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Old June 5 2013, 08:49 PM   #51
Silvercrest
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Lost in Moria (Arlington, WA, USA)
Re: Division By Zero

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
You did not burst my bubble. I've already stated that our knowledge of zero may well be the same in the future. I never stated that we'd absolutely have new understanding of it.
Then the answer is: If our understanding of zero is the same, then dividing by zero will still be an undefined operation. Data would have the same understanding of it ... though as noted, he could go on for hours about it.

If our understanding of zero is different, then dividing by zero would also be defined differently. There's no way for us to predict what that means. In which case the answer regarding Data is, "Sure, why not?" At that point we're just making stuff up anyway.

And nothing says the understanding would be limited to Data or that he'd understand it any better. If there's somehow a different definition, then everyone might know it.

Zameaze wrote: View Post
Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I guess that's why mathematicians say that 1/0 is undefined. They don't say it's equal to infinity.
Division by zero is an "undefined operation" means it is impossible to have a real number answer to the equation. If you asked Data to divide by zero, his head wouldn't explode, he would just recognize the request as an impossibility, the same as if he were asked to count to Infinity, or to square a circle.
True for most people. But if Kirk asked it, Data's head would explode.
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