# Why does 1+1=2?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by qfrontier, Mar 9, 2003.

1. ### bold standardRegistered Senior Member

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1+(-1)=0 is it certain that anti-matter exists?

3. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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I have also thought about what has been posted and those of you who call it stupid obviously aren't seeing outside the box but rather attacking the question from a different direction. I guess it's about expected norms in a society but in this case every society put together that uses math in practical applications. One is just a name thats given to a single unit and the two is a name given to a numeral of 2 units. What if one was called three from the get go then it would be three + three = two. But i think you are asking why 1+1 = 2 as in why the numeral unit 1 added to another 1 equals 2 because it has to in order for math to work. I am no genius in math but Math is absolute and in order for it to work it has to produce absolute answers. So 1+1=2 because it has to or the whole known universe will collapse into nothingness.

5. ### nkumarRegistered Member

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there is a famous Indian saying 'ek aur ek gyaaraah'that means one and one is eleven

7. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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nope, it's not certain AFAIK. just an theoretical example, anyway.

One huricane + one huricane can = 0 huricanes, if the forces of the two storms are just right; or it can equal 1 really big hurricane, if the forces are just right in the oposite direction.

1 man+1 woman+9months can = [2,3,4,5,6, or even more if the woman is taking fertility drugs!]

one photon plus one photon?
one car driving 70mph North + one semi-truck driving 70 mph South?
one pound of grain and one cow?
one cigarette and one smoker?
when does 1=10?

you can define math however you like- it represents what ever you want it to represent. if you want it to map to common items such as apples, oranges, then most of the time, you get 1+1=2. As soon as you start mapping the 'realistic' values of 1 to something other than simple commodity goods, you won't always get 2.

What does one thought plus one thought equal?

8. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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hehehehe yup i know of that one quite well

...it's another example of our doing....1+1=2 because me made it so, we gave them the universal symblols that we did do they could be aplied in greater math.

9. ### DaedalusRegistered Member

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The true question here is why not?

10. ### bold standardRegistered Senior Member

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you don't appear to understand the concepts 'addition' or 'number' or mostly 'communication.'
you can use the word 'math' to describe strawberry milkshakes if you want, but it won't do you any good in communicating to anyone. it is true that snake + ambivolence = pickle-relish when snake = you, ambivolence = are being, and pickle-relish = silly.

11. ### RedshiftRegistered Member

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(Pertaining to the end of the first page)

infinity is actually still a theory. since we cant prove it exists we will never know if it actually does. even if we knew that infinity did exist we would have to be gods to contemplate it anyways.

12. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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I like this post alot.

I'd say, without trying to sound too pompus, self-involved and ass-like, that I fully understand the concepts of 'addition', 'number' and 'communication.'

I understand that as long as two people agree on the definition of an item, be it a word, a dollar, a number, or an idea, then they can compare and share information more easily.

That does not make those words, dollars, or ideas actually any more real than they were before, it just makes them easier to talk about.

1+1=2 because it is generally accepted that this is the case. That doesn't make it any more real. Don't confuse the real world system that these numbers stand for for the numbers themselves, now!
If the world blows up tomorrow, and all the humans on it die, then one earth scrap + one earth scrap still = two earth scraps according to our definition. But there won't be anyone around to discuss it, so why does it matter? We are talking about proxy values here. Numbers don't exist in reality without objects to associate them to. People(or other cognitive creature of your choice) define that association, using the properties of the real world object in question. The properties of those real world objects define if the math we use to describe them holds up. Most of the time, when dealing will simple, non-moving matter, it does apply.

again, that doesn't mean that numbers=reality. Numbers represent reality - which is a very different thing.

Once we move away from real-world objects and into theoretical math, then 1+1 only =2 where all properties of simple matter still apply; in particular, where the numbers involved associate in the right way. 1+1=2 only when 2-1=1. When dealing with number systems, and more importantly operation sets, that hold to different rules than that of simple matter, then conventional math falls apart. 1+1=2 only sometimes, and even when it does 2-1 may not =1.
When in the realm of thought, every option is possible.

http://www.math.niu.edu/~beachy/aaol/contents.html#index
as I said on page one, check out undergrad abstract algebra for the answer to this question. Given an operation on standard integers 'e' where 1e1=2 and the inverse of 'e', called (-e) gives 2(-e)1=1, then e must be the same operation as what we commonly refer to as "+". why? because xex=y and y(-e)x=x, no matter what numbers we put in for x or for y. it's the definition of e. and that definition of e matches the definition for +, so they are the same thing.
1e1=2 because if it didn't, e would not be defined as the same thing as +. e would not be defined the same as how humans defined the '+' operation to match the results of simple matter in the real world.

Last edited: Apr 3, 2003
13. ### TruthSeekerFancy Virtual Reality MonkeyValued Senior Member

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qfrontier,

Mathematics is a form of language. "1" represent one defined unit, "2" represents two defined units, "+" is the sign we use for adding and "=" is the sign we use for representing equality.

So what "1+1=2" really means is that if you get "1" apple and put it together with another you will have "2" apples.

You just need to know the definitions of the symbols in order to "read" mathematical formulae, like any other language.

Why is that way? The reason why is that is because of the same reasons French is French and English is English: no reason at all. ALthough you can consider the historical facts, but in truth there is no reason why is that way. Those are just one mathematical language which we call arabic numbers. There were and there are others.

Just a language...

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15. ### bold standardRegistered Senior Member

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Hehe. : )
I do agree with you that there is no a-priori knowledge. And also a very good summary of free will you said- "in the realm of thought, all options are possible." Still it follows that knowledge is contextual, therefore possible in context. I haven't had a chance yet to decide if I agree that e=+ in your example. But still it seems obvious that if through a long chain of reasoning, you come to the conclusion that 1+1=non-2 in some instances, it is more likely that there is a flaw in whatever got you to that point?

What I meant when I criticized your use of the concept of 'addition' is that, when I use that word, I don't mean just any arbitrary combination of objects. It seems to me that combining atomic particles would be more analogous to a mathematical principle other than addition (say multiplication or some hybrid maybe?), because addition keeps its autonomy, correct? If you have one particle of matter and an anti-particle, you have two particles.. until you combine them. But that's Genus=particle and two different Species= matter and anti-matter. 1+1=2 but A+B=undefined, even if you know A and B are both Genus=[undefined variables]. Is that what you meant?

apple+orange= 2 peices of fruit. if you crossbreed them somehow, that's not addition anymore, you can't say all the fruits' decendents are the sum of the two without dropping the context.. even a hundred generations later, if someone remembers the original apple and orange, they would view them as "two peices of fruit".
So A+B=(2 undefined variables). but that doesn't magically tell you what the variables stood for and that their sum is the number 2.

Last edited: Apr 4, 2003
16. ### RedshiftRegistered Member

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yes actually. wen particle accelerators are activated and particles are smashed they create a small amount of anti-matter that is vaporized just after impact of the original particles.

17. ### bold standardRegistered Senior Member

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Wow really? I'm going to University of Houston right now, which is big on quantum physics. I should ask someone about it. Though I did have a frustrating experience last time I approached someone about that kind of stuff- they tried to explain how the theory of special relativity implies that skate boarders step out of time when they do a 360 kick-flip, as "sages" like mystical avatars opperating dialectically to reality through their emotions, and how this means that every religion is exactly the same. I'm not kidding! This is what happens when you opperate on the premise 1+1=undefined. lol.

18. ### RedshiftRegistered Member

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well i have seen this on SEVERAL different shows about particle accelerators and im not 100% sure but i am pretty sure it is really unstable and doesnt last that long in our "reality"

19. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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You're right, for about a 1000th of a sec or so...some longer but then again even for existing for that ephermal moment signifies the fact that it exists.

20. ### RedshiftRegistered Member

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yes and it can only be contained with mag feilds and we dont have anough containment for that yet . the best we have is in fusion reactors and they can contain for 14 sec max now. its getting higher everyday

21. ### DaMenace123Registered Member

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A*A - A*A = A^2 - A^2
A^2 - A^2 = A(A-A)
A^2 - A^2 = (A-A)(A+A)
therefore
A(A-A) = (A-A)(A+A)
Dividing both sides by (A-A) gives us
A = A+A
A = 2A
1 = 2

22. ### EX!STRegistered Member

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this thread should have been posted in liek a maths section or something... :bugeye:

23. ### MacMRegistered Senior Member

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Anti-Matter

Bold Standard,

Yes anti-matter is routinely made and yes it must be stored in a magnetic confinement. But I do believe it has been made and stored for rather extended periods. Don't recall the specific time but it was in terms of days not micro-seconds.

Confinement time in fusion is difficult because you are dealing with a >100,000,000F plasma. Anti-matter is not any more difficlult to contain magnetically than matter.

Last edited: Apr 17, 2003