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Re: Making 'eq' == 'eql' in bignum branch

From: Herring, Davis
Subject: Re: Making 'eq' == 'eql' in bignum branch
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2018 01:26:35 +0000

> The original formulation could have been better, but to me
> it didn't look like a rejection of expertise… rather, I took it
> as a statement that the word "number" gets assigned
> different meanings across fields.

You're definitely right that it could have been better: I now realize that I 
made a poor assumption.  Re-quoting:

> Signed infinities are convenient symbols, but they're not numbers; I
> recall the horrified reaction of a mathematician when I told her about
> IEEE infinities

>From context, I took this to mean that the mathematician in question objected 
>to IEEE infinities _because +/-inf "aren't numbers"_, when her opinion could 
>easily have been something rather more nuanced like "the utility of 
>floating-point arithmetic is reduced by the inclusion of values that are not 
>real numbers".  There are legitimate issues with IEEE arithmetic, like the 
>fact that infinities are produced despite the general rule that results are 
>supposed to be rounded to the nearest representable value (which can't ever be 

My apologies for presuming to know the reasoning of someone not even party to 
the conversation!


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