1/27/2022 2:01 AM
Dear Every Teacher Ever,
I hope you are having a wonderful, fun, and relaxing morning! As the semester ends today, I just wanted to ask you a quick last-minute question.
I confess I am partial to odd numbers. The number 1 is so graceful, so elegant, so perpetually divisible. Make a wish at 11:11, a number as beautiful as its factors: 1, 11, and 101. The number 1 does no harm. But be wary of subtracting 1 by its evil twin across the town line. At the cusp of right and wrong, we reach the ugly duckling: 0. 0 is the only child. It reduces all efforts from other numbers to itself and makes no effort to reciprocate when you add it to the group chat. But you need to be careful. The division of 0 led Archimedes to cut up his spheres and Descartes to draw spiky circles, increasing the universe’s entropy—and the tears of students eternally.
If I asked you to pass me a 1, with no knowledge of the fact that you held a 1 in one hand and a 0 in the other, you could complete the transaction, picking the correct number between 1 or 0 and earning my respect as a fellow “1” keeper. However, if I asked you to pass me all your numbers, I would be quite unhappy with receiving an imposter 0. Even if you had infinite hands, all but one holding the number 1, this friendship would fail.
If the first input is True, and the second input is False, the entire statement needs only to be True if one of the inputs is True itself. Wittgenstein’s Truth Tables, where True maps to 1 and False maps to 0, prove one universal truth: 1 is always greater than 0.
Thus, the answer must be True. You must pick 1. You must always say yes.
However, I’m quite understanding. Is there a grey area, a Twilight Zone where all truth is false, where a light switch can balance in the middle, and where you can select “maybe” as an answer?
If we look halfway between 0 and 1, we find 0.5. 0.5 is already off to a good start, being an odd number. It encompasses the definition of odd, making a number smaller when multiplied yet greater when divided. Perhaps 0.5 is the child of 1 and 0, where enemies cross to lovers, and these opposites decide to conform to their chemical stereotypes and attract. Would this mean that 0.75 favors Parent 1 and 0.25 favors Parent 0? Is Parent 1’s favorite child 0.999… where the 9 repeats forever? Are these children the exceptions to these number line extremes of True or False, Yes or No, or varying degrees of moderate children in an equally conservative and liberal household?
Essentially, what I’m asking for, is a small favor. My current grade in this course is an 89.4%. I was wondering if it would be possible to increase this 0.1% to reach a final grade of 89.5% for the first semester. Please let me know—I’d be happy to discuss this further in class. Thank you very much!
Very respectfully submitted,
Every Student Ever