Infinity [was Re: PEP 526 - var annotations and the spirit of python]

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Wed Jul 4 03:08:22 EDT 2018

On Wed, Jul 4, 2018 at 3:37 PM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> On Wed, 04 Jul 2018 12:31:16 +1000, Chris Angelico wrote:
> [...]
>>> Ah, I see we're not going to leave it alone.  In that case,
>>> "indefinite"
>>> is a "number", in that it was a quantity you cited along with the other
>>> two. If you'd prefer to call it a "quantity", that's fine with me.
>>> Talk about pedantic...
>> I've had debates with people about whether "infinity" is a number or
>> not, but I've never yet heard anyone say that "indefinite" is a number.
>> Hmm. This could be interesting.
> What, haven't you ever raced somebody to see who can count to 100 fastest?
> "One, two, skip a few, ninety-nine, one hundred!"
> Clearly "indefinite" is just a synonym for "skip a few".
> For what it's worth, in the ordinary real numbers we all know and love,
> infinity is absolutely not a number, full stop. There's no debate about
> that.

I'm sorry Steven, you have a fundamental misunderstanding here. Not
about the nature of real numbers or infinity.... no, about the nature
of debate. It doesn't matter that there is a pure and simple factual
answer; you can get into a long debate about it anyway. (For the
record, I was on the "no, 'infinity' is NOT a number" side of that
debate. It gets amusing when you do it in JavaScript, though, because
Infinity is a value of the type Number, despite not being a number;
and NaN is also something of the type Number, despite not being a
number *or* infinity. Of course, in Python, those values are all of
type "float" instead.)


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