ENOUGH! (was: "Re: [OT]: Brain Burp Rounding??")
M. Adam Davis email (remove spam text)
Reminds me of a mathematician and an engineer in the same class, where
the teacher presents the problem:
Suppose a beautiful woman (or man, take your pick ;-) is opposite a
room from you, and you can approach her/him with the restriction that
each movement can only halve the distance between you and her/him. Will
you ever reach her/him?
The mathematician responds:
No. You may get infinetely close, but you will never reach her/him.
The engineer responds:
You will get close enough for most intents or purposes...
Of course, conceptually, 0.999... does not equal one. It equals
0.999.... But using calculus and other methods you see that 0.999...
approaches 1, and, for all intents and purposes, is equal to 1. It
really depends on what level of precision one is asking for. If one
want infinite precision then one cannot say that 0.999... = 1 unless one
can prove that 0.999... approaches one faster than the needed precision
But this is all academic, and is akin to proving that the chicken came
before the eggroll. If anyone wants to prove me wrong, then sit down
and write a 0, a decimal point, an infinite series of nines, and equal
sign, and a one (no shorthand, please!) before hitting reply.
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