12 Nov '14 19:562 edits

Recently, some people here were complaining that the proposition that

1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... = 1 was a 'paradox' (or simply too confusing).

After some mathematical lectures at Harvard, Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880) reportedly said:

"Gentlemen, this is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical. We cannot

understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it,

and therefore we know it must be the truth." He was referring to:

i^i = e^(-pi/2) ~ 0.2078... (which he called a 'mysterious formula' ).

By the way, speaking of his usage of 'gentlemen', no women evidently attended

Benjamin Peirce's lectures. He, a devout Christian, approved of slavery.

Benjamin Peirce was very much an American man of the (early) 19th century.

"Mathematics is the science that draws necessary conclusions."

--Benjamin Peirce (1866, in _Linear Associative Algebra_)

1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... = 1 was a 'paradox' (or simply too confusing).

After some mathematical lectures at Harvard, Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880) reportedly said:

"Gentlemen, this is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical. We cannot

understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it,

and therefore we know it must be the truth." He was referring to:

i^i = e^(-pi/2) ~ 0.2078... (which he called a 'mysterious formula' ).

By the way, speaking of his usage of 'gentlemen', no women evidently attended

Benjamin Peirce's lectures. He, a devout Christian, approved of slavery.

Benjamin Peirce was very much an American man of the (early) 19th century.

"Mathematics is the science that draws necessary conclusions."

--Benjamin Peirce (1866, in _Linear Associative Algebra_)