The Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

Topic: It is a very bad idea and nothing less than stupid to define 1/3
= 0.333...

Replies: 1   Last Post: Oct 1, 2017 11:15 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View  
jsavard@ecn.ab.ca

Posts: 396
Registered: 12/12/04
Re: It is a very bad idea and nothing less than stupid to define 1/3
= 0.333...

Posted: Oct 1, 2017 11:15 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 2:08:13 PM UTC-6, John Gabriel wrote:

> [A] is an infinite series.
> [B] is the limit of an infinite series.


> They are two different things which you are DEFINING to be the
> same.


[A] might not be real. It might not really be something that
makes sense.

[B], on the other hand, definitely does make sense, because
each of the finite series in the sequence that approaches
the limit certainly can be added up.

So what mathematicians are doing is saying, since [A] is
bad, but we either would like to have [A], or we would like
to refer to [B] by the name of [A] because it is shorter to
skip mentioning that we're "really" talking about a limit,
we will now say that whenever [A] is written, we will
understand that [B] is what is really meant whenever it is
necessary to concern oneself with that distinction.

This is not really such an awful thing for them to be doing.

John Savard



Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2017. All Rights Reserved.