Zero Means Zero

| Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Microwave, World of Warcraft, please, sit. I want to talk to you about a problem we've been having. Maybe we need some historical context for this, you know, for perspective.


Where do I even begin? Okay, here's roughly how I remember it, and not directly copied from Wikipedia.

"By the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, the Babylonian mathematics had a sophisticated sexagesimal positional numeral system. The lack of a positional value (or zero) was indicated by a space between sexagesimal numerals. By 300 BC, a punctuation symbol (two slanted wedges) was co-opted as a placeholder in the same Babylonian system. In a tablet unearthed at Kish (dating from about 700 BC), the scribe Bêl-bân-aplu wrote his zeros with three hooks, rather than two slanted wedges."

"Records show that the ancient Greeks seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number. They asked themselves, "How can nothing be something?", leading to philosophical and, by the Medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and existence of zero and the vacuum. The paradoxes of Zeno of Elea depend in large part on the uncertain interpretation of zero."

See that's where I think it came from. You're like the Greeks. Except not quite. Maybe you're like... Anyway, my point is that you're stupid.

Counting goes 0, 1, 2, 3, and so on. Counting down goes toward zero and... Okay imagine that you're running a race and there is a countdown so it goes 3, 2, 1, GO! What? No. No that's just stupid. I have never ever run a race that went 3, 2, 1, 0, GO!

Look, let me just say my bit and you can go back to being stupid.

If the timer is at 0, that should mean you turn off, not beep a bunch and keep rotating the food for a few more seconds. And if fear is at 0 seconds that means it is DONE. I am SICK and TIRED of getting KILLED because you think that ZERO LASTS TEN SECONDS!


Well yes, thank you for joining me here today.


Pathak said...

I remember having a not so similar argument with some friends at uni. We were doing an IT course, and I was trying to explain to them that C arrays start at 0, while Pascal arrays start at 1. And this was only because Pascal chooses to maintain the length of the array at position 0.

Anonymous said...

I'm used to WoW's zero lasting 0.9s, but I've only seen it last 10 seconds when I had lagged for 10 seconds. (All of the Blizzard timers show only the whole number portion, so if it says "2m", that really means "somewhere between 2m0s and 2m59s")

Klepsacovic said...

Ten seconds was obviously an exaggeration. I rarely saw the zero seconds last longer than seven or eight.

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