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(no subject)
 (Anonymous)

03:49pm 15/07/2007 (UTC)

More than that, if you keep going the lyrics are metrically palindromic. (1/1/2/3/5/7/5/3/2/1/1 . . .)

Also, 1 is *not* a prime. Going all the way back to Euclid (maybe further) primes got their importance from being the unique building blocks of factorization, and were defined by reference to the fact that every positive integer greater than one can be written uniquely as a product of primes. But if you include one as a prime, this breaks down: x = x*1 = x*1*1 = x*1*1*1 . . . and so on.

(no subject)
 unlikelychrist

04:08pm 15/07/2007 (UTC)

A prime number is described to me as one that "is only divisible by 1 and itself". That's good enough for me.

(no subject)
 (Anonymous)

10:41pm 15/07/2007 (UTC)

Not for mathematicians -- that "and" is very important. Like most things you learn in elementary school it's a useful oversimplification that isn't quite true.

One is the *unit* for the integers, and the distinction between a unit and a prime is important. The generalized definition of a prime is any element p of a ring (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_(mathematics)) that's not zero or a unit and can't be factored into p = a * b (where a and b are also nonzero and not units). So "primeness" isn't just for numbers, and you can't really define primes axiomatically in a way that allows the unit to be one of them without mucking up most of useful mathematics.

(no subject)
 unlikelychrist

12:21am 16/07/2007 (UTC)

I am so not having written an entire giant essay unifying metaphysics, western theology, and eastern theology, only to have the damned thing ruined by a numerical technicality. Don't like it? Fine. Ignore the entire bloody message altogether and enjoy Hell.

Looking right past the important messages to pick out the bleeding semantics and technicalities that it suits you to get hung up on.
They did that once before.
And called it THE BIBLE.

Christ.

(no subject)
 (Anonymous)

03:35pm 24/07/2007 (UTC)

In math, the technicalities are everything. This particular technicality just happens to be irrelevant to the spirit of your message.

Funny you should mention the Bible; it makes a lot of factual claims that are simply not true, but one can still appreciate the messages contained within it in spite of this. But there's a number of people who don't get that and think that if Darwin was right then moral reasoning is futile (yes, really). Their big mistake is not appreciating that hitching your philosophy to factual claims comes with the annoying catch that those claims might turn out to be incorrect.