This conversation is closed.

## Is our math wrong? Is it our assumption of zero, or absolute nothingness?

There are know phenomena out there such as the gamma ray burst that total destroys(use loosely your ego wants to argue this syntax error not the mind) our current math and physics(e=mc2). But instead of saying well maybe we got a key part of our math wrong we make it so the phenomena matches our math. This is my personal take on what I think might be wrong. I think it has to do with our assumption of zero. Seeing how you can never have absolute nothingness as a base or starting point. Conceptually the idea of zero is great. I want an apple. But i am in a complete void of apples. I don't have a single one. Not even applesauce! I have ZERO apples. But I do not need to know that you have zero apples to know when you have 1 apple. On the other had I do need to know that you have 1 apple to understand that now you have 2 apple. I could be wrong. It just something that bothers me.

Also I am not a math person it has always been something I struggled with in school those pesky numbers. However in College I excelled at Logic, but that has been some time ago.

I am not say this is the answer I just say that I think there is something fundamentally wrong with our math

## Barry Palmer 100+

If and when we do understand nature, perhaps math will be no part of that understanding. Zero will be irrelevant.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

## V Sudhakar

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

## natasha nikulina 50+

## natasha nikulina 50+

Our world is information. The idea that information is prior to matter is millennia old, but only now we seem to be ready to download it into our mind , iow to figure it out :)

## natasha nikulina 50+

We tend to separate Math from Philosophy, but they are not separate , nothing is.

"nothing" is the opposite of "something" and synonymous with 'everything'

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

One bit of information is born when a logical zero switches to one (or vice versa). That's when we have "something" and that's when it starts making sense. The universe is born when all these bits start toggling.

## Ken brown 30+

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

It is not blackness, darkness, or silence. It is not huge, not tiny, not black, not white, it has no properties whatsoever. It is nothing. It cannot even be reflected or accurately represented by anything. One can only meditate on it. That's two paragraphs too many about nothing :)

## Ken brown 30+

If this isn't good enough then "nothing' will ever be good enough and the next reply will only mean the word "measurement"

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

## Ken brown 30+

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

(To others that might post here. There are already over 400 posts. Read them first so as not to restate comments that have all ready been stated.)

## Casey Christofaris 10+

This guys a good example of what talking out of ego does vs using your mind:

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/05/14203607-video-shows-scientist-in-congress-saying-evolution-is-from-pit-of-hell?lite

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

The same day this story broke there were two similar ones:

"Arkansas Republicans tried to distance themselves Saturday from a Republican state representative's assertion that slavery was a "blessing in disguise" and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all Muslims.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Why is it so hard to see people/all living things as equals? I will never understand. Other then out of pure ego.

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## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

Where is the logic to this argument? You have not defined what it is that you "think might be wrong," nor have you explained a concept of zero that would serve as an assumption.

Where did the concept of zero originate, what is its history? Let's start there.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=history-of-zero

"Initially, zero functioned as a mere placeholder—a way to tell 1 from 10 from 100, to give an example using Arabic numerals. "That's not a full zero," Seife says. "A full zero is a number on its own; it's the average of –1 and 1."

Much ado about nothing

## Casey Christofaris 10+

But truly we like to group things (arbitrary units) to make it easier on the brain, for there is no such thing as 2 apples that are the same. They are all individual representation of what is apple. The cave man realized, all is a individual representation. Their math looked like this and also did not have zero, 1=1,11=2,111=3 ect. There are 7 billion individual people on this earth, grouped and categorical as a whole. But really it's 7 billion 1's not 7,000,000,000. For them to be identical they would also have to take up the same space time.

So if you want the big picture of what I am saying is that in the "physical world" There is no zero, no negative numbers and no 2(of identical things) and all that exist is a bunch of 1's. For we are all one

also you argued a Straw man

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

Did you read the links?

David Hilbert said of mathematics: 'We are not speaking here of arbitrariness in any sense. Mathematics is not like a game whose tasks are determined by arbitrarily stipulated rules. Rather, it is a conceptual system possessing internal necessity that can only be so and by no means otherwise."

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## David Updegraff

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## David Pyle

## Kris Christenson

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Technically all theory's are wrong and can never be proven right. So any theory is neither right or wrong.

There are no 2 of anything in the universe, there are groups of thing but each is an individual representation of what is apple(x).

## Sterling Spencer

Is that your theory?

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Kris Christenson

You're correct, no two things are identical, but similarities cause things to fit into similar groups. For example: objects that have the quality of existence are things. Any object that can be said to exist falls within this group. Because of this group (which I don't see how it could be denied that objects that exist are things) we can quantify the number of things in a space. Say I have a space in which there are ten things that have the same exact size but every other property is different (thus satisfying that no two things are identical) and in the space there is enough room for 15 things. So there is 5 things-worth of blank space. Our universe is like this. Our observations have shown that 1) matter cannot be created or destroyed and 2) our universe is constantly expanding. Since new matter is never created there is always the same number of things in the universe but the amount of space is getting larger. If one quantity remains static while another rises then after a point the latter will always be larger. So if we don't have more space than things now at some point we will.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

"So if everything is built up out of these smallest things and they are not connected (because if they were connected they would be the same thing) then there must be a space between them." Would energy count as the connection? For we as organism "human" are not connected.

"If there were no space between these smallest things then motion wouldn't be possible except as a group." Is this not how the human body function as a group? E pluribus unum.

"That is the blank space I'm talking about, the epically tiny distances between the smallest units of matter." You that is matter has never touched any other matter ever. Our energy's touch other energy but we do not "touch" anything.

"Say I have a space in which there are ten things that have the same exact size but every other property is different (thus satisfying that no two things are identical) and in the space there is enough room for 15 things. So there is 5 things-worth of blank space. Our universe is like this. Our observations have shown that 1) matter cannot be created or destroyed and 2) our universe is constantly expanding." Have you heard of filling a glass with, rock, sand, water? Even an empty glass is not empty! Matter does not exist energy can not be created or destroyed. I would suggest that the universe is a torus or at least a double torus (which looks much like a figure 8. Also torus's can be found everywhere.

## Kris Christenson

Now, your point on theory. From an epistemic standpoint it is flawed. Truth is an absolute. My opinion on the best and most concise definition of truth is "an accurate representation of reality". So what's true is true and what's not true is false. Theory's are statements of what the theorist believes to be true. So if the theory accurately represents reality then it is true, if it does not then it is false. A theory is incomplete when it partially reflects reality and partially does not. I'll give a few examples: If my theory predicts that Barack Obama is President of the United States it is true. If my theory predicts that George Washington is secretary of state it is false. If a theory predicts both of the former then it is true in some aspects and false in others and is incomplete. Further, all knowledge begins as a hypothesis, then becomes a theory, and once it is tested its truth is determined and it becomes knowledge. If we add in the stigma that all theory's are wrong and can't be proven right then we can't have knowledge. By that logic nothing this thread, including your initial argument, can be substantiated and then we all have to admit we're wrong. Hume would agree but I take other issues with his theory, which would be a bit lengthy to discuss. The point is, your "theory of theory" has logical flaws that can't be avoided. I hope this is a bit more clear than before. If any premises above seem to be flawed let me know and I'll write another novel for you.

## Comment deleted

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Until I find a point at least in this conversation where we greatly disagree, and I mean greatly. You can always talk or post on my behalf (I am always interested in seeing your perspective), your written words are far superior to mine. :) Please just keep doing what you do.

An no worries I will always join in on the conversation :)

## Tify Ndanoboi 50+

## John Smith 30+

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Here might be a helpful video for you to understand that the world you call reality is just as imagined as the dreams you have at night.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/john_lloyd_an_animated_tour_of_the_invisible.html

## Jon Ho

To begin with, how do we define division? The ratio r of two numbers a and b:

r=a/b

is that number r that satisfies

a=r*b.

Well, if b=0, i.e., we are trying to divide by zero, we have to find a number r such that r*0=a. (1)

But r*0=0

for all numbers r, and so unless a=0 there is no solution of equation (1).

Now you could say that r=infinity satisfies (1). That's a common way of putting things, but what's infinity? It is not a number! Why not? Because if we treated it like a number we'd run into contradictions. Ask for example what we obtain when adding a number to infinity. The common perception is that infinity plus any number is still infinity. If that's so, then

infinity = infinity+1 = infinity + 2

which would imply that 1 equals 2 if infinity was a number. That in turn would imply that all integers are equal, for example, and our whole number system would collapse!

So, what now? How about 0/0?

I said above that we can't solve the equation (1) unless a=0. So, in that case, what does it mean to divide by zero? Again, we run into contradictions if we attempt to assign any number to 0/0. Let's call the result of 0/0, z, if it made sense. z would have to satisfy:

z*0=0. (2)

That's OK as far as it goes, any number z satisfies that equation. But it means that the result of 0/0 could be anything. We could argue that it's 1, or 2, and again we have a contradiction since 1 does not equal 2.

## Jon Ho

But perhaps there is a number z satisfying (2) that's somehow special and we just have not identified it? So here is a slightly more subtle approach. Division is a continuous process. Suppose b and c are both non-zero. Then, in a sense that can be made precise. the ratios a/b and a/c will be close if b and c are close. A similar statement applies to the numerator of a ratio (except that it may be zero.)

So now assume that 0/0 has some meaningful numerical value (whatever it may be - we don't know yet), and consider a situation where both a and b in the ratio a/b become smaller and smaller. As they do the ratio should become closer and closer to the unknown value of 0/0.

There are many ways in which we can choose a and b and let them become smaller. For example, suppose that a=b throughout the process. For example, we might pick

a=b = 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ....

Since

a=b,

for all choices of a we get the ratio 1 every time! This suggests that 0/0 should equal 1. But we could just as well pick

b = 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ....

and let a be twice as large as b. Then the ratio is always 2! So 0/0 should equal 2. But we just said it should equal 1! In fact, by letting a be r times as large as b we could get any ratio r we please!

So again we run into contradictions, and therefore we are compelled to

let 0/0 be undefined.

So, yeah, zero does not exist, unless if you studied calculus and learn about Rule of L'Hôpital. Which then gets pretty whacky and my hands are all tired from typing and steering this spaceship at the same time so I am ashamed to tell you to just Wikipedia it. Sorry.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## John Frum 30+

Incidentally, how many digits are there in the decimal expansion of √2 ?

## Jon Ho

## Andrew Spence 20+

## Jon Ho

What you describe is just Real Numbers. Have you made friends with Imaginary Numbers yet? ;)

For example, how many is -3³ apples, compared to 1 apple? How many is ∞ apples compared to 1 apple?

Once you finally learn more about fundamental mathematics, and mastered the higher level concept of maths, you will become one with maths, because maths is the key that unlocks the door of electromagnetism, fluid dynamics, and quantum mechanics, to name a few.

Or in lay-human terms, the maths that you think is "fundamentally wrong" is what gives you the television to watch inane politicians spinning lies, wireless communication so you can post on Facebook what you watched on television with your smartphones, et cetera. ;)

## Andrew Spence 20+

We think of the vastness of the known universe but this is insignificant quite compared to the space that it is existing within, that's not nothing, it's everything.

## Jon Ho

## Ken brown 30+

Sorry John i couldn't resist a bit of good natured humor lol

## Jon Ho

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Sebastian Tor

Maths is, however, different. It depends on whether you believe the structure of the universe to be, fundamentally, mathematical, or whether you believe maths is just anothermodel we have created which (unlike physics) isn't designed to gesture out toward anything in particular. There is a great talk about this exact topic here: http://www.iai.tv/video/pythagoras-dream . It sets forth the basic arguments about mathematics and its nature from a variety of perspectives, you will definitely find it useful.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Christophe Cop 500+

Most of the systems start with a few axioms, and all the rest is derived from it.

When you apply a kind mathematics to reality, it often works great. Sometimes the chosen set of (mathematical) rules does not apply or cannot answer the question pertaining reality you are asking.

Math as such is not "right" or "wrong". But you can try and find inconsistencies with certain forms of math and reality.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

This is more along the lines of reasoning I am trying to use quote is via Mark Meijer said "All reasoning is circular in the end.

Anyhoo... The point is all numbers and measurements are abstracts, zero included, and abstracts don't actually map onto reality, only onto eachother. It's all self-referential. Representation is itself an abstract notion, there is no such thing in reality.

Which is why all reasoning is circular, it is self-referential :).

But whatever. Your argument is basically "zero is useful". I don't think anyone is disputing that. But what is useful and what is true are two entirely different considerations."

Which is why the only "person we can not see is ourselves". you can see parts of our self but not all of it .

## Stefan H. Farr

However, the mathematics that we do understand falls beautifully in place like a glove. So much so that there are scientist that believe the only reality is the mathematical reality or that the only way of communicating with alien civilizations (creatures that we have nothing in common with) would be the language of mathematics: they would understand what zero means, and then one, and from that we can agree on the plus sign and equality and inequality and so on.

Math is beautiful, we should put more emphasis on teaching it and the way it is being taught.

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

Let's also gain your understanding of what zero is a representation of, since you did not answer the previous questin about whether you read the links.

Obviously, one example is the use of an XY axis in a graph. The point where X & Y ( and even Z in a three dimensional representation) intersect is "0." But this is not to say that Zero is "the starting point of our math system." That is a complete misunderstand.

zero |ˈzi(ə)rō; ˈzēˌrō|

cardinal number ( pl. -ros)

no quantity or number; naught; the figure 0 : figures from zero to nine | you've left off a zero—it should be five hundred million.

• a point on a scale or instrument from which a positive or negative quantity is reckoned : the gauge dropped to zero | [as adj. ] a zero rate of interest.

• the temperature corresponding to 0° on the Celsius scale (32° Fahrenheit), marking the freezing point of water : the temperature was below zero.

• the temperature corresponding to 0° on the Fahrenheit scale (approximately minus 18° Celsius), considered a very cold temperature, esp. for outdoor activities : thirty below zero! See also subzero ."

## Casey Christofaris 10+

How can zero as defined by nothing be 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 18 degrees Celsius? Those might represent the same temperature but certainly don't mean nothing.

ze·ro [zeer-oh] Show IPA noun, plural ze·ros, ze·roes, verb, ze·roed, ze·ro·ing, adjective

noun

1.the figure or symbol 0, which in the Arabic notation for numbers stands for the absence of quantity; cipher.

2.the origin of any kind of measurement; line or point from which all divisions of a scale, as a thermometer, are measured in either a positive or a negative direction.

3.a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.

4.naught; nothing.

5.the lowest point or degree.

I only have a problem with the #4 definition.

P.S. try to hit the reply button so that way we can have a conversation thread instead of just posting on the general conversation.

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

Progress! We have established agreement on the following:

1.the figure or symbol 0, which in the Arabic notation for numbers stands for the absence of quantity; cipher.

2.the origin of any kind of measurement; line or point from which all divisions of a scale, as a thermometer, are measured in either a positive or a negative direction.

3.a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.

4.the lowest point or degree.

I'll stop here and be happy with a partial victory.

## Richard Krooman 50+

Do you have any clue what a function is?

Like any clue at all? Do you know how math works?

If I would write 0 Fahrenheit in math would it not be Fahrenheit(0) or 0*Fahrenheit?

I've found the conversion function from celcius to fahrenheit on wikipedia btw.

[°F] = [°C] × 9⁄5 + 32

If I would want to calculate how much 0 Fahrenheit is in degrees celcius would I not simply need to solve the equation: 0 = [°C] × 9/5 + 32.

Which means that Unknown * 9/5 = 32.

Which could also be written as (32/9) * 5 = unknown.

Which could also be written as Unknown = 17.77777777777777777777777777777.......

Where 17.777.... represents degrees celcius?

## John Frum 30+

Some people look at all of mathematics as a derivation of logic. An old mathematician called Alonzo Church came up with a way of representing all natural numbers, and operations on them as an implementation of just logic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_encoding

Here, zero is the first number that is defined. And all other numbers are defined as successors of some number.

If you look at the set-theoretic implementation of numbers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set-theoretic_definition_of_natural_numbers, again, zero is the first number and all the other numbers are just sets of other numbers.

It gets weirder from there! Just with logic, they then came up with rules of arithmetic, and the story goes on and on.

## Theodore A. Hoppe 200+

*****

## alex french

## Richard Krooman 50+

I wish you all the best of luck though and I hope you can keep being this polite :)

## alex french

## Richard Krooman 50+

Ofcourse at the same time I'm all energy and one is all and all is one :s (insert more mumbo jumbo crap here)

## alex french

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## alex french

I would say that you can, indeed, have "none" of something (I have no apples) also I would say that you can have "nothing" in-terms of abstract concepts such as ownership. I would NOT say that you can say that there are NONE of something in existence if it is possible for that thing to exist but no examples have yet been found (ie, ET life). I would say that you can have a region of space which contains "nothing" but only in a few extreme examples like the one I will describe here:

This situation assumes that Inflationary theory is correct and that "if a tree falls and no-one hears it" it does indeed make a sound (< ie, things occurring outside the observation of an observer do indeed occur)

Lets say that an infinite time has passed from t=0 in the universe and all of matter is separated from all other matter by the impassable barrier of extreme distance. Also, as a result of the universe now being infinitely large, the CBR is now so spread out that it is negligible. With no masses/fields/particles/energy around I think some areas of space could then be presumed to contain "nothing".

That is a HIGHLY guess based example about which I do not know all the details. I'm simply offering a possibility off the top of my head. As an aside, I don't think this example of "nothingness" is particularly useful or holds an valuable insights at all.

I realise I got a bit off topic relative to your thoughts on "Zero as defined as nothing" in our math(/counting?) system but i got a bit carried away :)

## Casey Christofaris 10+

I would suggest that the "center of our universe" is most likely a black hole, simply because that is what the center of every galaxy is, this is not my idea someone else has already postulated this suggestion.

Also I believe I know why we have matter/mass

## alex french

http://www.ted.com/talks/sean_carroll_distant_time_and_the_hint_of_a_multiverse.html

I am definitely NOT saying that " if you went out far enough you could postulate that no energy could be found". We will definitely NOT exist at this point in the universes life. We will be LONG gone!

"I would then suggest it would be because of our limited tools or equipment that would make this nothingness be perceived as nothing." This sounds to me like you just want to believe that there would be something as opposed to trusting your data.

As far as I am aware there is NOT a black hole at the centre of our universe as our universe has no centre. Yes it expanded from a point but you're thinking of expanded in the wrong way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space

NOT exploding, big difference.

If you know why we have mass then you are more up to date than any physicist presently alive because the jury is currently out on that one. Our best guess so far is Higgs but that is yet to be substantiated :)

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Thank you for the clarification on the difference between nothing, and no thing your are right no thing is a better verbal idea for the concept of no thing can exist so something has to exist. Simply because there is energy.

Please watch this video

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html

Now here's what I think is going on with the big bang. I would suggest that the big bang did happen and is continuing to happen about 100 per year. Currently we understand them as Gamma Ray Burst but really we have no clue what going on. They completely destroy(use loosely) our current physics (e=mc2) and so scientist have made them fit our current

physics. To me they are what create the galaxies much on the same thought as the big bang but instead of just one big bang creating the whole universe . Each galaxy is have there own big bang in the form of these gamma ray burst. The truly funny thing is science has already discover that they are coming from billions of light years away from galaxies with rapid star formation. But are to stuck on the idea of destruction, instead of creation.

Now please ask your self these questions and you can say it out loud if you have to:

"Do you see your self as 1 being or 10 trillion little self replicating beings? If you see yourself as one being. Please show me your zero point as well as where you become negative of yourself.

If you see yourself as 10 trillion beings, where should we start counting?"

And I am hoping you said: "one"

## Casey Christofaris 10+

I believe matter exist because we are pattern seekers. Trying to perceive something that might be there or not. I imagine this is how the eye was developed. First the cells were attracted to the light(sun) then they had to imagine or invoke the lights energy wave. I would suggest that the evolving eye(this can be seen as the pituitary gland) they saw all wave lengths of light but was seen(use loosely) as static or white noise. Then from there we (us bacteria and other single celled orgasms) attempted and tried to make patterns out of this static. As these patterns emerged they became our conceptual understanding of reality. As a consciousness we agreed to use these patterns real or otherwise as our collective understanding of the physical world. Just trying to make sense of it all on a fundamental level.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

But truly we like to group things (arbitrary units) to make it easier on the brain, for there is no such thing as 2 apples that are the same. They are all individual representation of what is apple. The cave man realized, all is a individual representation. Their math looked like this and also did not have zero, 1=1,11=2,111=3 ect. There are 7 billion individual people on this earth, grouped and categorical as a whole. But really it's 7 billion 1's not 7,000,000,000. For them to be identical they would also have to take up the same space time.

So if you want the big picture of what I am saying is that in the "physical world" There is no zero, no negative numbers and no 2(of identical things) and all that exist is a bunch of 1's. For we are all one

## Casey Christofaris 10+

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torus

Also disappearing atoms are just eclipsing their sun

## alex french

Interesting video. I have previously been aware of the idea that we (bodily) are not a single entity (using DNA as the determinant for identity) but the new research was good to see, thank you. You should read up on the formation of galaxies. The big bang was formed by the Big Bang which can be thought of as a huge scale expansion of space time, not an explosion, not an out pouring of matter and requires no focal point. The conditions of the early universe are not within the cognitive grasp of the human brain, sure, we can use Math to know exactly what the conditions were like but when we try and visualise or conceptualise the situation we are totally incapable. the big bang contained ALL THE MATTER/ENERGY that is now present in the universe. There are roughly 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe (100,000,000,000) which means that the amount of mass in each Galaxy is roughly

[ 1 / (10^11) +all the stuff which is not in a galaxy ] the mass of the universe. From this we can assume that their formation was very different. Galaxies are theorised to have formed from small fluctuations in the early universe. No explosion required but it does require a focal point.

Gamma Ray Bursts are generated in the death of high mass stars as the collapse to form either a neutron star, quark star or black hole. Nothing like the big bang: focal point required, much more like a directed explosion, only in a select range of EM spectrum, does not appear to generate massive expansion of space time etc...

In answer to you question...

If by "self" you mean me to take "me", my body. I would say that I am many thousands of creatures. I could also describe my body as one entity (in much the same way that the Earth can be described as one entity).

If by "self" you mean "I", my mind/personality/the self. I would say that I am one single being.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

If you said that you are one single being do you mean that you are for lack of a better terms you are one "blob" of energy?

## alex french

In response to your second slide...

I will ignore the part about "Because once nothing is observed it will always become something." because it should be readily apparent that one cannot "observe" nothing in the physical world using your definitions the the word "nothing". With regard to your thoughts about observing 2 of something I would say that you can observe 2 of something. (in this room there are two "people", ie in this room there are two objects that satisfy the definitions of the set "people". Those people are not identical but they are both "people"). However if I distinguish one of these people John then I have only one John in the room as the other person is not John. So in the set of "people" I have two objects. In the set of "John" I have one object.

On your points about why we have matter... You weren't very specific earlier. You said "...why we have matter/mass" not "...why life has evolved to perceive matter/mass". Sadly I think your thinking on this one is well off. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye . I think conceptual understanding of the world around us started with the beginnings of conciousness, not the eye.

I'm not sure I can follow your train of thought on this one. you start off assuming that the rudimentary eye would see static. I think it is more likely that they started off seeing how bright the area around them was with no shapes at all, only light levels. Then evolution comes in and we get the usual prey/predator arms race (in this case we would also get a huge evolutionary jump forwards for the obvious reasons of it being such a huge advantage to be able to see over not being able to see).

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## alex french

I think I already directed you to the wiki article on natural numbers (counting numbers) so I will take the first paragraph as answered.

In your second you talk about cave man Math. Surely you realise the draw back of having a counting system in which there can be no group greater than one in size. (having to write out 7 billion 1's is a good example of this draw back. I think I touched on this point earlier. You can definitely say that there are ~7 billion people on the planet and that each are not identical but that each satisfy the definition of "people" and therefore the set of "people" has ~7 billion objects in it.

In your final paragraph you summarise what we are talking about. I would say this...

In the physical world there is no "0", but that it is a useful concept in our minds (ie, the empty set).

In the physical world a set of physical objects cannot contain a negative number of items (but, again, in things like ownership and charge(electrical) and spin(particle), negative values have much use and meaning).

In the physics world you can have 2 of something but not 2 of the same-thing.

I am afraid to say that in your view of the way counting works in the real world I can see no useful mathematical value and seems almost to be self-proving and therefore unproven and meaningless as a result. Do not take it personally.

In response to you final slide...

I would agree that that is a highly possible shape of space-time as viewed from the outside but I would say the universe actually looks like this (ie, when we look into the universe and model what we see from the inside)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

"Also disappearing atoms are just eclipsing their sun" Please explain. I don't understand what you're trying to say or what you said it in answer to...

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Ok so Imagine you are kid and you are shining a like into the dark, the only thing that is shining back at you is your own light from the flashlight in that darkness you are trying to make patterns out of the darkness, just so you can see what it is and not be scared of the "darkness". However since you shined that light you created movement of energy. which creates spin, and rotation. Eventually for the "minds eye" to know whats going on you need to be able to see behind that light, simply to pin point its location and direction. So when the atom disappears it is simply eclipsing its sun/son/rah trying to perceive the source from a different angle.

## alex french

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## alex french

Yes a black hole (or "super massive black hole") is what is at the centre of most galaxies.

No, an explosion of particles is not like an expansion of space time.

Well if we're getting REALLY technical. I'm more like many small beads of energy (particles) all strung together into one being, made of energy (me). But I suppose I could be though of as a big lump of energy, sure.

I don't know where conciousness started. I've read a book or two about people's theory's. Julian Jaynes is particularly interesting :) I don't think it's the kind of thing which we can ever know for sure but we shall see what the future yields :)

I can tell you for sure that link did NOT say that the eye was created by a creator.

I'm pretty sure that colour is not required to perceive reality but it is remarkably useful.

"...all color and this reality is just what light is not directly bouncing back at us and hitting our eye."

It's the other way around, our reality is built from the light which DOES bounce back into our eye.

Math already tells us why we never touch anything. Also we DO have mass.

"Eventually for the "minds eye" to know what's going on you need to be able to see behind that light, simply to pin point its location and direction". Kind of right but you also need to know that you can only see light which enters the eye. You cannot see a beam of light headed away from you so if you shone a torch out into the blackness you would only see it if I reflected off something in front of you, other wise the blackness would remain black.

"when the atom disappears it is simply eclipsing its sun trying to perceive the source from a different angle." I'm sorry but I literally have no idea what you're trying to get across to me here :(

I didn't mean to sound belligerent if that's how I came across. I just struggle to understand the way you type :(

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Vincenzo Sergi

cheers.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Thang Tran

"Because I am arguing 0 has no place as the start of our current math system." Oh really? Prove it then. What math system are you referring to? Because whenever I link you the math system that refers to 0 as a reference point it goes ignored.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Also please hit the reply button so we can have a conversation thread

## Thang Tran

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Thang Tran

## Richard Krooman 50+

## Thang Tran

## Thang Tran

You keep saying you have a problem 0 in our math system. I am linking you the person who set the standard for the "reference point" of that 0.

It is based on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peano_axioms

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiomatic_system

The person who "invented" the natural number system which made 0 the first number and then other whole positive numbers proceeding to infinity. If you believe there is something wrong with math due to 0 used as a reference point this is where you should be investigating.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Ousmane Ba

I see my point may not have come across. Zero is not the starting point the creation of the context is.

Create a context and 0 appears and means not in my context and is automatically the reference point.

No context no zero and this applies to math engineering physics etc..

## Casey Christofaris 10+

I do not think I understand stand your point could you please explain forth. If I had to guess you might be saying something along the lines that the only truth is perceptive.

## Thang Tran

"Because then you are getting into a syntax argument, how do you put a concrete definition of "close to nothing"

This is also a syntax argument but rather then ignoring it like you ignorantly do, I'll actually give a reply. "Close" is a subjective term that allows interpretation. For an engineer, if you can build a building where rounding 0.000001 to 0 would allow you to do so then for that engineer 0.000001 is close for practical purposes to be 0.

We have mass because we are made of matter. Matter has "mass" (inertial the m in F=ma) due to the Higgs Field. If you wish to know more, please consult your local Theoretical Physicist.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Richard Krooman 50+

Why open a question if you don't want to even consider the answers given?

Every post that shows how idiotic your concept of math is is replied with either by saying that you don't want to have a syntactical debate or by

"Do you see your self as 1 being or 10 trillion little self replicating beings? If you see yourself as one being. Please show me your zero point as well as where you become negative of yourself.

If you see yourself as 10 trillion beings, where should we start counting?"

You should definitely learn how to read and understand people better.

I'm sorry man but your refusal to consider any other view point than your own has really pissed me off.

## Thang Tran

## Richard Krooman 50+

## Casey Christofaris 10+

I don't have a problem with "the other view points" which is also why I am not trying to debate them. I know that the only truth is perspective. But instead of trying to see my perspective you guys want to argue something that I am not arguing. I don't need to see other view point because I am not refuting them for a way to use zero in the practical view point. I also see the use for negative number in economy and statistics (but those are conceptual/context usage of zero and negative numbers) outside of the use of zero as the a starting point. Which I guess I don't see how you don't understand that since you even said that "zero can not be reached" (so why would we start there). If you are arguing one definition/context and I am arguing another definition how are we ever going to get anywhere. So once again prove my definition wrong not bring up other contextual usage of the definition of zero because I am not refuting those definitions.

## Thang Tran

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Richard Krooman 50+

Having 0 in math is like having "nothing" in English.

You're supposed to be good at logics. Think about it.

You cannot have "nothing" in any real life situation because of insanely many reasons which you can all debate if you would wish. You can argue a whole lot about the meaning of "nothing" and 0 as well.

I say that you cannot reach a true 0 in physics. But physics is not math. Which is why mathematical expressions used within physics usually either are infinite when they are 0 or they can never become 0.

You should use the "language of math" to describe the world in a limited situation (aka for instance a situation where there are only apples to count). You just refuse to see this.

I'm sick of having to re-explain myself in this thread. If you are too stupid to see that all your questions are already answered by the nice people who have replied and taken you serious... then well... I dunno what you should do... I can't fathom anyone being that alianated from society. Seek help maybe?

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Also straw man arguments do nothing but show you are arguing ego and not mind.

## Richard Krooman 50+

Math just has 0 as a valid point because when you isolate everything else (aka real life situation is: you go into outer space and create a laboratorium there of which you can control EVERYTHING (note that according to both of such such a 'real place' should not exist but just assume that it does)).

And you check in there to see how many apples there are. And you come back to earth and say: There were 0 apples within my space lab.

Then you go back there but you take 1 apple with you... You'll have 0 + 1 apple.

If you still want to argue that "there can not be 0 apples in my space station" or "that situation cannot occur" then you should really delete your ted account (at least I won't ever reply to you again). If you can however come up with any sane argument for why that 0 is somehow wrong... yuo might win a nobel prize or smth.

Basically I'm saying that 0 + 1 = 1 and cannot be anything else than 1.... I know the concept sounds really strange to you.....

Math is a very exact language. When you say 1 apple = 1 apple in math it means that you only have exactly 1 apple. Not an apple anywhere in the world.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

First I don't see why you have to add 0+1=1 if you have one of something wouldn't it just be one so 1 apple = 1 apple. I don't need to know that you started at zero to now understand that you have 1 apple. Now to know if you have 2 apples I must first need to know that you have one. So we could write that as 0+1+1= 2 or we could just go with 1+1=2. Also when you are using zero=nothing instead of zero=none when you write out the math problem it would read like this: nothing that is equal to an apple plus one that is equal to an apple equals one that is equal to an apple. Or it can be written like this: none that is equal to an apple plus one that is equal to an apple equals one that is equal to an apple.

But truly we like to group things (arbitrary units) to make it easier on the brain, for there is no such thing as 2 apples that are the same. They are all individual representation of what is apple. The cave man realized, all is a individual representation. Their math looked like this and also did not have zero, 1=1,11=2,111=3 ect. There are 7 billion individual people on this earth, grouped and categorical as a whole. But really it's 7 billion 1's not 7,000,000,000. For them to be identical they would also have to take up the same space time.

So if you want the big picture of what I am saying is that in the "physical world" There is no zero, no negative numbers and no 2(of identical things) and all that exist is a bunch of 1's. For we are all one

## Richard Krooman 50+

Also: "write out the math problem it would read like this: nothing that is equal to an apple plus one that is equal to an apple equals one that is equal to an apple." NO You say NOTHING OF(!!!) AN APPLE not Nothing equal to an apple. Equal looks like =.

1Apple = 1*Apple just like 0Apples is 0*Apple.

If you are so obsessed with your linguistic interpretation of math issues you are already too messed up because language is always been inconsistent while math is not. Therefor you cannot say things with the same detail in language as you can in math.

You should really consider improving your understanding of things before blurting out crap.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

A straw man, known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

And we can sit here and argue syntax all day if you would like for it always is a circle argument.

## Richard Krooman 50+

You fail to give any reason other than your own ignorance for the points you are makeing and then tell everyone, who does give a valid argument why you are wrong, that they are stupid for not understanding you. By doing so you keep insulting the intelligence of person after person who reply to you.

Ofcourse you can talk to anyone, including physicists, it is a free world although it would be a complete waste of their time untill you can actually formulate why you have any argument at all.

You can say to anyone that they are straw man because you don't have any possition other than "I am right and 0 is wrong".

You don't want to argue syntacs. You can't understand math. You refuse to answer any post I made by giving me arguments as to why there is any problem at all. You post random crap when I give linguistic arguments about "everything is energy" and "We are one" and more random shit.

However, according to you, there is a problem with math!

I know what the problem is.... You can't understand math and refuse to learn it.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

However you have yet to prove why zero should be at the start of our current math system. Instead it is you who wants to argue that you are right and I am wrong instead of arguing the context and definitions that I set up. If you would like to discuss other definition please open your own conversation up. Otherwise prove mine wrong/which once again if you could remove your ego. You would see you already agree with the context and definitions that I have set forth.

You tell me that you know zero can never be reached, but then you wont tell me why it should be at the starting point to our current math system.

## Richard Krooman 50+

0 tells you that there is nothing.

So when you start adding stuff you get exactly that what you put in as a valid describtion of what is there.

So if you're on 0 and add 1 you'll end up with exactly one. Nothing more nothing less. No "energy" no "objects" or anything other than 1. And what that 1 represents can be added by a multiplication.

Like I say math is extremely precise.

Example:

If I want to describe how an object behaves when I drop it somewhere.

Option 1: I could describe wind velocity, air density, gravity, size of the object, shape of the object etc etc etc. Including every factor that influences the trajectory of an object

Option 2: I could also say that if we start from 0 (in this case you could say that 0 describes a perfect vacuum or "nothing" at least "nothing that influences our describtion"). Then add a describtion of gravity to make the object fall. And you'll end up with Newton's law (F = m*g). If you then also want to add time in order to know how fast it is falling at a given time you can also do that.

Now could you give any argument as to why that didn't answer your question?

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Also a vacuum is not nothing and I am going to use a fellow conversationalist for this definition.

"Vacuum is NOT nothing in the sense that Casey is getting at (I think). due to cosmic background radiation, random neutrinos flying about, any fields that may be present (like the Earth's magnetic field for example)" via Alex French

## Casey Christofaris 10+

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFLkou8NvJo

## Richard Krooman 50+

Like I said before not all definitions on a word can be true at the same time (aka my brother not being black argument).

I've explained what the mathematical zero represents numerous times using different examples already so I won't re-iterate that. If you would label that with the word "none" rather than "nothing" it is fine with me although in my eyes it is a linguistic miss-representation of what 0 is.

Whatever name you put to it the mathematical properties of zero must remain intact. For there is no problem at all with the mathematical properties of 0.

Also I've already seen that vid... it's pretty funny but it's more showing a property of math than representing anything really usefull. This because it does not describe anything in the real world.

Also you cannot come around in a circle useing that (at least not unless you use a function like cos in the equation).... dunno how she came up with that using regular numbers.

## Richard Krooman 50+

## Tom Stringer

## Sondra Sneed

## Casey Christofaris 10+

This is coming from your ego and not your mind also is a straw man argument as well as syntax. How ever I ask you this as the definition of zero=nothing.

Also I have a problem with negative numbers :) So I will ask you these questions

Do you see your self as 1 being or 10 trillion little self replicating beings? If you see yourself as one being. Please show me your zero point as well as where you become negative of yourself.

If you see yourself as 10 trillion beings, where should we start counting?

## Thang Tran

"Do you see your self as 1 being or 10 trillion little self replicating beings? If you see yourself as one being. Please show me your zero point as well as where you become negative of yourself."

You assume yourself to be 1 being created by many different cells and many more different atoms. While there isn't a negative count, when you count you use natural numbers. Negative numbers operate similarly to subtraction. If I were to say slow down or decrease in velocity, you could argue that I had a negative acceleration.

## Sondra Sneed

The issue I have with much of science is that that which cannot be understood by our Math must not exist, or is tossed out of consideration when understanding principles of existence that are not finite.

Casey's point, I believe, is that zero cannot exist in the natural world and therefore it is a fictional character, so to speak. I don't, however, believe this. I do believe there are levels of existence that are less than 1, less than zero. These levels are of the soul that does not know where it belongs. A soul that wanders in apparition is neither a 1 (body) nor a zero (God).

DEFINITION OF TERM GOD:

God is what God makes as God becomes. Zero, in this sphere of knowledge, is the point of origin of all that is and ever was. It is the beginning and the end - the alpha and omega. Here too is where less than zero gets really interesting.

If God is Zero, less than zero is before God was self-aware. It is at the point that God said, "What Am I?" That the inner world that is God became the exterior world that was God. As the God-being looked within, the nucleus split and the big bang occurred. This is the beginning of that which we know and experience as existence of all matter. This is the event horizon. All zeros that derive from this origin will return here after traveling through all space and time and back--reverberation of the original bang.

We are little, less-than-zeros until we ask ourselves, "what am I?" - the endeavor to answer this riddle forces us to look within and reveal what has made us what we are. This is what Jung called the undiscovered self; a reckoning, recognition of the being you are before birth and after death.

## Rand Noel

Charles Seife, from the beginning, reifies zero: the author accepts the misconception that zero is some sort of actually existing mystical force resting at the center of black holes. He doesn't step back to take a look at the concept as concept. Nor does he appear to keep in mind that mathematics is the science of measurement, or that time is not a force or dimension, but merely a measurement of motion. This distorts his perspective, from which he attempts to refute Aristotle's refutation of the existence of the void: for Seife, zero exists and is a force in and of itself. In Seife's hands, zero certainly is a dangerous idea!

Robert Kaplan, on the other hand, delves deeper. His work is informed by an obvious love for history and classic literature, and while this results in many obscure literary asides, one feels that this book takes part in the Great Conversation. As a result he steps back and takes a critical look at the true meaning and usefulness of the concept as a concept. Is zero a number? Is it noun, adjective, or verb? Does it actually exist outside of conceptual consciousness or is it exclusively a tool of the mind?

Both authors follow zero's role in the development of algebra and the calculus. As a math "infant", (From Amazon's review of both books. see more there)

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Rand Noel

## Bob Stiglitz

A good way to think about the universe is that our human point of view is incorrect, if you think of the universe as a single bit of information and all of its pieces APPEAR to our human mind (human centered point of view) as many 'seperate objects/pieces/bits'. The truth is the universe is a single entity which only APPEARS separate to our fallacious mind and reasoning.

But its a giant mindscrew to wrap our minds around the fact that the fragments and pieces of the universe (like atoms/electrons) are FRACTIONAL bits of a single entity, rather then 'separate objects' unto themselves.

It's much more scientifically parsimonious as well.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

What if I can extrapolate from your idea of "Zero mathematically is derived from our concept of 'empty space' but empty space is an existing STRUCTURE. That what we call 'the absence of value' is actually ALL POSSIBLE VALUES stored overlapping on one another in POTENTIAL FORM." For why we have mass. As well as this " The truth is the universe is a single entity which only APPEARS separate to our fallacious mind and reasoning."

## Thang Tran

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Bob Stiglitz

You just contradicted yourself there. You're trying to argue your case using language, that's a bad idea. It's obvious that we came up with zero to deal with 'asbence' we naturally define absence by empty space. I'm sorry but you're not educated enough to make these calls I work in knowledge representation and these things are important regardless if the mathematical purists finds them offensive.

Perhaps you should learn that the enlightenment was wrong about how human reasoning works.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

There is a book by Julian James "Origin of Consciousness". There is a whole section in this book that shows with research data that:

- Consciousness Not a Copy of Experience

- Consciousness Not Necessary for Concepts

- Consciousness Not Necessary for Learning

- Consciousness Not Necessary for Thinking

- Consciousness Not Necessary for Reason

In this last subsection, there is a paragraph:

"Reasoning and logic are to each other as health is to medicine, or — better — as conduct is to morality. Reasoning refers to a gamut of natural thought processes in the everyday world. Logic is how we ought to think if objective truth is our goal — and the everyday world is very little concerned with objective truth. Logic is the science of the justification of conclusions we have reached by natural reasoning. My point here is that, for such natural reasoning to occur, consciousness is not necessary. The very reason we need logic at all is because most reasoning is not conscious at all."

Remarkable. We do not reach conclusions by logic. We use logic to justify conclusions at which we arrive subconsciously.

## Thang Tran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naive_set_theory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiomatic_system

"Example: The Peano axiomatization of natural numbers

The mathematical system of natural numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ... is based on an axiomatic system that was first written down by the mathematician Peano in 1889. He chose the axioms (see Peano axioms), in the language of a single unary function symbol S (short for "successor"), for the set of natural numbers to be:

There is a natural number 0.

Every natural number a has a successor, denoted by Sa.

There is no natural number whose successor is 0.

Distinct natural numbers have distinct successors: if a ≠ b, then Sa ≠ Sb.

If a property is possessed by 0 and also by the successor of every natural number it is possessed by, then it is possessed by all natural numbers."

I am an engineering student, not a math major. Even stuff like this is hard for me to grasp.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Please point to zero, because as soon as you do it becomes something not nothing. We'll if you use cave man math then they realized that each thing although could be grouped but were individual representations of say apple. So no to apples are alike.

## natasha nikulina 50+

Maybe '0' is a kind of 'event horizon'. Where everything is potential, nothing is actual hence not existing for a human mind. Via human consciousness potential becomes actual and it comes through the moment ' now' , it's '1' , where ' yes' and ' no' ,' + ' and ' - ' exist simultaneously , not divided and our mind can't make sense of it. We become conscious of a 'thing' when it becomes '2' and enters into the dual world as opposites ( the very idea of 'Coincidentia oppositorum' is difficult to grasp but it is the truest truth we could possibly get ) and multiply itself in space and time over all domains of human experience/knowledge. It becomes "FRACTIONAL bits of a single entity" and yet it is entangled and remains '1', it exists but belongs to ' 0 ' nonetheless.

What i am trying to say is that zero is an 'empty space' which is full but we can't make sense of it, we can't know it.

Something like this ...What do you think ?

Thanks !

## William Kuch

I think that it is great that you are thinking about zero. Consider this. If you have zero apples in one hand, and zero oranges in the other hand, you will notice they they appear to be identical in every possible way except perhaps in name. So in this special case, we can indeed say that apples and oranges are in fact the same thing, but only in this isolated case where you have zero of each. In philosophy there is something called "identity". And having this thing called zero acts very much like a singularity where everything simply loses it's identity and becomes essentially the same thing.

Zero planets is the same thing as zero apples, same thing as zero skyscrapers, same thing as zero galaxies, etc etc. It all collapses. All of these "identities" essentially collapses into a single thing, which is trivial.

Triviality is extremely important, and not really very well understood or used in science and even math - that is my personal opinion. So I am glad that you raised the question.

You also mentioned whether it is possible to have "nothingness" which is an interesting question. You should be careful to specify whether you are referring to tangible nothingness, or a mathematical model of nothingness. These are very different and that should be made clear.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Yes that is why definitions need to be made and make sure that each person is arguing the same definition. However you mainly seem to be talking about syntax, which I'll will define simply as "context of language". An that is what you are pointing out here: "Zero planets is the same thing as zero apples, same thing as zero skyscrapers, same thing as zero galaxies, etc etc. It all collapses. All of these "identities" essentially collapses into a single thing, which is trivial." That's why syntax arguments will always argue in circles.

An I thought I was being specific about what "nothingness" I was saying by saying "point to it" because if you have a mathematical model of "nothingness" then you can simply point to it but what you are actually pointing to is a computer or a piece of paper and that's not nothing.

## Thang Tran

Are you talking about arithmetic and algebra as math models? Or a physics model?

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## O'Neil Poree

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Please advise on how zero=nothing should be the start of everything in math.

## Orlando Hawkins 30+

Notice how all the topics about religion never receive such statements and I think its a topic that causes more conflict and balkinzation that anything else.

all I can say is if someone feel that some topics are a waste of time, then simply don't interact within that forum because your only wasting your time pointing it out...

## Michael Decker

It may be an indication that the speaker is leaning toward this position, but is not sure. The comment is then meant to invite arguments to help him make a wise choice.

Also, reflecting on whether any given train of thought is a waste of time is an excellent way to ensure efficient use of your time. We are all limited on our time here on Earth, and we may strive to make the most of it! Without such introspection, we'd all be subject to doodling with crayons until old age - an epidemic of ADD, if you will.

It's true there are countless topics that various groups find of interest, and yet each one of us must at some point decide which of those topics are worth our time. So.. discussing the value of this conversation may not be such a waste of time :)

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## O'Neil Poree

## Elie-Issa El-Khoury

## Casey Christofaris 10+

Thank you and I do see your point, but please lets do a little back and forth and see if we can come to an agreement. You can talk about the applied applications of zero as a starting point. And leave the "nonsense" to me.

## Casey Christofaris 10+