Re: surrogate terminology

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sat Sep 16 2000 - 20:25:39 EDT

At 3:36 AM -0800 9/13/00, Michael Everson wrote:
>Ar 14:43 -0800 2000-09-12, scríobh Kenneth Whistler:
>>BMP: real characters
>>Plane 1: complex characters
>>Plane 2: irrational characters
>>Plane 14: imaginary characters
>A lovely taxonomy.
>Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
>15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
>Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
>27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

Not quite accurate, though, since irrationals are a subset of the
reals, and imaginaries are complex. Mathematically, quaternions come
next in the sequence after complex numbers, followed by octonions.
This is of no help in the current case, of course.

Of course[1], there are numerous other types of numbers. Donald
Knuth's book "Surreal Numbers" describes Conway's scheme for defining
all numbers at once. This term may be of some use to us. Conway
numbers include transfinites and infinitesimals of all orders.
Numbers, in Conway's definition, turn out to be a subset of
turn-based two-person discrete games with perfect information.

In reality, of course, the Unicode code space is a very short initial
segment of the natural numbers (taken as ordinals rather than
cardinals}. Deal with it.

"Let us consider the natural numbers [begins writing on blackboard]
0,...1,...2,...oops."--From an actual math lecture, according to my
brother Gregory Cherlin, Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers

[1] This is the mathematician's "of course", used to introduce a fact
known only to the speaker among those present


Edward Cherlin, Spamfighter <> "It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

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