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Lee2 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: Lee2 01 October 2007 03:38:07PM 0 points [-]

It is possible in today's wonderful world of computers to have 2 + 2 = 3, and be both correct and understandable.

For Instance:

We have two integer variables x and y. Our equation is x + x and the outcome is placed in y (ie. x + x = y) We will view the value of y.

We take the value 1.7 and input it into x. Since x is an integer it will (in most cases) be rounded to 2. Therefore x = 2.

It is possible, however, for y to receive the value of 1.7 + 1.7 which, in today's accepted math, equals 3.4.

Placing 3.4 in an integer variable will set y to 3.

Therefore, you have 2 + 2 = 3.

BTW, this is why doing floating point math with integer variables on computers is a very bad idea......