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# Is the number 2 simpler than the number 1?

Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:03 am
This is a bit abstract, but I can't help feeling I understand the number 2 better than I understand the number 1.
I think it's probably a general human trait. Dualisms are our most basic level of understanding something. But even when we understand 'something' it is still a sort of dualism because we only understand it in relation to what it is not, even when this is as simple as 'existing' in opposition to 'not existing.'
I think infinity and 1 are pretty much the same thing, although I know nothing about maths.
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smorgs

1
Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:03 pm
Hey PQ,

I understand what you mean - but I don't understand why?

I 'prefer' even numbers - it seems instinctive to do so. At work we have two weekly cycles - one week is green, one week is pink, I always think of pink/pastel colours as even and primary colours as odd...

x
vikorr

1
Wed 4 Mar, 2009 09:55 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Infinity is similar to zero, rather than one.

I don't know that 2 is any better understood than 1. 1 vs 1 = 2 ? or does 1 vs 1 still equal 1? Depends on your perspective I would think.
0 Replies

aidan

1
Thu 5 Mar, 2009 02:05 am
@smorgs,
I always prefer odd numbers- just instinctively always have. Even numbers seem too neat and clean cut for me. I even think of them that way with squared off lines and rigid right angle corners.

When I picture 3, 5, 7, 9- I picture rounded edges - uninterruped continuity.

Very strange. If I picture someone as an 8- I'm much less attracted to them than someone I picture as a 3 or a 5 or a 9.

I think it's exactly because I don't think in dualisms (as in either/or).
I think in terms of possibilities - and in my mind - these are usually infinite and I never think that I've thought of all of them - I believe there are innumerable ones that I haven't even begun to think of.
Ceili

1
Thu 5 Mar, 2009 02:45 am
We may have two of everything, but they are part of the whole. You. One. We are, no matter what we prefer, one... a lone being, a thing. We may prefer company, pair, duos, or trios... but one is the lonliest number for a reason.
0 Replies

The Pentacle Queen

1
Thu 5 Mar, 2009 09:33 am
@aidan,
Quote:
I always prefer odd numbers- just instinctively always have. Even numbers seem too neat and clean cut for me. I even think of them that way with squared off lines and rigid right angle corners.

When I picture 3, 5, 7, 9- I picture rounded edges - uninterruped continuity.

Very strange. If I picture someone as an 8- I'm much less attracted to them than someone I picture as a 3 or a 5 or a 9.

I think it's exactly because I don't think in dualisms (as in either/or).
I think in terms of possibilities - and in my mind - these are usually infinite and I never think that I've thought of all of them - I believe there are innumerable ones that I haven't even begun to think of.

I think EXACTLY THE SAME. That's so weird.
0 Replies

Cycloptichorn

1
Thu 5 Mar, 2009 09:37 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

This is a bit abstract, but I can't help feeling I understand the number 2 better than I understand the number 1.
I think it's probably a general human trait. Dualisms are our most basic level of understanding something. But even when we understand 'something' it is still a sort of dualism because we only understand it in relation to what it is not, even when this is as simple as 'existing' in opposition to 'not existing.'
I think infinity and 1 are pretty much the same thing, although I know nothing about maths.

1 and 2 isn't 'Dualism' per se; Dualism is 1 and 0.

The number 2 posits three different states: 2, 1, and 0. Zero and One are a better representation of the on-off cycle you refer to.

Cycloptichorn
fresco

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 05:34 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
PQ

You are alluding to the fundamental issue that it is "the language using observer" who defines "thingness" and "same thingness" according to the observer disposition to control its world.
0 Replies

ebrown p

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 05:44 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Not sure I agree with you...

The idea of 1 and the idea of 2 are much older than the idea of zero.

Most Ancient civilization, such as the Greeks and Romans, understood 1 and 2 very well... but had no way of representing, or understanding, "zero" as a number". Some cultures used a "zero" as a placeholder... but not as a number (i.e. they didn't use it in arithmetic).

I personally think 1 is simpler... babies, for example, understand self before they understand the existence of others.

But mathematically speaking... cultures learn how to count positive integers (starting at one) long before they figure out zero. That is not surprising though when you think that positive integers are concrete objects... where as zero is an abstract concept.
Cycloptichorn

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 05:46 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Not sure I agree with you...

The idea of 1 and the idea of 2 are much older than the idea of zero.

Most Ancient civilization, such as the Greeks and Romans, understood 1 and 2 very well... but had no way of representing, or understanding, "zero" as a number". Some cultures used a "zero" as a placeholder... but not as a number (i.e. they didn't use it in arithmetic).

I personally think 1 is simpler... babies, for example, understand self before they understand the existence of others.

But mathematically speaking... cultures learn how to count positive integers (starting at one) long before they figure out zero. That is not surprising though when you think that positive integers are concrete objects... where as zero is an abstract concept.

Shrug. I'm not trying to make an argument about the history of mathematics, but instead about what represents duality. Under commonly understood modern mathematics, the number 2 implies a system with three choices, whereas 1 and 0 are only two - binary, duality, either-or, on-off, day-night.

Cycloptichorn
fresco

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 05:54 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
babies, for example, understand self before they understand the existence of others.

.....and your evidence for that is...?
ebrown p

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 06:04 pm
@fresco,
Oh shucks... that does warrant evidence doesn't it. I remember finding this interesting in college psychology, but I should dig up references.

I believe Piaget had the idea of egocentrism-- and I think I remember studies that tested infants ability to understand that other people (besides herself) have feelings.

I wasn't able to find links in the few minutes I just spent Googling. Maybe someone can help? (Or, I will spend more time to dig it out later).
Cycloptichorn

1
Fri 6 Mar, 2009 06:08 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Oh shucks... that does warrant evidence doesn't it. I remember finding this interesting in college psychology, but I should dig up references.

I believe Piaget had the idea of egocentrism-- and I think I remember studies that tested infants ability to understand that other people (besides herself) have feelings.

I wasn't able to find links in the few minutes I just spent Googling. Maybe someone can help? (Or, I will spend more time to dig it out later).

I remember this from psych class as well - tests with mirrors. Very young babies could identify their reflection but not the reflections of other objects or people.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies

fresco

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:12 am
I think you will find that Piaget's concept of "egocentricity" is far more technical than "understanding self". It is a state involving "decentration" when the operation of action schemata intersect in a common locus nominally called "self". In opposition to this view are those who argue that "self" is a concept culturally acquired via language. (In other words "understanding" requires "conceptualization" via language).
fresco

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 10:10 am
@fresco,
EDIT OF ABOVE

I think you will find that Piaget's concept of "egocentricity" is far more technical than "understanding self". Understanding is a state involving "decentration" which occurs after that state in which the operation of action schemata intersect in a common locus nominally called "self". According to this view are those who argue that "self" is a concept culturally acquired via language. (In other words "understanding" requires "conceptualization" via language).
0 Replies

Francis

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 10:37 am
PQ wrote:
Is the number 2 simpler than the number 1?

No, they are equal, look here:

(I know what you gonna say, math buffs!)
High Seas

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 10:59 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

.....................
(I know what you gonna say, math buffs!)

True math buffs will NOT point out that you tried to mislead our hostess by the trivial solution of setting both terms equal to zero! No, Francis, the truly mathematical mind wants to know if you have any ideas towards solving this old problem >

Quote:
The Riemann hypothesis is that all nontrivial zeros are on this line.
http://primes.utm.edu/notes/rh.html

> and if you don't, why?
0 Replies

Brandon9000

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 11:04 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

PQ wrote:
Is the number 2 simpler than the number 1?

No, they are equal, look here:

(I know what you gonna say, math buffs!)

No mystery. You divided by zero, which led to an incorrect conclusion.

I'm not sure what the Queen means by 1 and infinity being the same thing. I mean they're not, since 1 indicates a single object and infinity gives the idea of a quantity larger than all actual numbers. I guess I'd have to hear more about that idea.
0 Replies

Francis

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 12:02 pm
High Seas wrote:
> and if you don't, why?

Because I'm too trivial a man to be an Eulerian.

But numbers, especially in equations, are like a field of flowers, they have an effect on me...
markr

1
Sat 7 Mar, 2009 11:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
"the number 2 implies a system with three choices"

Not always - the binary system (base 2) is made up of ones and zeros.

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