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Proposal: 2 + 2 does not equal 4


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#1 Hambil

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 02:44 AM

I awoke at 2:22am. I remember because I looked at the clock radio, and that's pretty easy to remember. My first thought was 2 + 2 does not equal 4.

I don't know if it came to me in a dream, or was just something my subconscious had been working on in the background for years and suddenly decided to spit out. Either way, the thought persisted. 2 + 2 does not equal 4.

My reasoning was that only in pure theoretical mathematics do we have something without entropy. Nowhere in the actual universe can you add two of one thing to two of another thing without expending some energy. Something is lost. 2 + 2 = 3.9999999999999

I was curious what someone else might think of this strange 2:22am thought, so, I posted it here.

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#2 Godeskian

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 05:40 AM

Welcome Hambil

in pure mathematics, 2+2 doesn't have to actually make 4

You see 1.5 rounded up is 2 for purposes of presentation, but when calculating with it it is still 1.5

so '2' plus '2' can be three, as long as you are willing to accept that the number presented doesn't have to be exactly that number.

And yes, in the curent universe every increas of something costs energy. SO you are probably right in your theory, but i have no way of proving it

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#3 Delvo

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:06 AM

It depends on what physical thing you're measuring. If it's the energy you could get from some kind of chemical reaction or the time the reaction would take if you doubled all the ingredients, maybe so. But two apples plus two apples is still always four apples, with just as much energy as they contained before; the energy your arm uses to put them together doesn't take anything away from them. MOST things in the universe are like this.

#4 Rhys

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:45 AM

Godeskian, on Feb. 06 2003,05:40, said:

in pure mathematics, 2+2 doesn't have to actually make 4

You see 1.5 rounded up is 2 for purposes of presentation, but when calculating with it it is still 1.5
That's not "pure mathematics", that's engineering! :p

In pure math, 2 is 2.  If it was 1.5, you'd use 1.5.

Engineering, and other disciplines making use of math, do use a lot of approximation.

I did a math degree at a school with a big Engineering faculty, and one of the running Engineer jokes was "2 + 2 = 5, for large values of 2".  The funny thing was that while the Mathies laughed at it, the Engineers believed it. :)

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#5 Enmar

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 03:22 PM

Well, as this turns to a "pure mathematics against all others" thread, I would like to add, from a physicists point of view, that Delvo's apple theorem is only valid when the apples are spherical  ;)
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#6 Bad Wolf

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 04:10 PM

Now you see, I could argue it either way...depending on who wanted to pay me the bigger retainer.....;)

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#7 jon3831

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 05:45 PM

Enmar, on Feb. 06 2003,12:22, said:

Well, as this turns to a "pure mathematics against all others" thread, I would like to add, from a physicists point of view, that Delvo's apple theorem is only valid when the apples are spherical  ;)
Does this somehow apply to spherical cows?

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#8 Hambil

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:57 PM

Delvo, on Feb. 06 2003,15:06, said:

But two apples plus two apples is still always four apples, with just as much energy as they contained before; the energy your arm uses to put them together doesn't take anything away from them. MOST things in the universe are like this.
How many atoms did those apples lose while being picked up and moved? Even if they weren't physically touched (which would certainly cause the loss of billions of atoms) then they aged. Everything ages.  ???

#9 Christopher

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 09:14 AM

Hambil, on Feb. 07 2003,00:57, said:

How many atoms did those apples lose while being picked up and moved? Even if they weren't physically touched (which would certainly cause the loss of billions of atoms) then they aged. Everything ages.
Ahh, but every apple has a different number of atoms, so you can't define a unit apple by a fixed number of atoms.

We all have hairs and skin cells fall off of us every day, so is any one of us becoming less than one person in the process?

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#10 Rhea

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 10:43 AM

Rhys, on Feb. 06 2003,08:45, said:

That's not "pure mathematics", that's engineering! :p
Having once worked with a crowd of engineers, just let me take a moment to say ROTFLMAO!  :devil:  :p
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#11 Scatha Arzetyn

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:50 PM

LOL, I am no Mathmetician (far from), but I love the thought. :)

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LOL @ Jon, you read my mind.

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Edited by Scatha Arzetyn, 17 February 2003 - 11:27 PM.

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#12 Gina

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 11:27 PM

I think I could even argue a way for 2 + 2 to equal 2. But I'm not so sure I would even be able to follow that reasoning. Either way, I'm going to give it a try.  Theoratically, 1.5 is 2, just because when you want to get a good grade you tell the teacher you got half wrong instead of 1 wrong. Whoever made the rule of rounding up from 1/2's, might have made it wrong. You could say that 1.5 = 1 just as much as it equals 2. Therefore, 2 + 2 = 2.  Did you follow that? Just wondering because I'm not even sure if I did.
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#13 Scatha Arzetyn

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 11:31 PM

^I follow you're reasoning.

And I love the idea; even if the accurateness of the statement is debatable.

Anja II :)

Edited because I missed an important sentence.

Edited by Scatha Arzetyn, 17 February 2003 - 11:36 PM.


#14 Gina

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 11:41 PM

Glad you love it. Accuratness? Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is debatable. Maybe we should have a poll?

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#15 Scatha Arzetyn

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 12:48 AM

I love paradoxes & twists like that.  :)

Well, we've had a poll for just about everything else as of late. :lol:

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#16 Gina

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 01:06 AM

Thats true. Maybe I'll have to go start one. 2 + 2 = 2.......
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#17 Hambil

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 02:44 AM

Christopher, on Feb 12 2003, 06:16 AM, said:

Ahh, but every apple has a different number of atoms, so you can't define a unit apple by a fixed number of atoms.

We all have hairs and skin cells fall off of us every day, so is any one of us becoming less than one person in the process?
But again, you are talking in the abstract. One "apple" or one "person". Math works just fine in the abstract. Buy as far as we know, adding anything together in the real world causes change. Chemical or atomic reations, changes in localized gravity, magnetic fields, etc. All these changes require energy, some of which inevitably comes from the things being added - even if the influencing force is external (such as a catalyst or a physical force).

It is this expenditure of energy that to which I refer. It is what makes 2 + 2 = 3.999999~  :blink:

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#18 Enmar

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 09:49 AM

Scatha Arzetyn, on Feb 17 2003, 11:50 PM, said:

I love paradoxes & twists like that.  :)

Well, we've had a poll for just about everything else as of late. :lol:

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