TED Conversations

Casey Christofaris

Owner, CS3 Inc


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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


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  • Sep 26 2012: This conversation is an excellent (random) example of a waste of the TED intellectual facilities, premised on it's being nonsensical, and then attended to by a large number of responders. See my challenge to the TED organization as of today, 9/26/12.
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      Sep 26 2012: Please explain the nonsensical, just because you don't under stand it does not mean its magical.

      Please advise on how zero=nothing should be the start of everything in math.
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        Sep 27 2012: The fact that you have almost 200 responses shows that your topic is not a waste of time so I wouldn't worry about such statements too much...

        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...
        • Sep 28 2012: It's not necessarily a waste of time to point out something is a waste of time.

          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 :)
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          Sep 28 2012: Orlando, I know that it is and ego argument, however I am always fine with someone playing the "devil's advocate" because that is the only way either one of us can grow.
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          Sep 28 2012: Yes Michael, that is correct :)
      • Sep 27 2012: There is no explaining nonsense, and those who try are operatiing on pure ego with no intelligible support. I guess that implies that they are specializing in exactly nonsense, eh? My proposal for TED is tentatively classified under Applied Science. See if it is intelligible to you, could you? I think TED is a very rich resource to discuss public concerns. And make no mistake, Casey: I respect your humanity, and your lively questioning attitude towards reality; that quality is makes humanity the only hope for a livable future, so i want TED to enlist it; I just suggested a different thing to attempt than has been usual in the past.
        • Sep 28 2012: O'Neil, you've unfairly marginalized this topic. The concept of true zero is as readily questioned as the concept of true infinity. The implications of true zero on the validity of a conventional mathematical model is debatable, and to provide constructive feedback, I would encourage you to challenge how the assumption of true zero affects a specific mathematical model's predictive value.
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          Sep 28 2012: O'Neil,
          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.
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      Sep 26 2012: Also I could not find your challenge

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