On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 11:26 PM, Doug McNutt <dougl...@macnauchtan.com> wrote:
> Anything that can be made into a list is discrete.

Not quite, since you can create lists whose members belong to
continuous sets, e.g. real numbers.   Anything that naturally forms a
list, maybe.

> The other option is a function in the sense of the calculus that truly has an 
> infinite number of values.

The set of integers is both discrete and infinite.  Likewise rationals
and all the other "countable" sets.

The main thing that discrete sets have that continuous sets don't is
the ability to map them exactly onto a sequence.  Given an integer,
there's a single "next integer"; given a real number, there's
infinitely many - and infinitely many more real numbers in between the
start number and whichever "next" you choose.

> Perhaps the term atomic could be discreetly considered in place of discrete.

In CSland, I suspect "atomic" is too strongly associated with
operations to be applied to a data type that has nothing to do with
multithreading or transactional integrity.

Mark J. Reed <markjr...@gmail.com>

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