Date: Dec 5, 2012 8:36 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: In "square root of -1", should we say "minus 1" or "negative<br> 1"?
Joe N.: Thanks for all the information about Alberto Martinez and "Negative Math". Let me try and get hold of the book.

GSC

> GS Chandy says:

> >Rather late in the day (I'm sure), I must confess

> that I do not 'get' what you mean by the 'Martinez

> road'.

>

> Author of "Negative Math":

> http://www.amazon.com/Negative-Math-Mathematical-Rules

> -Positively/dp/0691123098

>

> He simply shows that the algebra we learn in school

> is not the only possibility -- more a philosophical

> point than practical.

> Regarding the business of why (-) x (-) = (+), the

> answer in this book is "well, that's a choice, there

> are other possibilities," and he begins to explore

> that a bit.

> Obviously its not a bad choice, but people have been

> confused for eons thinking it should be more obvious

> somehow (of course it can be "proved" as well, given

> you accept certain other axioms.) Not quite at the

> level of math infamy as the fifth postulate, but

> along those lines.

>

> >Indeed, Mazur's 'virtuous circles' ("virtuous

> cycles", I would believe) are only a (relatively

> small) portion of 'deeper understanding:

>

> I was too hard in my words, its a good discussion in

> "Imagining Numbers", but he never points out the

> other possibilities.

>

> Cheers,

> Joe N