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  #1  
Old 02-23-2007, 09:43 AM
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Fractions

Poem: "The Invention of Fractions" by Jessica Goodfellow,

God created the whole numbers:
the first born, the seventh seal,
Ten Commandments etched in stone,
the Twelve Tribes of Israel -
Ten we've already lost -
forty days and forty nights,
Saul's ten thousand and David's ten thousand.
'Be of one heart and one mind' -
the whole numbers, the counting numbers.

It took humankind to need less than this;
to invent fractions, percentages, decimals.
Only humankind could need the concepts
of splintering and dividing,
of things lost or broken,
of settling for the part instead of the whole.

Only humankind could find the whole numbers,
infinite as they are, to be wanting;
though given a limitless supply,
we still had no way
to measure what we keep
in our many-chambered hearts.

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Old 02-23-2007, 10:40 AM
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Does that hint at the real difference between Athens and Jerusalem? The invention of mathematics.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2007, 12:11 PM
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Let us not forget that the rationals are countable. That is, there are exactly as many rational numbers as there are integers.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2007, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
Let us not forget that the rationals are countable. That is, there are exactly as many rational numbers as there are integers.
Poetry is transcendent.

B
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:34 PM
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Cute poem but I don't imagine the author ever needed to fit a board snugly into place. If we used the millimeter as a foundation, carpenters might not need to split that up but machinists would.
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2007, 01:36 PM
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Is full or empty ,the lions belly?
Does a bee know, how much royal jelly?

Is all the way home, where went the salmon?
How many wolves, is the slaughtered lamb in?

When the sun sets, is it day or night?
When cubs pounce, is it fun or fight?

Is the mothers baby, which of her pups?
Before you drink from the teapot, ask how many cups?
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2007, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
Let us not forget that the rationals are countable. That is, there are exactly as many rational numbers as there are integers.
There are the same number of all types. The difference is in what order of infinity the belong to.
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuan View Post
There are the same number of all types. The difference is in what order of infinity the belong to.
This is quite untrue. There are more real numbers than there are rationals, and these cardinalities are considered different "orders of infinity." It is an open question as to whether there's anything in between, btw.

It is easily proven that there are exactly as many integers as rationals, that is, they are the same "order of infinity."
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:43 PM
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my wife is kindof a math specialist at her school.

someone gave her a t shirt which says "four out of three people don't understand fractions".

gotta love it!

tom w
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2007, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
my wife is kindof a math specialist at her school.

someone gave her a t shirt which says "four out of three people don't understand fractions".

gotta love it!

tom w
I don't get it
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2007, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by LaRondo View Post
I don't get it
Misunderstanding is also transcendent.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2007, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A264172 View Post
Misunderstanding is also transcendent.
Do I glow in the dark? Wait, that is translucent...
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2007, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRondo View Post
Do I glow in the dark? Wait, that is translucent...
The misunderstanding of fractions is greater than the total knowledge of humanity...
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2007, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A264172 View Post
The misunderstanding of fractions is greater than the total knowledge of humanity...
I'll be honest with you ... Math and Latin was the death sentence of my school career. That's why I'm in the US now ...

To comment on your statement. Since the knowledge of humanity is extremely low these days (and probably at any other given time) it is not hard for misunderstood fractions to be greater then that ...

But I am sure that your understanding of my comment is greater then it appears, since it was specifically meant to be an even greater "leg-pull" on Tom's wife T-shirt arithmetic
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Old 02-24-2007, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A264172 View Post
The misunderstanding of fractions is greater than the total knowledge of humanity...
I worked at a storm window manufacuring firm in Seattle in the 70s. Not that big, maybe 30 employees. It was a rough trade kind of place. After a week or two, the foreman put me on a saw that cut the aluminum legs. Had a hydraulic powered movement for the blade, which was two blades, each set at 45 degrees but opposite to each other so the other end of your next piece would be ready. He was having a hell of a time finding anyone who could do fractions. He went through a long song and dance to make sure I could handle them (Joe semi-math whiz here) and when it was clear that I could, the guy looked like he wanted to hug me.

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