- 29 Oct '07 15:28I go to an apple store and order minus five apples. The store owner hands me a bag of something and i go home. I open the bag and dump out the contents. What comes out of the bag? If it's nothing, shouldn't the apple guy have to refund my money or should he have paid ME for the minus apples, and why didn't i order 100 minus apples thereby making it a capitalist's dream?

Granny - 29 Oct '07 18:51

Fabian PLEASE get in touch with my bank .. they tell me I have banked a negative amount of money with them!!*Originally posted by FabianFnas***A number of apples is always positive. There exists no such thing as negative amount of apples, not even zero apples.**

Any attempt ot use negative amount of apples is beyond the real world and should be treated as abstract mathematics. - 29 Oct '07 20:36

Highly abstract, negative coins.*Originally posted by wolfgang59***Fabian PLEASE get in touch with my bank .. they tell me I have banked a negative amount of money with them!!**

In fact, it was the bank people once who invented negative numbers, only to deal with loaned money. In Venezia at the 15th centuray, I think. - 30 Oct '07 05:31 / 2 edits

It's a bag of money.*Originally posted by smw6869***I go to an apple store and order minus five apples. The store owner hands me a bag of something and i go home. I open the bag and dump out the contents. What comes out of the bag? If it's nothing, shouldn't the apple guy have to refund my money or should he have paid ME for the minus apples, and why didn't i order 100 minus apples thereby making it a capitalist's dream?**

Granny

No - it's empty. He's waiting for you to bring him the apples. The bag is so you can bring the apples back with you. - 30 Oct '07 08:57The minus sign is usually used to indicate a direction opposite to the normal one.

When you buy apples, the apples go from the store to you and the money form you to the store.

Buying negative apples would indicate apples going from you to the store and the money from the store to you. In other words, selling apples.

Bank people inventing negative numbers? Possible, but I think it more likely that mathematicians needed negative to get inverses under addition. - 30 Oct '07 09:52

From the beginning not even the mathematicians didn't like negative numbers. Some didn't even accept the existence of them. They thought of negative numbers as positive with a certain property only. "Negative number of apples? Rubbish!"*Originally posted by TheMaster37***Bank people inventing negative numbers? Possible, but I think it more likely that mathematicians needed negative to get inverses under addition.**

Even the bankers and economists didn't like negative numbers, therefore we have something, even today, that is called 'double Italian book-keeping. Instead of counting with negative numbers they summed the positive amounts separately and called it debit, and summed the negative amounts and called it credit. No need for the minus sign. Then debit and credit should be equal, if not ... you know.

The invention of negative numbers is a great leap forward, beginning with the economists and bankers, followed by mathematicians who gave a mathematical study of them. - 30 Oct '07 10:02

That level of formality in maths wasn't invented until later.*Originally posted by TheMaster37***Bank people inventing negative numbers? Possible, but I think it more likely that mathematicians needed negative to get inverses under addition.**

Although according to Wikipedia, the concept of negative numbers had existed quite a long time in the East before western bankers started using them. Again, often for representing debts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_numbers - 30 Oct '07 10:02
*Originally posted by mtthw***That level of formality in maths wasn't required until later.**

Although according to Wikipedia, the concept of negative numbers had existed quite a long time in the East before western bankers started using them. Again, often for representing debts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_numbers - 30 Oct '07 17:08

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Can Granny, somehow, use this negative stuff to screw the store owner and get Free money for myself. Then i wouldn't have to work. Oh! isn't that what bankers do every day?*Originally posted by AThousandYoung***It's a bag of money.**

No - it's empty. He's waiting for you to bring him the apples. The bag is so you can bring the apples back with you.

Granny - 02 Nov '07 02:44

Sort of. It's called not paying your credit card bill.*Originally posted by smw6869***Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Can Granny, somehow, use this negative stuff to screw the store owner and get Free money for myself. Then i wouldn't have to work. Oh! isn't that what bankers do every day?**

Granny - 02 Nov '07 14:49

So you sold him 5 apples and he put the moolah in the bag, what's the big deal about that? You didn't order a minus 100 apples because you only had 5 total.*Originally posted by smw6869***I go to an apple store and order minus five apples. The store owner hands me a bag of something and i go home. I open the bag and dump out the contents. What comes out of the bag? If it's nothing, shouldn't the apple guy have to refund my money or should he have paid ME for the minus apples, and why didn't i order 100 minus apples thereby making it a capitalist's dream?**

Granny - 02 Nov '07 15:25

How much did you pay for these minus five apples? Minus 2 dollars?*Originally posted by smw6869*

Granny