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Topic: What is infinity minus one?
Replies: 25   Last Post: Jun 7, 2013 10:01 PM

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Everett M. Greene

Posts: 67
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: What is infinity minus one?
Posted: Oct 13, 2004 11:18 AM
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David W. Cantrell <DWCantrell@sigmaxi.org> writes:
> Tim Brauch <RnEeMwOs.pVoEst@tbrauch.cNOoSPAMm> wrote:

> > But overall, I would say your reasoning is pretty good and catches the
> > essential parts of why arithmetic with infinity is not a good idea.

> If you think it's a bad idea, then perhaps you should contemplate why
> the most used (in terms of number of computations performed per day)
> number system in the world, floating-point arithmetic, incorporates
> arithmetic with infinity (and does so according to an internationally
> accepted standard). You might also ask yourself why, if it's a bad idea,
> all computer algebra systems (or at least all known to me) implement
> arithmetic with infinity.

I would suspect that the IEEE 754 standard includes
infinities due to reasons other than wanting it for
actual calculations.

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