[Tutor] [Off topic] Is Zero Positive (was: Not Really Questions)

Dustin Mitchell dustin at ywlcs.org
Mon Jun 5 23:14:51 CEST 2006

Wait, all of this "not really a number" and "carry-over from binary" 
stuff deals with the *numeral* zero, which is neither here nor there.  
We could use a picture of a bunny-rabbit instead of the numeral zero, 
making this year 2<bunny><bunny>6.

The discussion here is over the *value* zero -- the identity element 
under addition, and the number A such that A * X = A for all X.  It's 
the first of those properties that makes it important in computer 
programming, and in more general terms considering the null (i.e., 
zero) case is always important in programming.


On Jun 5, 2006, at 3:48 PM, ron wrote:

> It seems that the confusion is exacerbated by the fact
> that we're using the theoretical number set to
> reference the common one. I suppose this is a
> carry-over from binary, since in binary if you don't
> have a zero, you also won't have a bunch of other
> numbers like 2, 4 and so forth. 

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