Python and Flaming Thunder

Dan Upton upton at virginia.edu
Thu Jun 5 15:57:15 CEST 2008


On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 9:43 AM, John Salerno <johnjsal at nospamgmail.com> wrote:
> "Dave Parker" <daveparker at flamingthunder.com> wrote in message
> news:a95c09d9-94c3-4dac-9439-9176038d93d9 at w8g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
> On May 20, 7:05 pm, Collin <collinye... at shaw.ca> wrote:
>
> ---
> For example, consider the two statements:
>
>     x = 8
>     x = 10
>
> The reaction from most math teachers (and kids) was "one of those is
> wrong because x can't equal 2 different things at the same time".
> ---
>
> Aw, come on. I'm a novice programmer but even after reading the most basic
> of introductions to a programming language I can tell that x is being
> assigned one value, then another.
>
> It doesn't seem fair to take statements like the above out of the context of
> a program and then ask teachers and students about it. This statement:
>
> 2 + 2 = 4
>
> means something in the context of an elementary math class, but is clearly
> not an assignment statement in Python. But I've never encountered anyone who
> was confused by this distinction, as long as you know where this line
> belongs.

Yeah, that's sort of like I mentioned earlier in the thread about
there being a time dependence between the two.  Not only that, but I
just realized that Dave has trotted out several times the notion of
representing (and solving) a quadratic equation in FT.  Well, let's
see... (x-9)**2 - 1 = (too lazy to do the expansion to write in ax**2
+ bx + c format) = 0... solve solve solve... wait, x = 8 and x = 10!
But how can that be, Dave?  You and your elementary kids just told me
I can't have two values for x...

;)



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