His argument is no different from the argument that says that pythons are snakes, and therefore python can't be a programming language and this newsgroup can't possibly exist. Words can have multiple meanings, and meanings can shift. Multiply may be derived from a word which, once upon a time, meant to get bigger, but that's not what multiply means. I don't like to dismiss somebody I've never met, but on the basis of what superpollo says, yes, he's a crackpot. Either that or about age four. When I was four I strongly believed that "one hundred" and "a hundred" were different numbers. I argued (not very convincingly, but with great vehemence) to my teacher and my parents that you counted up to ninety-nine, then a hundred, a hundred and one, a hundred and two, ... a hundred and ninety-nine, *one* hundred. -- Steven
From: Patrick Maupin on 3 Apr 2010 11:46
On Apr 3, 9:43 am, "Martin P. Hellwig" > IMHO, the crackpot in this regard is actually partially right, > multiplication does mean that the number must get bigger, however for > fractions you multiply four numbers, two numerators and two > denominators. The resulting numerator and denominator by this > multiplication get indeed bigger. That argument is great! Just make sure that you've managed to leave before the class has to learn about irrational numbers that don't *have* numerators and denominators ;-) |