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Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd. Message Board

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  • john.hertford john.hertford Nov 3, 2012 12:30 PM Flag

    Numbers Theory #1; Or, How I Lost a Bar Bet

    In fact, everything dividend by zero is unsolvable or rather "undefined", it is not an equation though, as there is only one side to it, but only a simple computation. On a related note, you might want to read up on L´Hopital´s rule which can enable division by 0 or other indeterminate forms when dealing with limits (even infinity).
    If you want to win the round back from your friend, assuming he is not too well versed in mathematics, ask him if/why 1 = 0.999(infinity). Then you can triumphantly exclaim that 0.99... must be 1 because 1-1 = 0 and 1-0.99... = 0.00(infinity), which is the simplest proof of the above.
    Or, since you are, if memory serves, a lawyer, you might want to formulate it differently so as to sound a bit more tricky.

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    • I like that .999 (repeating) example. I get how to zap him if he says that .999 (infinity) doesn't equal one, but is there also a way to zap him if he says they're equivalent?

      Yeah, I'm a lawyer, which is why this numbers stuff isn't really in my wheelhouse, but there's one other bar trick I know that sometimes works: take a regular 6 sided dice and claim you can roll whatever number the other person picks more often than the 1 in 6 times that some other, non-magical person would roll it.

      Naturally, the stakes have to be 6:1, so you owe 1 drink/pride point/whatever when you don't get it right, but they owe six when you do.

      The trick is that the proper payout's only 5:1 on a 6 sided dice, but the other person will probably cause himself to believe the trick lies with the dice itself, or how you roll it, or which numbers you get him to pick, etc.

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