Math errors in python

Bengt Richter bokr at oz.net
Mon Sep 20 01:18:18 CEST 2004


On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 20:31:48 +0200, aleaxit at yahoo.com (Alex Martelli) wrote:

>Dennis Lee Bieber <wlfraed at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>       Strangely, HP's tended not to hold guard digits... My HP-48sx
>> gives the all-9s result, and I recall older models also not having
>> guards.
>
>Nothing strange there -- HP's calculators were squarely aimed at
>scientists and engineers, who are supposed to know what they're doing
>when it comes to numeric computation (they mostly _don't_, but they like
>to kid themselves that they do!-).
>
ISTM we humans mostly persist in ignoring seemingly inconsequential flaws in our
mental maps of reality until we are sufficiently surprised or fail too long
to find something dear to us (whether numerical results, a surfing beach,
a better map, a love, a purpose, or ultimate enlightenment ;-)

Regards,
Bengt Richter



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