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    Re: 0000 not 2400?
    From: Dave Weilacher
    Date: 2004 Oct 18, 14:10 -0700

    0000 vs 2400
    12am vs 12pm
    You guys may be getting ready to stumble onto the missing link (universal 
    unifying theory) of quantum mechanics.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Fred Hebard 
    Sent: Oct 18, 2004 2:00 PM
    Subject: Re: 0000 not 2400?
    On Oct 18, 2004, at 2:51 PM, George Huxtable wrote:
    > Time has a history that goes a long way back, as is clear by the
    > famiiarity
    > we have with clocks marked in Roman numbers. Without a symbol for
    > zero, or
    > the idea that you could count and measure things starting at zero
    > rather
    > than starting at one, how would you mark midday, logically, in Roman
    > numerals? Can't be done! So we have been stuck to an illogical
    > numbering
    > for those two hours each day, even though, for most clocks, we have
    > since
    > changed to an Arabic numbering system in which zero presents no
    > problem.
    > To widen it further, isn't it another absudity that our date-of-the
    > month
    > start at one, rather than zero?
    > As a result, calculating the interval between two events with known
    > dates
    > and times, becomes a real nightmare, to do longhand or to write a
    > program
    > to do it.
    > I will avoid refrain from discussing years, decades, centuries, and
    > millennia, in the interests of my blood-pressure.
    > George.
    The following may have some bearing on a psychological aversion to zero
    related to the late development of the concept.  When talking about the
    age of trees, one commonly refers to how many years old they are.
    However, people have great difficulty understanding the statement,
    "this tree is zero years old."  For human babies, we sidestep the
    question by saying the baby is x months old, or y days old, or z hours
    old.  I suspect that would help with trees too.
    I always found modulo arithmetic or algebra very confusing, and still
    do.  But even without the added difficulty of the cyclic nature of
    time, measuring the distance between two points can lead to confusion:
    there are 11 separate numbers from 0 to 10, including the zero.  On
    good days, I can keep that straight, usually by counting on my fingers.
    Dave Weilacher
    .IBM AS400 RPG contract programmer

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