Floating point errors?

David C. Ullrich ullrich at math.okstate.edu
Tue May 15 16:19:40 CEST 2001


On Tue, 15 May 2001 02:38:25 -0400, "Tim Peters" <tim.one at home.com>
wrote:

>[Greg Ewing]
>> Is there even any such thing as a truly analog
>> computer? Atoms have discrete energy levels...
>
>I remember reading about Zeno's motion paradoxes as a kid, and thinking
>"hmm -- there must be a particular distance that's the smallest distance
>there is -- plus a smallest time".  Later, when I finally read the refutation
>based on the mathematical convergence of 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... to 2, I
>felt scammed.   Like, it's nice that this mathematical abstraction converges
>under the rules of its game, but what do real numbers have to do with the
>real world?

What's remarkable is how many people seem to think that the real world
_does_ contain things that are exactly like the real numbers in
mathematics, sort of by definition or something. People who should
really know better...

>Luckily, I'm now old, and have given up my embarrassing youthful belief in
>the real world instead.
>
>if-this-is-reality-it-needs-major-refactoring-ly y'rs  - tim
>
>



David C. Ullrich
*********************
"Sometimes you can have access violations all the 
time and the program still works." (Michael Caracena, 
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc 5/1/01)



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