Decimals and other numbers

Devin Jeanpierre jeanpierreda at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 10:11:21 CET 2015


On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 12:58 AM, Devin Jeanpierre
<jeanpierreda at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Arguably, *integer* 0**0 could be zero, on the basis that you can't take
>> limits of integer-valued quantities, and zero times itself zero times
>> surely has to be zero.

I should have responded in more detail here, sorry.

If you aren't performing any multiplication, why does it matter what
numbers you are "multiplying"? Doing no multiplications of five is the
same as doing no multiplications of two is the same as doing no
multiplications of... 0.

You can define it to be 0 but only if you are multiplying an empty bag
of zeroes, but it's hard to imagine what makes an empty bag of zeroes
different from an empty bag of fives. It really surely is *not* the
case.

Obviously, this kind of ridiculousness comes naturally to Java and C++
programmers, with their statically typed collections. It's no surprise
that's where the Decimal spec came from. ;)

-- Devin



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