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Jun. 30th, 2005 @ 01:17 pm Question
Feeling: contemplativecontemplative

I hope this is not out of place for me to ask, but I am having a small debate with someone on apologetics. I just want to make sure that I am understanding something correctly that has to do with mathematical place values. I want to make sure I am explaining it correctly.

Ok, let's say I have the number 29.71. This is used to represent a certain date. Would this number not be able to be divided into 29 full days (full 24-hour periods) and .71 of another day, bringing the date to the 30th?

I know this seems rather elementary, but I just want to make sure I am understanding it correctly and have not somehow gotten that confused (especially since I've been tutoring 4-6th graders in stuff like this and myself being several years into my education).

Any further explanation that I may use or confirmation or whatnot is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Date:July 1st, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
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What you are saying makes sense. But I have never seen that notation applied to dates before.

I guess it would depend on if the first day started at 1.00 or 0.00. If it started at 1.00 then 29.71 would still be the 29th day until 30.00. If it started at 0.00 then it would be the 30th day at 29.01. Hmmm either way, I don't think that you can "round" 29.71 up to 30. Unless there is some agreed apon time for example after sunset people used to consider it the end of the day for fasting and such. So maybe then you could call it the "next day" even though techically it wasn't.

The closest thing I can relate it to a problem where say a bus can hold 25 people and there are 70 people in all. You would need 3 busses to take all the people even though each bus isn't full. To the same effect say you were taking a shuttle and it wouldn't go until it was full. Only two shuttles would go and the remaining 20 people would be out of luck. (I just typed all this and now realize that it doesn't actually apply, but I am not going to erase it anyway).

This probabaly isn't helpful but good luck in your debate.
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Date:July 13th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
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This may be put here a little late, but I couln't help but answer.

If you are on the 29th day with 0.71th of a day in, then you would be exactly 17 hours, 2 minutes, and 24 seconds into the day.

I get that by doing this: 0.71*24.
The first value is part of a day; the second value is the how many hours into the day.
The answer to that would be exactly 17.04.
Then you subtract the seventeen because that is how many hours you are in.
Then I did this: 0.04*60.
The first value is the part of an hour; the second value is how many minutes in an hour.
The answer to that would be exactly 2.4.
Then you subtract the two because that is how many minutes you are in.
And the last thing I did was this: 0.4*60.
The first value is part of a minute; the second value is how many seconds are in the minute.
The answer to that is exactly 24.

So, you get 17 hours, 2 minutes, and 24 seconds.

That means you have 6 hours 57 minutes, 36 seconds until the 30th day. That is appoximately 1/4 of a day. From here it depends on your committment to mathematics and the laws and logics of the subject. If you strictly follow in the laws of mathematics, you cannot do anything mathematically illegal. In this case, it would mean that you are forgetting about these decimal point values altogether as number, and as matter in the fourth demention: time. You are excusing the value of time. If you wish to go about this strictly mathematically, I say do not forget these numbers. The second after the twenty ninth day is not the twenty ninth day anymore: it is the second after that date; a minute would make it a minute after that date; and an hour would make it an hour after that date. But you are not yet on the thirtieth day either.

A day is described as a twenty four hour period. That means the twenty four hours could start at this very moment and last a day. It is only in our human head's to make 0:00am the starting point, viewed as the middle between sunset and sunrise of the next day. This system is made to help us humans understand the complexity of time more easily. I think that it is the complexity of time that you are asking about...

I sure hope that I did not make this too complicated for you! Please feel free to ask me to elaborate some more!
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Date:September 9th, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
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I could be wrong, but it seems to me that this is simply a matter of notation. 29.71 could mean that you have 29 complete days (24 hours) and .71 of the 30th day, if you started at zero. If you started @ 1, then you would not actually start the 29th day until 30.