> > > zr wrote: > > > > Three men walk into a hotel in downtown Tel Aviv. > > We need a suite for 4 hours to talk business. > > Well says the concierge I have one smaller room > available. It will cost you > > $30.00 for 4 hours. > > Fine said the three, and they each put in $10.00 > and took the elevator up to > > the 5th floor. > > The concierge once they had left realized that he > had overcharged them by > > $5. He called the Bell Captain and explaining the > overcharge handed the > > Captain $5 to be returned to the three men. > > In the elevator on his way to their room the Bell > Captain decided he > > couldn't return the $5 evenly to the three. > > Upon arriving at the room, he explained that the > three were overcharged and > > he was returning $1 each, on leaving he pocketed > the $2 for his time. > > Each man got back 1$ from his $10 meaning they each > paid $9 or $27 for the > > room. > > Now 3 times $9 is $27 and the Bell Captain kept $2 > that adds up to $29. > > "What happened to the other $1?" > > > There is no other $1. 3 times $9 is $27 and the Bell > Captain kept $2. > > $27 - $2 = $25 which is in the hotel cash drawer. > > > -- > hz > > 'Even the crows on the roofs caw about the nature of > f conditionals.' > > -- Callimachus -- >
Boy, that's an oldie. It occurs to me, though, that the story is quite relevant to this thread -- because it demonstrates the false reasoning that grows from asking the wrong question so as to create a pseudo-problem, exactly as the OP has done.
In the story, the question, "what happened to the missing dollar?" is equivalent to the OP's implied question, "why does modern mathematics resemble ancient Jewish mysticism?"
In both cases, the question is merely a red herring trail to mythical notions -- assigning value to what one prefers to believe is true, as opposed to the truth that lies before one, "like a vast ocean" as Newton put it. One does not acquire knowledge -- truly objective knowledge -- by practicing the intellectually lazy scheme of assigning the value of causation to correlation.
This is observably the way most of the world thinks. What does one gain, however, by abandoning truth, merely to assuage lazy skepticism?