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Robin_Hanson2 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: Robin_Hanson2 28 September 2007 01:10:44AM 6 points [-]

Eliezer is right; numbers are first an abstraction of the world around us. There are a vast number of possible abstractions; the reason we have been so very interested in numbers, compared to all the other possible abstractions, is that numbers happen to describe the world around us. It need not have been so.

Comment author: michaelcurzi 29 May 2011 03:50:36PM 3 points [-]

What's an example of another possible abstraction?

Comment author: Kenny 30 November 2011 10:37:15PM *  9 points [-]

Other possible abstractions:

These abstractions describe aspects of the world around us too, just not counting macroscopic objects like apples and earplugs.

Comment author: SebastianGarren 10 December 2012 10:50:37AM 0 points [-]

Yes it does need be so. Precisely because numbers are an abstraction of the world around us, an abstraction which we as wonderful human beings have advanced into a more and more sophisticated abstraction for many years, they reflect (if that is the right word) the world around us.

It is not "the unprecedented success of math," but of man.