To become or not to become. LO23899

From: Fred Nickols (
Date: 02/05/00

Replying to LO23887 --

Replying to AM de Lange in LO23887 --

Thanks for the paragraph below, At. Every time I encounter > or < I have
to pause and think about what the order relation symbol means. I don't
get it wrong, I simply don't do it quickly or instinctively or
automatically. I had no words describing the features of the order
relation symbol, only a meaning for them when seen in context, that is,
between two other symbols. By stating the obvious (i.e., pointing out that
the symbol has a small end and a large end -- something that would elude
only an innumerate like me) I have a hunch I will be able to pick up speed
from now on.

>Let us quickly tie up some loose ends. Look at "<" and ">". We may think
>of each as two lines meeting each other at an angle. Each line has two
>ends. Where the two lines join, the distance between the two ends are
>"small" (in fact zero) so that on the other side the distance between the
>two ends are "large". For example, in the symbol "<" the "small" is to the
>left and the "large" is to the right. Hence, should we compare the numbers
>2 and 4 with "<", we will write the 2 at the "small" side and the 4 at the
>"large" side, i.e 2 < 4. But should we compare 2 and 4 with ">" rather
>than "<", we will again write the 2 at the "small" side and the 4 at the
>"large" side which gives 4 > 2.

>Andrew, this contribution is actually the first part of a "rich picture".
>I will continue the "painting rich picture" in a following one. Perhaps
>you can already intuitively see where I am steering to. Is it
> /_\E = 0
> /_\S > 0
>Who cares to paint too?

I don't know what you're getting at, At, but I'll give it a shot.

         /_\E = 0
         /_\S > 0
         /_\S > /_\E
         /_\E < /_\S
             0 < /_\S

Hmm. Doesn't look like "painting" to me. Looks more like childish
scribbling. I have no idea what the symbols represent; all I've done is
shove them around by applying a few rudimentary rules.

>With caring and best wishes:

Same to you, At.


Fred Nickols The Distance Consulting Company "Assistance at A Distance" (609) 490-0095

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