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July 5th, 2018, 08:39 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jun 2018 From: Groningen Posts: 14 Thanks: 0  How does math deal with the history of numbers?
How does math deal with the history of numbers? Suppose you have 70 euros and lose 30 euro. While someone else has 10 euros and gains 30 euro. In math, this would state 7030=10+30, and you are allowed to change this to 40=40. The both sides would be equal, but they are not equal, because they have a different history and probably will feel different with having 40 euro. So should you be allowed to change 7030=10+30 to 40=40? I know I make this example quite weird by adding some subjectivity into it. But I hope you get the drift. I am no mathematician, and I am not really sure whether I post this question in the right topic. Last edited by skipjack; July 7th, 2018 at 11:35 PM. 
July 5th, 2018, 11:39 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Oct 2008 From: London, Ontario, Canada  The Forest City Posts: 7,881 Thanks: 1088 Math Focus: Elementary mathematics and beyond 
You need another system; an accounting system for example. Two 2's make 4, regardless of where the 2's come from.
Last edited by greg1313; July 5th, 2018 at 11:42 AM. 
July 5th, 2018, 11:44 AM  #3 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 19,879 Thanks: 1835 
Obviously, 7030 and 10+30 are different expressions, but they have the same numerical value.

July 5th, 2018, 12:09 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,081 Thanks: 595  
July 5th, 2018, 06:50 PM  #5  
Senior Member Joined: May 2016 From: USA Posts: 1,192 Thanks: 489  Quote:
This has nothing to do with math and all to do with human psychology. EDIT: This is what marginalsm in economics is all about. A monetray gain of x and a monetary loss of x seldom have the same emotional and psychological weight. Last edited by JeffM1; July 5th, 2018 at 07:01 PM.  
July 7th, 2018, 05:17 PM  #6  
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,261 Thanks: 894  Quote:
Quote:
 

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