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Does Zero Exist?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, Sep 18, 2002.

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  1. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    First, let me say that I am neither a mathmetician or a scientist. With that said, I am going to offer that the value, or non-value often expressed as "zero" or "0" does not exist. I have intuitively believed this for a long time. I have asked others about this -- most just look at me in an odd way.

    I once posed the question in a neighborhood bar. It went around the bar causing quite a stir among both regulars and strangers. By the time it got back to me, beer orders had dropped 17% and the barkeep asked me to leave.

    I have found no evidence to the contrary that zero exists, not even in integers divisible by 10, where the symbol "0" functions merely as a place holder.

    Sure, on an X,Y axis, or an X,Y,Z axis, the intersect identified as "0" represents a point in time or space, but this still does not mean that it exists or has value.

    Is zero less than nine? Of course, but then nothing is less than something unless something is on sale and drastically reduced.

    I am not asserting that zero has no implications, just that it has no mathetical value whatsoever -- except as a symbolic space holder.

    1,000,000 or 1,- - -,- - - or 1,xxx, xxx. You decide.
     
  2. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    Does zero exist? Hang on just a minute and let me grab my checkbook............. Yep zero exists. :(
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    :D :lol: :D
     
  4. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    In my opinion, zero exists since we have decimals. For instance, in order for .001 to exist, zero must exist to reach .001. Right?
     
  5. Timco

    Timco Woof! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Zero exists, but it means nothing.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Nah, they're only space fillers, needed to push the "1" over that far. The same would hold true for those other numbers to the left of the "."
     
  7. Timco

    Timco Woof! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    But seriously, zero is a reference point for a system of integers, and zero is a value that resulted from subtracting a number from an equal number.
     
  8. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    You have to start somewhere. If we didnt' have zero, how would you know that you didn't have 0 apples in your hand? What would you call that?
     
  9. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    James, Now you're just discussing Apples and Oranges, no comparison :p
     
  10. DarrellP

    DarrellP Hall Of Fame

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    Try to convince a computer that there are no "0"'s. Binary would be pretty boring without a zero.
     
  11. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Some of us are still confusing the symbol "0" with the value "zero".

    In the binary representation of ten, being 1010, each "0" symbol says "there is no value in this position, therefor do not count and move on to the next position". For example:

    0 = no 'one'
    1 - a two
    0 = no four
    1 = an eight

    It is clear that "0" is only a symbol of the absence of any value and serves only to occupy a position, whether in a base 10, base 2, or any other numbering system.

    If everyone using the binary system agreed, values could be also be represented by other symbols, such as x and o, or ~ and *.

    It is not my assertion that the symbols zero and 0 do not exist, but that the value they represent does not exist.
     
  12. J Rath

    J Rath AllStar/Supporter

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    The value of 0 or zero is nothing, which therefore does not exist. To use the apple example, if you are holding 0 apples then one would presume you are holding nothing!
     
  13. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Well yeah, that's the point isn't it? The symbol is a representation of nothing, no value. It's just a convenience to represent the concept of no value. So does "no value" exist? Of course not. Does the concept of "no value" exist? Yes, we call it zero. We could just as well use commas or exclamation marks to represent no value, or we could just write "no value in this space".

    A better question might be, do numbers exist? Or, is zero a number? Now eight apples(or oranges:D ) can exist. But does the number eight exist without the apples? Does zero apples exist? Maybe? If we subtract eight apples from the total above we have zero, or no value of, apples. Or do we?
    :confused:
    By themselves, numbers are only concepts. They only "exist" when we apply them to the tangible. Zero differs in that even applied to apples or oranges or checkbooks, we still have nothing tangible.

    What about negative numbers?(time for the checkbook again:( ) Do they exist?

    But isn't a little cruel to start a topic about whether our President's IQ exists?:lol:

    Sorry, couldn't resist. I figured no one would believe it's me if I didn't take a cheap shot at Bush or God.:blush:
     
  14. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    But Nick might be right (cough). :grin:

    The "value" of 0 doesn't exist since nothing is nothing.

    I have a headache. :bang:
     
  15. Neil Derryberry

    Neil Derryberry Hall Of Fame

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    In binary, zero means "off". Zero is just a placeholder in my mind.
     
  16. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Exactly my point. Because it serves to occupy a position in the numbering system, it exists.
     
  17. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I always looked at this as what David Pearce said.
    This is the basis of Zero Ontology.
     
  18. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Whatever Dave Pearce is on, I want some. :D
     
  19. Rick_EE

    Rick_EE Godfather

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    Just be careful. Read the label, there may be some interaction with whatever you are on. :lol:
     
  20. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    He's cool, I found him when researching if infinity exists... :lol:
     
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