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Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg106567] Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 06:13:47 -0500 (EST)

On 1/15/10 at 3:20 AM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote:

>In article <hhhmkr$o7g$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
>Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu> wrote:

>>To my mind, the only possible surprise here -- simply because I
>>never looked at it before, concerns -Infinity.  But anything
>>concerning infinite quantities is bound to be so special that
>>nothing about handling of Infinity would really surprise me.

>Agreed -- I'd also be extremely cautious in that limit.  But I
>behaving differently (AFAIK) from every other single-character
>symbol in the alphabet?  (esp. E and Pi)

E and Pi are things with real values. I is a complex. Most other
single-character symbols will typically be things with no
assigned value. These are three distinctly different cases. So,
turn the question around. Why should three distinctly different
cases behave the same?

One can make arguments for or against this particular design
characteristic of Mathematica. But in terms of getting work
done, such discussions are essentially pointless. The most
efficient way to get things done now with Mathematica is simply
to understand how it works and make use of it rather than trying
to force Mathematica to work in a manner different than the way
it was designed.



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