Humankind can still be saved: people argue about maths!!!

This is the claim made on some guy’s blog, which is published under the name Polymathematics. For the uninitiated, the first symbol represents an endless string of 9s after the decimal point, so the claim the poster is making is that 0.9999999999……… is exactly equal to 1, (as opposed to being so near that it’s not worth bothering about the difference).

I’m not going to reveal my opinion of this, as I hope that the interested reader will go and read the arguments for herself. My motivation for reporting on the existance of the original blog post is that it generated (at the time of writing) 447 comments. Not views, but actual comments by people who felt sufficiently moved to record their opinion. A lot of them got it wrong, but that’s to be expected, this is fairly subtle stuff. I’m just pleased that the human race is sufficiently alive and well to care about the truth or otherwise of a mathematical statement.


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~ by bouncysteve on 21 June, 2006.

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