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Oh, the nullity

Posted on Fri, 8 Dec 2006 12:24:23 +0100 - Keywords: debian

Erich Schubert writes:

[A rather erroneous rebuttal of Anderson’s “new” tool]

Please. If you are going to use maths to refute a paper, at least read the paper, not the BBC news article.

In fact, dividing by zero can be useful in calculus. What the guy did is design a consistent system (I trust him at least on this) that resembles the IEEE floating point algebra, except that in his system Φ = Φ while NaN ≠ NaN. Such a distinction makes it possible to write and solve equations where Φ may be involved. Of course the final result may yield Φ but the important part is that it is consistent, proven, and remains valid whatever the input values.

What should be really questioned is:

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