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bigjeff5 comments on How to Convince Me That 2 + 2 = 3 - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 September 2007 11:00PM

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Comment author: bigjeff5 03 March 2011 07:54:41PM 0 points [-]

Yet if you counted the grains of sand, you would have as much sand as is contained in four piles of sand - 2+2=4.

This is the same as saying when I add 2+2 and get 4, I start with two numbers and only get one number. It's true, but you've fooled yourself into believing this is some profound mathematical truth (and in a sense it is, but not the way you originally thought), when in fact it was so obvious to anybody who wasn't trying to fool themselves that it did not need pointing out.

This is also the same as starting with two groups of two apples, adding them together, and getting one group of four apples. I'm not disappointed by this result. In fact, the very reason I have four apples is because I have merged two groups of two apples into a single group. The result of this merger is four apples.

Comment author: Arandur 27 July 2011 09:15:53PM 0 points [-]

Yet if you counted the grains of sand, you would have as much sand as is contained in four piles of sand - 2+2=4.

Could you please define a "pile"? :3

Comment author: DSimon 01 October 2012 08:05:46PM 3 points [-]

A pile is a collection of 0 or more grains of sand.