The Truth

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The Truth

Postby SpitValve » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:32 pm UTC

Pi is irrational.

Point nine recurring is equal to one.

And a plane on a treadmill of infinite length matching the speed of the wheels will take off.

Do not dispute.
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Postby Narsil » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:46 pm UTC

.9999999 recurring is NOT one!!
If you had $999,999.99999999999999999....... in a bank account, you would not be a millionaire yet! If they were the same number, why would mathematics bother distinguishing them?
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Postby fjafjan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:58 pm UTC

the same reason you can write 0.2 1/5, or 0.4/2, or in lots of other ways

0.99999 reoccurring IS one, do we really need to go over this again?
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Postby SpitValve » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:01 pm UTC

Hoping you're joking... otherwise, you are wrong:

If 1 and 1.0 are the same number, why are they written differently?

If 5-3 and 2 are equal, why are they written differently?

How about this: if your dinner cost 9999 recurring cents and you paid for it with a dollar, would you get any change? It is impossible to give correct change, because any finite value of money would be too much. So it has to be infinitely small - i.e. zero.

Or:

x=0.999...
10*x = 9.999...
10*x - x = 9
but 10*x - x = 9*x
so 9*x = 9
x = 9/9
x = 1

Or:

Put x=1/3
so x=0.3333...
x*3 = 0.9999...
but also x*3 = 3/3 = 1
So 0.9999... is equal to 1.

Or:

You are wrong. Wait until you study maths at a higher level. You'll get it eventually.
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Postby Oort » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:03 pm UTC

That's not a good analogy.

0.333...=1/3
3*0.333....=3*(1/3)
3*0.333...=0.999...
therefore
0.999...=3*(1/3)=1

or, alternatively,

c=0.999...
10c=9.999...
10c-c=9.999...-0.999...
9c=9
c=1

However, I have doubts about the airplane one. If it matched the speed of the wheels, the plane would not move relative to the atmosphere, which is the important part.

EDIT: Curses, I am too late. Oh well, at least we agree on that one.
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Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:05 pm UTC

If you don't have the patience to explain this stuff to people, you don't have to. But some of these things are not intuitively obvious to people.

I think it's people's responsibility to question any belief that they feel doesn't make sense, even if it turns out the masses are correct 99% of the time. How else would we root out that last 1%?

And Oort, go back to the airplane page and ask any question, I'll do my best to clarify.
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Postby SpitValve » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:09 pm UTC

I guess so... but some people don't seem to get it no matter how many times and how many different ways you explain it to them...
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Postby thefiddler » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:14 pm UTC

Maybe I've been hanging around here too long, but I thought a lot of people innately knew that .9999... = 1, or just accepted it as they were taught without questioning it.

*lemmings*
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Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:31 pm UTC

It's weird, accepted things as taught makes me think of something-

I am quite athiest, but only in the same way your average person my age would be religious. It's not like I have a strong opinon about atheism, it's just the way I was raised. I can defend atheism, but any religious kid my age can probably quote the bible to support their belief.

I'm not really sure how I feel about that...
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Postby fjafjan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:32 pm UTC

you should read the god delusion, it turned me into truly atheist...
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Postby Narsil » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:34 pm UTC

Okay, I think I can write up something that will please everyone:

.9999... does NOT equal one, but the difference between the two is so small that no one really gives a damn about it.

Kay? Happy now? None of this really matters, when the hell are you going to run into the number .9999.... in your life anyway?
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Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:35 pm UTC

Thanks, I'll check the book out.

You run into 0.9999.... every day. It's 1.
Last edited by Owijad on Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby fjafjan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:35 pm UTC

no see the repeating part means that the part between 1 and 0.999 in INFINITY is INFINITLY SMALL
thus, 0
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Re: The Truth

Postby aldimond » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:36 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:And a plane on a treadmill of infinite length matching the speed of the wheels will take off.


A plane on a treadmill!?! You're not yanking my chain, are you? How does the plane get any lift? Don't jet engines need the air coming through them? I'm not very knowledgeable about this but I demand at least some kind of explanation!!
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Postby Narsil » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:37 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:I guess so... but some people don't seem to get it no matter how many times and how many different ways you explain it to them...

I'm not stupid, I see the logic behind what you are saying, but still, what does it matter?
Last edited by Narsil on Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Truth

Postby fjafjan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:42 pm UTC

aldimond wrote:
SpitValve wrote:And a plane on a treadmill of infinite length matching the speed of the wheels will take off.


A plane on a treadmill!?! You're not yanking my chain, are you? How does the plane get any lift? Don't jet engines need the air coming through them? I'm not very knowledgeable about this but I demand at least some kind of explanation!!


Curse people not reading the logic puzzles forum
The plane does not get any power from the wheels, the wheels are simply something with low friction to keep the plane from falling on the ground, you can remove the wheels and change them for a hovering device, the change is little (you would have to get some huge fans, but whatever)
Another thing to illustrate this, if you have a plane simply standing on a treadmill, and then start running it at 500mph, the airplane will not fly away backwards at 500mph (assuming the breks are not in :P) but rather the whels will start spinning realy quickly and the plane will slowly start moving backward due to frictoin between the wheels and the wheel hub thingy.
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Postby Teaspoon » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:43 pm UTC

Aldimond, tell me you're trying to pull someone's leg here!

I'm sure the aeroplane-treadmill discussion had gone on for long enough that everybody was convinced.
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Postby fjafjan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:43 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
SpitValve wrote:I guess so... but some people don't seem to get it no matter how many times and how many different ways you explain it to them...

I'm not stupid, I see the logic behind what you are saying, but still, what does it matter?


Are you a nerd or not damnit? :P
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Postby aldimond » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:45 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:It's weird, accepted things as taught makes me think of something-

I am quite athiest, but only in the same way your average person my age would be religious. It's not like I have a strong opinon about atheism, it's just the way I was raised. I can defend atheism, but any religious kid my age can probably quote the bible to support their belief.

I'm not really sure how I feel about that...


You weren't raised in religion (that is, you weren't taught anything) and you don't see God. That's all there is to it, right?

Then when you see other people that have been raised in a faith, that have been taught something, if you're compelled to explore and understand it in some way then that's what you should do. And if you aren't compelled to investigate that, then do something else.
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Re: The Truth

Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:46 pm UTC

Narsil, it matters just as much as it matters that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris. It doesn't effect your life, but it's true. If someone was adamantly convinced that the Eiffel Tower was in Nevada, why wouldn't you want them to know the truth? Wouldn't you, in that position?


aldimond wrote:
SpitValve wrote:And a plane on a treadmill of infinite length matching the speed of the wheels will take off.


A plane on a treadmill!?! You're not yanking my chain, are you? How does the plane get any lift? Don't jet engines need the air coming through them? I'm not very knowledgeable about this but I demand at least some kind of explanation!!


If you're not joking:
Because wheels-on-treadmill creates a low-friction environment similar to what you would find in a seaplane or a plane on skis, both of which, I'm sure you'll agree, can take off.

If you don't believe me, see http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=2581 for more evidences.
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Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:57 pm UTC

aldimond wrote:
You weren't raised in religion (that is, you weren't taught anything) and you don't see God. That's all there is to it, right?

Then when you see other people that have been raised in a faith, that have been taught something, if you're compelled to explore and understand it in some way then that's what you should do. And if you aren't compelled to investigate that, then do something else.


While I am sure you didn't intend it at all in this manner, "you weren't taught anything" comes across as condescending, and feels slightly offensive.

My point was that I accept atheism in a similar way that one would accept religion.

Hoping not to offend anyone, having neither naïveté nor hardship present in my life I am unlikely to turn to any sort of organized religion.


Actually, the spirituality I'd be most drawn to could be considered "Buddhism without belief"

[edit] sorry for double post, I wasn't sure I trusted myself to edit in a quote, and new things were said while I typed my previous post
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Postby aldimond » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:22 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:While I am sure you didn't intend it at all in this manner, "you weren't taught anything" comes across as condescending, and feels slightly offensive.


OK, seriously, what the fuck? I'm suggesting that your parents probably didn't take you out in the front yard, point up to the sky, and say, "Look up there. Up there there is No God." Because that would just be confusing and weird. So they probably didn't teach you anything about God. There is a difference with being brought up in religion: you're actively taught about God. And that's an important difference. Unless you're talking about atheism as a positive statement, the belief that there is no God. I find that definition problematic, but I don't want to get into another argument about that on these fora, it's happened a couple of times already.

I just don't understand how that can be condescending when I also was brought up in no religion and never have believed in God. The point I was trying to make is that having not been brought up in a religion you are starting from a blank slate and that if you find yourself compelled to explore any aspect of some faith or group of faiths (whether through study, worship, debunking, whatever) you're in a pretty good position to do that, not having the baggage of an existing religious tradition in your mind.

(There's another thread for religion discussion, so I'm not talking about religion in this thread anymore.)





OK, about the plane thing, which is what's really important. I mean, yeah, if the plane still moves relative to the air then it will take off. But then how is the treadmill matching the speed of the wheels?

EDIT: I read part of the thread in the logic puzzles forum. My answer is, "it's a stupid and meaningless question." The way that people talking about the plane taking off phrase it a conventional runway would count as a treadmill matching the speed of the wheels. I was pretty doubtful from the beginning that a treadmill could be built that keeps the airplane stationary relative to the air but the question is phrased to suggest this. My brain hurts thinking about how stupid this question is.
Last edited by aldimond on Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SpitValve » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:26 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
SpitValve wrote:I guess so... but some people don't seem to get it no matter how many times and how many different ways you explain it to them...

I'm not stupid, I see the logic behind what you are saying, but still, what does it matter?


Well, if 0.999... is not equal to 1, then our system of mathematics is inconsistent. It ruins everything. Try:

0.999... != 1
0.999/3... !=1/3
0.333... != 1/3

So what is 1/3 in decimal?

Actually, the spirituality I'd be most drawn to could be considered "Buddhism without belief"


It's quite interesting to see how Buddhism is perceived here in the Western world... everybody thinks it's some nice philosophy about being nice to people. In the Eastern world (well, in Thailand and China and Malaysia at least), it's just about rituals and bowing to statues of Buddha or monks or King Narusuan. It's a "do ut des" religion - I polish King Narusuan's monument if he gives me good exam results. I go to the temple and bow to the big Buddha shake the little cup thing to find out my lucky numbers so I can walk out and buy a lottery ticket from one of the sellers conveniently located within the temple. Or I donate a few thousand baht to the monks so I get my name on the high-score-board of donators prominently displayed between the statues of buddha (that people have bought little gold leaf bits to decorate) and the big bell things that hold relics and then everybody will know what a good Buddhist I am...

yeah - my views on what Buddhism is like changed when I actually visited a temple in Thailand. My friend from Malaysia (who used to be Buddhist) says it's pretty much the same there, and my friend who lived in China says it's the same there too (although he assumed it was because the government controlled everything). I think most temples are like that, and it's just the western view that thinks Buddhism is all about meditation and niceness and stuff.
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Postby Gordon » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:34 pm UTC

I know when I'm playing Civ I make a rush to research Buddhism, but in my head I always call it 'buddy system' and giggle. Every time.

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Postby Owijad » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:42 pm UTC

aldimond wrote:OK, seriously, what the fuck? I'm suggesting that your parents probably didn't take you out in the front yard, point up to the sky, and say, "Look up there. Up there there is No God." Because that would just be confusing and weird.


Don't have a hissyfit. I found your post unclear, which is why I said "I'm sure you didn't intend it in at all this manner", as in "I think I misunderstood".

While you meant, as I would have phrased it "You weren't taught anything either way", I took you to mean "You weren't taught anything important", which, I hope you'll agree, sounds condescending and offensive.

Now that I understand what you actually meant, I appreciate your point of view- I hadn't thought of it quite like that.




Spitvalve,

As I said, I am not religious, nor do I consider myself spiritual, but if I had to choose:

Those aspects you describe are what I would consider the "belief" portion. I'm referring to the actual teachings of the Buddha, which, as far as I can tell, can be summed up as "be cool and understand who you are".

When you strip away the weirdness- the televangelists, the cash-centered temples, most of the bible, etc... christianity and buddhism are functionally identical, to my eye. It's just that in our culture if you associate yourself with buddhism, people won't have as many of the bible/televangelist associations, and it's easier to communicate your spirituality.

Also, I could never consider myself Christian.
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Postby Andrew » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:13 am UTC

If you strip away most of the Bible then Christianity is functionally identical to atheism.

Narsil wrote:If [0.999... and 1] were the same number, why would mathematics bother distinguishing them?


That's sort of like saying "If 'Bush' and 'Dubya' were the same person, why would politicians bother distinguishing them?".
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Postby Pathway » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:19 am UTC

Narsil wrote:Okay, I think I can write up something that will please everyone:

.9999... does NOT equal one, but the difference between the two is so small that no one really gives a damn about it.

Kay? Happy now? None of this really matters, when the hell are you going to run into the number .9999.... in your life anyway?


This does not please us. What pleases us is .9999... being equal to one in your eyes, because it's true. Prove it not to be and we'll talk. But you've already been shown proofs that it is. But for further reading: http://qntm.org/pointnine

EDIT:
Andrew wrote:If you strip away most of the Bible then Christianity is functionally identical to atheism.

Narsil wrote:If [0.999... and 1] were the same number, why would mathematics bother distinguishing them?


That's sort of like saying "If 'Bush' and 'Dubya' were the same person, why would politicians bother distinguishing them?".


This does not please us either. We are disappointed that you believe argument through loose analogy is valid in mathematics. We wish you would stick to analytical methods of proof or disproof.

But we'll play ball. If 1/3 and .33333.... were the same number, why would mathematicians bother writing them both? The answer is that they don't. 1 is the standard way to write the number, but there's also another that's correct.
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Postby SpitValve » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:23 am UTC

Owijad wrote:When you strip away the weirdness- the televangelists, the cash-centered temples, most of the bible, etc... christianity and buddhism are functionally identical, to my eye. It's just that in our culture if you associate yourself with buddhism, people won't have as many of the bible/televangelist associations, and it's easier to communicate your spirituality..


So if you ignore the things that are different, then they're the same? :)

But fundamentally Christianity is much more like "understand who God is" than "understand who you are". It's also got more "change the world", not just "change yourself". And that does make a difference.
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Postby Owijad » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:43 am UTC

Andrew wrote:If you strip away most of the Bible then Christianity is functionally identical to atheism.


You noticed it too?

The Bible, at it's best, is a story to get people to be good people. At it's worst, it's used to manipulate people. Get rid of the manipulation (most of the Bible) and you're left with "be a better person". Or my brand of atheism.


I suppose that's probably true, SpitValve. I've had little exposure to any sort of religion, and I'm only fifteen, so you have to understand that all of my opinions are just that, and often quite unbased and uninformed.
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Postby Narsil » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:51 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Narsil wrote:
SpitValve wrote:I guess so... but some people don't seem to get it no matter how many times and how many different ways you explain it to them...

I'm not stupid, I see the logic behind what you are saying, but still, what does it matter?


Are you a nerd or not dammit? :P
^I think that says it all.

Okay, wait, I get it now!
1/3=.33333...
.9999.../3=.33333...
Therefore,
1/3=.9999.../3
multiply both sides by three and you get,
1=.9999...

Neat! I proved that 1 is equal to .9999... in an astoundingly obtuse way!
Now what....?
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Postby Toeofdoom » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:10 am UTC

^ Now you are enlightened, therefore you get to totally fry anyone who says 1 =/= 0.9999.... And get extremely pissed off when they dont listen. seriously.


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Postby warriorness » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:09 am UTC

Narsil wrote:If you had $999,999.99999999999999999....... in a bank account, you would not be a millionaire yet!


when dealing with money it's rounded to the nearest 0.01 iirc
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Postby aldimond » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:21 am UTC

warriorness wrote:
Narsil wrote:If you had $999,999.99999999999999999....... in a bank account, you would not be a millionaire yet!


when dealing with money it's rounded to the nearest 0.01 iirc


Rounded to whichever of the two nearest 1¢ benefits the larger, more powerful party in the transaction.
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Postby SpitValve » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:32 am UTC

in New Zealand when dealing with cash it's rounded to the closest 10c. Or 1c in electronic transactions.
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Postby German Sausage » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:34 am UTC

dont you guys have 5c cins that side of the tasman?
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Postby yy2bggggs » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:26 am UTC

Atheism doesn't teach us to be nice. The concept of a "brand of atheism" is foreign to me as well.
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Postby Zach » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:42 am UTC

I'm convinced. I cross-posted this. Should be some interesting replies. :D
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Postby Owijad » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:43 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:Atheism doesn't teach us to be nice. The concept of a "brand of atheism" is foreign to me as well.


Religion always seems to contain the moral standards for people. My closest analogy to religion is atheism, therefore I choose to include my personal morals in my lack of faith.

Is there still a problem?
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Postby yy2bggggs » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:13 am UTC

Owijad wrote:Is there still a problem?

Yes.

It's quite simply the wrong name. As Mark Twain wrote: "Use the right word, not its second cousin." Does it matter? Yes, because people in general are emo crybabies when you mention the big R word, and they go off and explode and become irrational, because they're strongly for it, or strongly against it. The less you can contribute to this shared insanity of the human condition, the better. I'm not quite sure which is the appropriate word for you to use, since I'm not you, but I would offer up a consideration: possibly, it's secular humanism?

As for what the theists believe about morality, so what? They're all irrational, because they believe in God, who is transcendental. Obviously, everything that is transcendental is irrational.
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Postby Zach » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:19 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:Obviously, everything that is transcendental is irrational.


I'm not opening this can of worms, but I believe that you may find the quantum paradoxes interesting if you truly believe that.
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