Talk:Illegal number

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So is the 09 f9 series illegal or not? Do we know? EFF's article is awfully vague. They just lay out a case that might be made. Can I make numbers illegal myself or do I have to be a powerful corporation? Because if I can, I'd like to take 0.

Legal or not there should be linkage to/from the hd dvd key controversy page :).--Ray andrew 13:34, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Define Illegal[edit]

Are we talking illegal in the US or also somewhere else? This should be clarified in the article as (broken) US law is (luckily) not applicable in most parts of the world. Also the whole notion of "illegal" information is dubious to me ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Why it's appropriate to have an article about this[edit]

The fact of everything being a number is not known outside computing culture, and the huge outcry over "How can a number be illegal, that's nonsense!" evinces the notability of the concept. 00:03, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

The article violates wikipedfia's policies of proper attribution. Please provide reliable sources. A blog is not valid source for wikipedia. By the way, evidently neither you nor this article author didn't read the referenced blog carefully. Mukadderat 01:16, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Ten seconds in Google News finds a hardcopy magazine's article discussing the allegedly illegal number at the heart of the AACS encryption key controversy, using the exact phrase "illegal number" to describe it. The EFF DeepLinks article, which I cited and you reverted, is "produced by a well-known, professional researcher (scholarly or non-scholarly) in a relevant field" (namely Fred von Lohmann, himself notable) and as such I think it's a reliable and appropriate source for the point on which I cited it. See WP:V#SELF. I'm not sure it even qualifies as "self-published material", since EFF DeepLinks does have multiple contributors and editorial control of content. It's not a "blog" in the sense you appear to mean. Similarly, the takedown letter mirrored on Chilling Effects (itself notable - that's a clue) which I cited and you reverted, is a primary source, but entirely appropriate and necessary in the context to demonstrate that the DMCA is the law under which the number is being claimed to be illegal; that, too, qualifies under WP:RS as a reliable source and the rules in WP:NOR for when it's appropriate to use primary sources. 01:39, 5 May 2007 (UTC)


Someone just redirected this page to Illegal prime. I just undid that; if anything, I would recommend merging Illegal Prime into Illegal Number (all primes are numbers, but not all numbers are primes). In any case, discussion is required, we should not go for an immediate redirect. samwaltz 01:25, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I just blocked another redirect. samwaltz 01:59, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely, the hd-dvd key shows that it is not enough to just have an article on illegal primes. --MarSch 10:15, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Many of the responses of the deletion process indicated that they concur that illegal prime should be merge into this article. I will stick up the relevant merge notices. --MarSch 10:29, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

For reference, user Mikkalai has illegitimately removed the merge proposal from the article page without waiting for resolution on the issue, or providing motivation. I am restoring it. samwaltz 04:53, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

More Information required[edit]

There should be a link to Information and/or Information theory, since that is the basis for numbers having anything to do with issues of legality. And at the same time, the line "...any information that can be represented as a series of ones and zeroes..." makes little sense in view of the fact that "information" is precisely what can be represented as binary sequences, or, to quote Information: "Information is any represented pattern." --Marksouth 21:00, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Binary Numbers[edit]

"An image file or an executable program can be regarded as simply a very large binary number."

-There is no such thing as a "binary number". A file or a program can be regarded as a number, and can be represented in any base. --F Stevens

Binary strings / numbers in base-two notation are most commonly referred to as binary numbers. If you really have a gripe with it, take it up on that page. It is, however, currently standard English. samwaltz 22:46, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
"An image file or an executable program can be represented as simply a very large binary number."
might be better ? But the original statement is not incorrect - the author regarded it as a binary number !
-- (talk) 15:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Can images of the Atomium be regarded as a very large number? -- 20:18, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Could you explain? --Brandon Dilbeck 06:05, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Digital data, which under one interpretation represents an image, music or a movie, can also always be interpreted as a very large integer. --MarSch 10:22, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
One important feature of the AACS key not shared with images of the Atomium, DeCSS decryption code (as opposed to decryption keys), miniaturized RSA encryptors, and so on, is that the AACS key appears to be completely arbitrary. It was apparently chosen at random, and any other 128-bit number would have done equally well. Numbers that encode images, or executable software, can't be chosen arbitrarily - they have to have particular values, defined by rules other than the ones that make them illegal, in order to be illegal. So the AACS people's actions seem more like staking a claim on a naturally-occurring thing, whereas the actions of people who claim copyright over creative works seem more like creating something through human effort. Ed Felten discusses this in a recent Web log posting: [1] 13:35, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
A short summary of this blog post might be a good thing to include in this article. (Ed Felten is, after all, a reputable source, and worthy of mention). –Andyluciano 08:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion of the ``illegal`` numbers[edit]

The illegal prime article can include illegal primes. Therefore this article can include non-primes which are ``illegal`` in the same way. --MarSch 13:12, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Its not quite the same here, the whole idea with the illegal prime was that there was some other significant use of the number (ie its prime so its notable and useful for other reasons) so it could get around the DMCA on a technicality. The AACS encryption key on the other hand does not have any other significant use, and thus cannot escape the reach of the DMCA. --Ray andrew 17:32, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Sure it can escape the reach of the DMCA- on servers hosted outside the US. However, as Wikipedia is not yet willing to consider that option, we'll have to wait for the Supreme Court to challenge the law. samwaltz 18:43, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
There is also the argument of "previously available information"; the newspapers reporting the leaked identity of the undercover CIA agent were not criminally liable for it. They were reporting information already available.--Scorpion451 04:13, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Amen to that, what sort of country do we live in anyways, where people are willing to rat out their own agents in public newspapers, but dread violating the DMCA due to a fear of Hollywood's wrath? The DMCA has turned our so-called "freedom" into a laughing stock; and now the USA is the country where Russian scientists have been locked up for expressing the ideas that would let a blind person read an e-book.Zaphraud (talk) 17:33, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

With the exception of illegal prime (which was a suggested reasonable redirect target), the article does not provide a single reference to definition of illegal number. This is a blatant violation of wikipedia:Verifiability policy and the vote for deletion was a mockery of the basic principle wikipedia stands on; a yet another example how a dedicated handful may keep any topic in wikipedia.

I deleted everything which constitutes original research. Unfortunately I cannot delete the first sentence, which still sits unreferenced. If nothing new appears within 2 weeks, the article will be renominated for deletion. `'mikka 17:41, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I have reverted this. I'm not sure why this article seems to bug you so badly, Mikka, but the AfD established that this article is generally supported by WP:RS and not WP:OR. There are numerous refs that do talk about numbers being illegal in some respects and the Hogge ref actually uses the term "illegal number" repeatedly to talk about them including the AACS example. If there are specific items that are not supported, the {{cn}} tag is perfectly adequate reason for disruptive editing for what has been found to be a generally viable article that nonetheless still needs work. There are indeed overlaps among the references listed here and in illegal prime, but that's pretty reasonable since the topics are substantially overlapping (or one is a subset of the other), and the articles are already tagged to be merged. DMacks 17:57, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I think you are reading too much into the AFD. I don't see that the AFD established that the article is not OR. Most people didn't address this issue head-on and a number of people even said there needed to be more reliable sources but that the subject is notable or interesting (which doesn't really refute the OR arguments). As we both should know, the closing admin will often close keep even if there is one really good argument to delete, when many people say "keep" (despite AFD not being a vote, etc., etc.). Some admins will make a comment as to policy, but this one didn't. Are Mikka and I the only ones bothered that the very first sentence has a citation needed tag? Also, to Mikka, please stay cool; it's hard to convince people you have a reasonable argument if you start getting hot under the collar. --C S (Talk) 19:00, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
As I described in my comments to other sections above, there are references in this article that have been called "blogs" by the people who've repeatedly deleted them, but that in fact are written by recognized experts in the relevant fields, and not necessarily self-published. As such, those references are reliable sources under WP:RS and the "oh, they're 'blogs', they must be deleted under WP:RS" line is exactly the opposite of what WP:RS actually says. These are reliable secondary sources; they're the kind of sources that should be used. Please understand that I'm not saying the references in the article as of this writing should be exceptions to the rules - I'm saying that these references are well within the non-exceptional rules. I hope we can all also remember that the rules have a name for the deletion of on-topic, properly referenced material. 03:58, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
The deleted refereces do not define or use the term "illegal number". If you will play revert wars, your IP will be blocked. `'mikka 04:25, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
mikka, I expect more from an admin than making threats. Shame on you. --MarSch 09:53, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
There's no consensus (quite the contrary from my reading of others' AfD comments) that a generic descriptive term such as "illegal number" is required to be present in every article about this idea. See also the AACS legal notice that says that the number is "circumvention technology" which is legally's just definition-of-terms not OR to describe that number as illegal. DMacks 05:29, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
It is in fact OR, and not just definition. Nowhere in the AACS legal notice, despite what the current version of the article says, do they claim to own a number. The quote from the letter in the footnote, is "Illegal Offering of Processing Key to Circumvent AACS Copyright Protection [...] are thereby providing and offering to the public a technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof that is primarily designed, produced, or marketed for the purpose of circumventing the technological protection measures afforded by AACS (hereafter, the "circumvention offering"). Doing so constitutes a violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA")”. (My emphasis)
It says that distributing "technology, product, etc." for "the purpose of circumventing the..." is illegal. In other words, if you distribute this key for a specific purpose of circumventing the AACS technology, that is illegal.
In the AFD, somebody commented, "The number itself is not illegal, but exposing certain types of information is. To use an example, Scooter Libby was not convicted because Valerie Plame's name was illegal, but because he exposed information connecting her to the CIA. In the same way, the number isn't itself illegal (after all, it would be useless without knowledge of its purpose), but the exposed key to DRM software or some other secret information."
Or to make the example even simpler, your street address is not illegal for me to possess, but on Wikipedia at least, it can be a banning offense for me to reveal your address, as it is a secret (presumably, assume so for the sake of argument) that you live there. The consequences are more dire, depending on my apparent intent for revealing such information. The law makes all kinds of distinction about intent and purpose for lots of crimes. Why is it so hard for people to understand that distributing particular information with a particular intent may be illegal even if that information is not illegal to possess? Now of course, some people are affronted that such things can be illegal. But the point isn't that some number is illegal; it's that a particular secret is protected, and revealing that secret is in fact, under the DMCA, illegal. This is nothing new.
It's clear (to me at least) that the speculation around this issue is extremely misguided. There is a real issue: should revealing secrets designed to stop people from circumventing copyright protection be illegal? But it has little to do with people "owning" numbers. You can bet if there really was such a claim of ownership the EFF would have made a stink about it. But the only stink they've raised is about the real issue, as I've explained.
Is this speculation about illegal number notable? I don't think so. If it were (almost by definition), there would be a number of sources like well-respected newspapers and such reporting on this speculation. So far, they have chosen to avoid commenting. --C S (Talk) 18:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The idea isn't that a number is illegal in all respects, but that it could be illegal in some respects. I think the lead sentence is a bit misleading on this point (suggests that some single number is illegal to possess, to utter and to propagate, rather than having some subset of those restrictions apply), but don't know how to word it better. We now have several citations that use the term explicitly, and many others that discuss various illegal aspects (including whether such aspects exist) of some numbers, so we seem to meet the bar of notability for the idea that there are illegal aspects to some numbers (the idea may not be correct, but we have support for the idea existing). DMacks 19:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (Unindenting) Regarding C S's assertion that there's no claim of ownership on numbers: US Patent 5373560, as I mentioned on Talk:Illegal prime, covers certain uses of a few specific numbers, including both primes and non-primes. I myself would be inclined to agree with the interpretation that it's only specific uses of those numbers that are patented, not the numbers as such in the abstract; but I think that would be OR because it's my own original interpretation. Roger Schlafly, the holder of the patent, is himself a patent attorney and competent expert on what a patent might cover. I think I've read comments from him describing this patent as a patent on the numbers themselves, though I haven't been able to find such comments online. Scientific American has certainly described it that way (not freely online, but it's the July 1995 issue, page 30, article by Simson Garfinkel, who is himself notable: "Roger Schlafly has just succeeded in doing something no other mathematician has done: he has patented a number.") Eric Weisstein, a notable expert in mathematics, has also described this as a patent on the numbers as such.[2] I'm not sure whether it's on-topic for the article because the numbers are not claimed to be illegal to possess, but I think it's solidly supported that claims have been made of people owning numbers. 20:57, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually I thought to mention the Schlafly example to contrast, but I forgot to! Let's start with: I never asserted nobody claimed ownership of numbers, only in this case. But no matter, as far as I know, nobody has actually claimed s/he owns a number. As you say, that Schlafly patent is for use of certain numbers in certain cryptographic applications. So I would be very skeptical that Schlafly, competent as he is, would say otherwise. Weisstein is not, in any reasonable sense of the word, a "notable expert in mathematics", and the Garfinkel quote, I imagine as is often the case in popular writing, is purposefully sloppy to make an entertaining point. Does Garfinkel clarify this point later, I wonder? Since I don't have the article I can't answer. All I can say is that Garfinkel certainly thinks the patent is only for use of these large primes with Schlafly's algorithm, given by what he says in his book. I also get the impression that Schlafly has purposefully exaggerated the extent of the patent ("it's a patent on a number" etc.) to support his case that these kinds of patents are absurd, but I think (I've never heard him speak) that he clarifies this in the actual talks.
Anyway, I don't dispute that in the Schlafly situation, many people mistakenly claimed that the patent was on the actual number (rather than its use); however, the coverage of the Schlafly patent and the subsequent misreporting is of a far greater magnitude than what is going on here. But I don't know how relevant that is here. This "illegal number" stuff, from what I gather from the discussions, is mainly about numbers that are secret somehow or represent secret information. The patented numbers aren't actually secret. --C S (Talk) 21:47, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Notices of the ACM, May 2002, Roger Schlafly's letter to the editor on page 543:[3] "The readers might be interested to know that I have already patented a 309-digit integer as claim 37 of U.S. Patent 5,373,560, issued in 1994." He goes on to talk about how "some people thought that patenting a number was a new extreme". It seems clear to me that an expert on patents, writing in a reliable source, has claimed to own a patent on a number as such, and it's not just sloppy writing for the popular audience. 23:53, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Boy, isn't Google fun? Are you the same person that I responded to? As I explained, I think Schlafly is not entirely serious in his tone in his writings, e.g. comments like "At the time, some people thought that patenting a number was a new ex-treme in silly software patents, but now we have business method patents that are even sillier." seem prone to exaggeration to get his point across. He even comments in his blog[4]: "The author obviously didn't realize that the Patent Office has already allowed patents on specific integer numbers. As reported in Scientific American in 1995: Roger Schlafly has just succeeded in doing something no other mathematician has ever done: he has patented a number. " This appears the same SciAm article by Garfinkel (which I incidentally found online[5]).
Nonetheless, as my link to the preview of Garfinkel's book clearly shows, the very same Garfinkel referenced by Schlafly and you, the patent is for certain cryptographic use of the numbers. Garfinkel writes: "Patent 5,373,560 covering the use of the prime number (in hex) 98A3DF52 AEAE9799 325CB258 D767EBD1 F4630E9B 9E21732A 4AFB1624 BA6DF911 466AD8DA 960586F4 A0D5E3C3 6AF09966 0BDDC157 7E54A9F4 02334433 ACB14BCB was granted on December 13, 1994, to Roger Schlafly of California. Although the patent only covers the use of the number when used with Schlafly's algorithm, there is no other practical use for this particular number, because it is easier (and more practical) to generate a "random" prime number than to use this one." Of course, he puts this in a footnote to the comment that the patent office has given "patent protection to a prime number"! So there's a tendency here also to exaggerate. --C S (Talk) 06:55, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
It seems you know better than the source does, so I'm not going to continue debating with you. 11:25, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, Donald Knuth's comments that Schlafly refers to are here: [6] (last page of the PDF file). But by Wikipedia's standards, he probably doesn't qualify as an expert either. 00:06, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Knuth speculates on whether one could patent a very large number that would be very useful in solving NP hard problems. He doesn't say you can or cannot. He just raises the possibility. So what does his being an expert have anything to do with this discussion?? --C S (Talk) 06:55, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the actual proven patentability of a number is really relevant to the viability of the article here. Even the sources as you describe them sure seem to support the existance of the idea of patentability of a number. See the previously-mentioned unicorn article example. DMacks 07:04, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it's not relevant, which is why I said the Schlafly example is a contrasting one. I also perfectly understand the "unicorn" point; that we are not here to verify if such illegal numbers exist. We merely write about notable, reliably sourced topics, which may include speculation about possibly non-existent objects. However, as I've also previously explained, it's not relevant either that speculation or ideas of patenting numbers can be much better sourced than the so-called "illegal numbers". If you look at the Garfinkel quote, he is perfectly ok with explaining what number was patented. The reason is that the number is not secret. You are free to go look at the patent application online, and then go tell people, in public forums if you wish, about the information contained in it. This seems entirely different than what this article is purporting to be about, speculation about numbers being illegal because they represent secret information. I other words, we have two different topics here, so whether one can be reliably sourced is irrelevant to whether the other one is. Unless you want to change the article to say that "an illegal number is a number that that under some interpretations and under some legislation represents information which is illegal to possess, utter or propagate, under other interpretations it represents a patented number, which is not illegal to possess, utter or propagate." But that doesn't make any sense, does it? --C S (Talk) 07:21, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquette Alert[edit]

Greetings to all those so inclined. I have noticed quite a few people complaining about the uncivil and threatening behavior of a specific user throughout both this page and the RFD. The user in question is deleting messages from her/his talk page without responding to them. Please look in at the Wikiquette Alert page to add your opinion. Cheers, samwaltz 10:14, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The Wikiquette Alert is being migrated to a Request for Comment. samwaltz 12:57, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Revert explanation[edit]

I'm about to revert some edits, for reasons that deserve more explanation than will fit in an edit summary. Please read and address these points before undoing my changes:

  • There is no real controversy over what an illegal number would be if one existed. At most, some people think there's controversy over whether they're important or real. So it's not appropriate to define an illegal number as a number that "according to some speculation" is illegal to possess - an illegal number by definition is one that really is illegal to possess, and the subject of speculation would be whether there are any such numbers. Compare with unicorns: a unicorn isn't "a horse imagined to have a horn on its head"; to the extent unicorns exist, they really do have horns, by definition.
  • "some have argued that the pure number itself may be seen as illegal": excessive weasel wording, causing the article to take an unsupported POV against the reference.
  • "and no legal commentators have endorsed the theory.": self-contradictory. The article cites many commentators endorsing the theory; at most it could be said that the commentators aren't authoritative enough, but that's not really acceptable unless commentators disendorsing it can be found. Indeed, this article now has so absurdly many references as to look pretty ridiculous, but that's the result of the demands by some Wikipedia editors for multiple citations of the most trivially obvious points and there may not be much way around it. 17:22, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

You make some good points, but the last is completely off. We definitely do not apply the NOR policy by asking that we find authoritative sources "disendorsing" something which cannot be suitably "endorsed" by quality sources. This policy was installed to combat the inclusion of materials like crackpot theories. Such theories, by their very nature, are often inconsequential. Thus one will be hard-pressed (if one can) to find a good source refuting the crackpot, as it is not worth the time of such authoritative figures to look at the crackpot stuff; however, sometimes it's pretty easy to find some Internet source of less than stellar reputation reporting on it. That is why we ask that everything be backed up by reliable sources, not that the opposite thing get backed up by reliable sources. As I just explained above, the silence by the mainstream media on this speculation has been deafening. --C S (Talk) 18:17, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
You're right that it doesn't necessarily take a reliable source to justify the removal of an unsourced claim from an article, but that's not the situation here. The situation here is one of sourced claims: there are many legal commentators commenting on, and generally supporting, the possibility of some numbers being illegal, and they are cited as doing so in the article. In that case, someone who wants to rewrite the article to advocate against such a possibility, had better have sources to back it up. 23:35, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you should explain to me what these great sources are. We have some brief comments in the prime glossary and a Register article, and some speculation on Phil Carmobdy's website [7]. I think you're not understanding the Wikipedia policies on original research and reliable sources. We need good sources; it's irrelevant that this article's topic (speculation on illegal numbers) is sourced somehow. --C S (Talk) 07:19, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Merge with illegal prime[edit]

I vote to merge this article with illegal prime, with both phrases linking to the same article. --dave1g (talk) 06:34, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Not all illegal numbers are primes...but because primes have unique mathematical properties they are notable enough for their own article.Smallman12q (talk) 16:40, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
They're the same basic concept. An illegal prime is just an illegal number. What makes primality such a special property as compared to, say, illegal odds? --Gwern (contribs) 08:20 14 July 2010 (GMT)
  • Oppose merge. "Illegal primes are a subset of illegal numbers.". I'm hoping anyone who votes won't just look at the titles, but actually read the articles themselves. Some discussion was done in the last AFD as well on this as I recall. There is enough valid content to fill each article, and both things get ample coverage. Dream Focus 08:26, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Illegal where?[edit]

I find it hard to believe that illegal numbers are illegal throughout the entire world. Can it be specified exactly where these numbers are illegal? Or are they so illegal that the enforcement agencies of a particular country have the authority to arrest perpetrators anywhere in the world? --WestwoodMatt (talk) 20:23, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Court cases[edit]

"To date, the idea of a number being illegal has not been tested in the courts." Someone placed [citation needed] after that, but as this is an inappropriate usage of the tag, I have removed it. If no court cases exist, then there is nothing to cite. In other words, the burden of proof rests on those who would claim there *are* court cases, not on those who claim there are not. The burden always rests on those who wish to prove something exists, rather than to prove something does not exist. 09:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC) (talk)

That is not how Wikipedia works. See WP:BURDEN. Here the burden of proof rests with whoever wants to make a claim in a Wikipedia article, and "proof" is a citation to a reliable source. If you want to claim something doesn't exist and you are challenged then you must give a reliable source stating that it doesn't exist. Otherwise the claim may be removed (not replaced with the opposite claim if that doesn't have a reliable source either). I have restored the tag. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. That said, I'll leave it alone, for now, but how can I have the whole sentence removed if a source is not found for it within a certain time frame? And what is the timeframe before I can challenge? (I could not find one within either of those pages you linked to) (talk) 10:01, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I just went ahead and removed the sentence. I don't know the time frame, but it seems wrong, to me, that an unsourced statement should be allowed to persist on Wikipedia for over a year and a half. Citations are the foundation of Wikipedia. (talk) 11:35, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, removing the claim is OK. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:32, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales[edit]

For future reference, Jimmy Wales provided some interesting (IMHO) guidance on a related question here:

Decora (talk) 01:11, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


The examples of the illegal numbers? Jiawhein (talk) 08:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Other examples / Swedish reference[edit]

As a Swede I didn't recognize this story so I checked it up. The flat wasn't raided, the police visited the flat and explained what happened and asked them to remove the balloons: It was a passer-by that mistook two balloons in the shape of the digits 2 and 1 hanging in the flat window for the letters IS when viewed in mirror (from the outside). See reference The couple removed the balloons and said they would not repeat it.

That's good, the next year she will turn 22 -> SS

Sorry, I missed the "== Numbers ==" part so I'm moving mine. (talk) 00:12, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

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"Any piece of information is representable as a number" is a false statement[edit]

Claiming that "Any piece of information is representable as a number" is false, and can be proven as such. The distance between two objects is a piece of information, which we will call l. There are only a countable set of representable transcendental numbers, since the set of transcendental numbers is uncountable infinite, choose l to be a transcendental not in the set of representable transcendental numbers. l is thus a piece of information which is not representable as a number. BFG (talk) 01:42, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

This article talk page is for discussing improvements to the article, not for general discussion of the article's topic. - SummerPhDv2.0 06:22, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, how is it not an improvement to the article to edit false information. The statement as it stood was false, and I've provided evidence for it. I read the statement, took issue with it, read the references that did not substantiate the claim, thought about it for a day, then I came back, edited the article, and additionally explained why I did it. The idea of the statement was not wrong, but it was overbroad, It might even be that any information that has been quantized can be represented digitally is a more suitable statement, but the devil is in the details in this case. BFG (talk) 09:37, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
Your statement here was an argument about content. If you are saying we are misrepresenting what the source says, that is discussing improving the article. - SummerPhDv2.0 14:16, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
The sentence in question contained 2 parts, with 3 references. The sources all substantiated the second part, while being mute about the first part. There is no misrepresentation, the sources are simply not discussing it. I could of course just changed the article stating that the claim is not substantiated by the sources. The statement is however mostly true, and a subtle change like that might look more like vandalism. I chose to try to be transparent about why I did it. I'm not sure how it could be done better, but feel free to educate me. BFG (talk) 23:24, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

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