Battlepanda: The Not-so-beautiful Hivemind


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Not-so-beautiful Hivemind

I am caught between shock and the irresistable desire to laugh my head off. Is the level of awareness about mathematics so low in this country that even the geeky among us (I'm talking about the readers of Digg) cannot wrap their head around the high-school maths concept that 0.999...(repeating) is equal to 1?!

I don't understand. People have no problem with the fact that 0.333...(repeating) is another way of writing 1/3. They also have no problem with the fact that three times 1/3 equals 1. And presumably they can handle the fact that 0.333...(repeating) times three is 0.999...(repeating). Yet if you put it all together and get 0.999...(repeating)=1, all of a sudden, their minds are blown. They feel the urge to write stupid-ass shit such as the following:
joeshlub by joeshlub 1 hour ago
.99999… Isn’t a number. Thats like saying infinity isn’t a number. Its an innacurate representation. .99999…. is a decimal approximation. Case closed. .99999 doesn’t equal one because .99999 is an approximation. So all of this stuff with using fractions doesn’t apply, because 8/9 DOES NOT ACTUALLY EQUAL .8888….. because it is an approximation.

So simply put, infinity isn’t an actual number, its a concept. .9 repeating isn’t a number either, its just a concept, specifically an APPROXIMATION. if it could really exist, it perhaps would be equal to one. But try writing it. just like infinity, its impossible. Concepts don’t equal numbers. Case Closed. Try refuting that. Seriously, don’t dig me down unless you can refute it. And if you can, At least reply, I’ll be happy to hear about it.

I don't mean to pick on this joeshlub guy, because this Digg thread has 780 comments in it, and many if not most of those comments display a similarly breathtaking mixture of arrogance and ignorance.