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1 as a prime
Posted:
Aug 25, 2000 1:47 PM


beable van polasm wrote:
>1, factors: 1, 1. HEY! NEGATIVE >ONE IS PRIME! I HEREBY PATENT MY DISCOVERY OF THE WORLD'S >FIRST NEGATIVE PRIME NUMBER!11!!
sorry, you'll have to get in line behind all of the other cranks and kooks before you who've made the same "discovery". just last week i was reading a book where the author presents the idea that 1 is a prime as his own brilliant idea. he gives a list of four example statements that he claims are stated most concisely if 1 is considered to be a prime. his first example is "every nonzero rational number is uniquely a product of powers of prime numbers p"; apparently he's too stupid to realize that 6 is both 2*3*(1) and 2*3*(1)*(1)*(1). his second example is "for distinct odd primes f(p,q) and f(q,p) differ just when p = q = 1 (mod 4)", where f is the "legendre symbol" function. this is just too brilliant for words: he's trying to argue that 1 should be treated on the same footing as the official genuine primes, and he does so by exhibiting a statement that explicitly makes 1 an exceptional case. needless to say after those first two examples i didn't bother trying to understand his last two examples which were full of telltale pseudojargon like "padically integral root vectors".
if you want to make a name for yourself as a prominent mathematical crank then you'll at least have to try to outdo the guy that wrote that book.
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