Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"We couldn't live without zero, but once we had to"

This cheeky yet powerful number has caused more controversy and provided more delight than any other digit I know. For one thing, it allows us to forecast the future. But to comprehend why and to understand zero’s power, you first have to understand its birth and its battles, because zero’s path to greatness was a rocky one.

Zero as a concept has been around since ancient times, popping up in Babylonian and Mayan inscriptions, when it was used it to calculate the passage of the seasons. Ancient scholars employed it as a symbol to represent the absence of a number, like the way we use a zero in 101 or 102 to signify that there are no multiples of 10 in the middle position. For the Babylonians, it was two little dart symbols on their sides.

Read the whole thing via Reddit: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161206-we-couldnt-live-without-zero-but-we-once-had-to

10 comments:

Lem said...

Btw I'm going to take this opportunity to ask for your help. I just started working this week but my first check won't be enough to cover my rent which is already late. 😅

I could really use your help. Thanks in advance.

Lem said...

Also. Does zero have something to do with December 7th? I think I just remember a movie maybe.

chickelit said...

The neutron has been designated as element zero. I forget by whom, but it was profound.

Methadras said...

Zero is the official number of the Democrat Party.

edutcher said...

It seems they conflated zero with null, a common failing.

Lem said...

Also. Does zero have something to do with December 7th? I think I just remember a movie maybe.

Just the nice people who bring you all those Japanese cars.

AllenS said...

On the way, Lem!

Lem said...

Thanks AllenS.

Lem said...

Thanks again to the people who've sent help.

Lem said...

Much appreciated

Lem said...

You guys and gals are fantastic. I just finished a 10hr shift and was thought sore very please by the generosity you people shown me.