# Re: Numbers

```Never argue with a logician!
I try to insert some re-remarks into '&'-induced lines below
John```
```
On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 5:52 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>
> On 02 May 2013, at 18:03, John Mikes wrote:
>
> Bruno asked:* "are you OK with this?"*  -  NO, I am not OK:
>
> as I follow, 0 is NOT a number, it does not change a number.
>
>
>
> 0 * 1000 = 0.
>

& read in English: 'zero times thousand is zero, - which is
&-funny: it is not additional/subtractional only states that if I &take the
'1000' *NOT AT ALL* I get nothing.  You are right: I &have no problem with
0.000*89, 0*s as "position markers" for &the order of magnitude of the *89*.
I have problems if (some &of the) 0-s are NOT zeros, like 0.204*89:* to use
NUMBERS &as position-markers (the dirty trick of a decimal point -<G>)

>
> Well, I have to say you are the first to refuse to 0 the number status,
> with the notable exception of the greeks, but they did not really
> discovered it.
> I am sure you have no problem with expression like "the concentration of
> this product is 0.00089 cc". It uses the number 0, which is very useful in
> the decimal or base notation of the natural and real, and complex numbers.
>
> But how do you  *" A D D "* a number to another one if it is not
> identified as a quantity?
>
>
> "quantity" is already part of some interpretation, but you can use it, it
> is very well.
>

&so you do not IDENTIFY, you just INTERPRET? (and do &so 'practically')

>
>
> Can you add an electric train to the taste of a lolly-pop?
>
>
> No, but those are not numbers.
>

&How would you know, if you do not know what NUMBERS &are? So far (my)
'Ding an Sich' can be anything.

>
> You speak about 'axioms' (- in my words they are inventions to prove a
> theory's applicability.)
>
>
> They are just hypotheses that we accept at the start for doing the
> reasoning. Nobody ever says that an axiom is true, except in some
> philosophical context.
>

&does that mean  that 'an axiom is untrue'? if it is 'not true', &why
should I accept the hypothesis based on it? Maria said &I lack a proposal
substituting the accepted reasoning. &Pardon me, I am not smarter than
those zillion wise men
&who so far used 'numbers' - yet I have the right to question.

>
> So no *reversing* please: proving the theory by axioms.
>
>
> We never do that. We always prove FROM axioms, and we always know that
> "proving" does not entail truth or knowledge. Only pseudo-scientists
> believe that we can prove things about some reality.
>

&I am not for 'proving', do not accept 'reality' and 'truth'. I am &just a

>
> May I repeat the main question: is YOUR number a quantity?
>
>
> Natural number have both. A quantity aspect, and an ordinality aspects,
> like in the first, the second, the third, etc.
>
> so you can add (two = *II *to three = *III* and get five = *IIIII*) ??
>
>
> That's correct.
>

&Now I really do not get it. You marked the quantity-aspect &by pegs - au
lieu de anything better. So WHAT is that
& NUMBER TWO marked by 'II'? Do you COUNT them?
&(what?)

>
>
> If THAT is your axiom then numbers are quantity specifiers.
>
>
> You can see it that way, but we don't need to agree on this, as long as
> you agree with the axioms given. Agreeing in science does not mean that we
> believe those axioms to be true, but that we can understand them and use it
> to develop some other theories.
>
> Now 2+3 = 5 was not an axiom, but it can be derived from them easily.
>

&As an agnostic I cannot "agree in science" or it's axiomatic &bases just
to submerge into a conventional  belief system,
&which includes the interlaced assumption-conclusion mass &we call
'science'. Numbers, or not.

>
> We may AGREE on that, but then numbers are indeed the products of human
> thinking applied as humans think. *Q E D *
>
>
> In which theory?
>

&Maybe in the overall 'belief' that we can understand the &world.

>
> I do not assume the humans as primitive, I try to explain them in the
> theory which assumes that human can be Turing emulated. The result is that
> the physical laws evolve from the relation between numbers, and this in a
> testable way. the advantage is that we get an explanation (perhaps wrong,
> of course) of why we have consciousness and qualia.
>
>
&Please do not forget all those knowables we may acquire &later on - they
may change the 'physical Law' of yesterday
&even the "Turing emulation" of the 'HUMAN'. Which raises &again the
question how reliable the "numbers" may be. (If &we agree in their
identification).

>
>
>
> *
> *
> *Bruno: "...**That's very good, but we can also develop general
> statement. We would not have discover the universal number (the computers)
> without agreeing on those principles."*
> *
> *
> That's a practicality and very fortunate.
>
>
> It is also a conceptual very deep discovery. Before it, mathematicians
> thought that no epistemiological concept (like computability) could have a
> universal nature. They believe we could use Cantor's diagonalization to
> refute all prtendion to universality in math, but computability seems to be
> an exception (cf the Church Turing thesis).
>
>
>
>
> Does not enlighten the problem of what 'numbers' may be, if not
> quantifiers.
>
>
> The problem is what mind and matter are. The numbers are tools that we
> use, and we don't even try to explain them, if only because we can already
> explain (in the comp theory) why it is impossible to understand what they
> are from anything simpler than them.
>

&My common sense feeling bows before that.
&I would leave out mind, matter, consciousness and accept &the numbers as
(simplest) tools in a certain aspect. Unless &you want to include the
'computation' term for non-math i.e.  &analogue or else not even thought
of) topics (logical?) when &I may see trouble again. Complexity of the
world is beyond &our capabilities (infinite?) to comprehend.
&- John

>
> BrunO  :)
>
>
>
> JOhn
>
>
>
>
>
> On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 4:54 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
>>
>> On 01 May 2013, at 22:09, John Mikes wrote:
>>
>> Bruno asked why I have problems how to figure out *'numbers'*. * *
>>
>> In his texts (as I remember and I have no quotes at hand) the "world" can
>> be construed from a large enough amount of numbers in simple arithmetical
>> ways (addition-subtraction). Also: numbers do not mean quantities.
>> If his older post with pegs (II=two, IIII=four etc.) is OK, the 'words'
>> two and four DO mean quantities. If not, as 'numbers' they are meaningless
>> combinations of letters (sounds?) we could call the series any way, as well
>> as e.g.:
>> tylba, chuggon, rpais, etc. for 1,2,3 - or take them from any other
>> language (eins,zwei,drei, - egy, kettő, három) as they developed in diverse
>> domains/lifestyles. The 'numbers' would be like "Ding an Sich" (German)
>> however used as qualifiers for quantities if so applied (see Bruno's 'pegs'
>> above).
>>
>>
>> The terms we are using are not important. All we need is some agreement
>> on some theory.
>> Most things we need for the natural numbers can be derived from the
>> following axioms (written in english):
>>
>> any number added to zero gives the number we started with (= x + 0 = x)
>> 0 is not the successor of any natural number
>> if two numbers are different, then they have different successors
>> a number x added to a successor of a number y gives a successor of the
>> sum of x and y.
>>
>> Are you OK with this?
>>
>> In science we know that we cannot define what we are talking about, but
>> we can agree on some principles about them.
>>
>
> Bruno: *"...We would not have discover(ed) the universal number (the
> computers) without agreeing on those principles." *
> *
> *
> To have discovered the 'universal number'(?) (i.e. computers)
> is fine but that does not imply understanding on numbers:
> like "numbers are such as to be applicable for..." etc.
> My agnosticism needs more than that. Sorry.
>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> More reasonably sounds the idea of my wife, Maria, who assigns the
>> primitive development of quantities originally to proportions: "larger
>> (amount)" - "smaller (amount)" evolving in some thousand centuries into the
>> process of 'counting' the included units.
>>
>>
>> That's very good, but we can also develop general statement. We would not
>> have discover the universal number (the computers) without agreeing on
>> those principles.
>>
>>
>>
>> I published on this list my thought for developing the Roman numbering
>> signs. I started with 2 - a PAIR of hands etc. (not with one, which means
>> only the existence) and branching into 5 (as fingers, as in pentaton music)
>>
>>
>> OK.
>>
>>
>>
>> I still have no idea what description could fit *'number'* in Bruno's
>> usage (I did not study number -  theory - to keep my common sense
>> (agnostic?) thinking free).
>>
>>
>> See above.
>>
>> Bruno
>>
>> John
>
>>
>>
>>
>> John Mikes
>>
>> --
>>
>>
>>  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
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