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### Re^2: In base 1, the number after 0 is:

by chacham (Prior)
 on May 01, 2014 at 11:55 UTC ( #1084614=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: In base 1, the number after 0 is:
in thread In base 1, the number after 0 is:

Ooh, good point! In my mind, 0 is not a number, as, a number is a representation of a quantity and "nothing" is not a quantity. Zero is a placeholder though, useful in numeric representation systems that use columns.

In that case, 0 also represents the "first" value, even though it doesn't amount too much. (Ever hear the trick statement, i know the score before a baseball game starts? It is 0 to 0.) Hence, the poll question is really, what is the first representational digit in base 1, colloquially asked as "what is the first number after 0".

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Re^3: In base 1, the number after 0 is:
by AppleFritter (Priest) on May 01, 2014 at 16:38 UTC

In my mind, 0 is not a number, as, a number is a representation of a quantity and "nothing" is not a quantity.

I'm intrigued. Can you elaborate on that? In what sense is zero not a quantity?

Related question: would you consider the empty set a set? And if so: would you say that it makes sense to talk about the cardinality of a set, i.e. the number of its elements? And what would the cardinality of the empty set be?

Ever hear the trick statement, i know the score before a baseball game starts? It is 0 to 0.

I think it'd be more accurate to say that it's NULL to NULL, to borrow a term from databases -- though NULL is itself a rather overloaded concept that represents (and, arguably, conflates) many distinct concepts at once.

Hence, the poll question is really, what is the first representational digit in base 1, colloquially asked as "what is the first number after 0".

In that case, I'm tempted to answer "an ε that's smaller than any real number>0", but I'll leave that to people who actually know a bit about non-standard analysis (I don't!). ;)

In what sense is zero not a quantity?

A quantity is an amount. Nothing is the absence of amount. While we use 0 as if it were an amount, and sentences that use it are understood quite well, it changes not that nothing is not the something required to have an amount.

would you consider the empty set a set

I do not know set theory.

I think it'd be more accurate to say that it's NULL to NULL

I guess that humor doesn't work on you. Congratulations, you broke the joke.

You're not alone in having the idea of zero not being a number, but merely a digit. Many great mathematicians and philosophers have shared this idea.

However, they've mostly been dead for centuries. Since the 17th century, the idea that zero is a number has been fairly uncontroversial in mathematical circles.

If you want something that is not a number but kinda like a number, I can offer you ∞. And really, you can't ask for more than that, can you?

use Moops; class Cow :rw { has name => (default => 'Ermintrude') }; say Cow->new->name

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