
Re: Some important demonstrations on negative numbers
Posted:
Nov 27, 2012 3:33 PM


Robert Hansen says >How to recognize convention and the way it is developed.
I'll add it wasn't developed without a lot of worry and disagreement  even vehement denunciations of what we take for granted today. See: http://plus.maths.org/content/negativemath
Barry Manzur also discusses (somewhat less satisfactorily in my opinion, but worthwhile) in "Imagining Numbers" Chapter "Justifying Laws" (particularly Ditsributibve Law, and as James Elander points out, 1 as identity for mult.)
For myself I like to have a reasonable model (reasonable for me.) The one that comes to mind most readily is a game of poker, with winning (pos.) losing (neg.) and the fantasy of being able to reverse time to "unlose" N times. If I unlose a $3 loss 5 times (which I model as 3 x 5), where am I?
Cheers, Joe N

