On Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:17:54 AM UTC-4, dull...@sprynet.com wrote: > On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:25:54 -0700 (PDT), Dan Christensen > > <Dan_Christensen@sympatico.ca> wrote: > > > > >Is there a more divisive is issue in all of mathematics? > > > > Calling this a divisive issue in mathematics is utterly > > silly. It's not even an issue, much less divisive. >
Judging by the lengthy debates in various online forums, I would say this is a divisive issue. (For example, the ongoing "Ask A Mathematician" thread on this topic starting in December 2010 now has 982 postings!)
> > > In any given context we use the definition that we > > want to use in that context. No problem. >
What "context" is a computer programmer to use when writing software for, say, medical equipment? Should he/she just assume 0^0=1? Shockingly, most programming languages seem to automatically make this assumption!
There is a good case to be made that 0^0 is ambiguous even in the natural numbers. Therefore, it seems to me that the safest, most conservative assumption when programming is that 0^0 should be flagged as an error condition. This should be a global standard built into every general purpose programming language.