# Imagine a sentence that is constructed backwards to infinity.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by davidelkins, Mar 14, 2017.

1. ### someguy1Registered Senior Member

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Mathematically, that's what a real number is. It's a string of digits whose finite initial segments converge on the "meaning" of the number. The sequence $1, 1.4, 1.41, 1.414, 1.4142, \dots$ converges to its meaning, which is $\sqrt{2}$.

It's not hard to see that if instead of decimal digits we replaced the symbols with the 26 characters of the English language, or the 1,114,112 characters of the Unicode character set (I looked that up, it's the actual number), it would not make any difference. It could still be coded in decimal, or even binary.

So in a sense, the mathematical real numbers are the prototypical model of an endless sequence of objects or events whose meaning is to be found only in the limit, and not in any individual member of the sequence.

Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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3. ### The GodValued Senior Member

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So you know Urdu? You can construct a sentence backwards to infinity, by adding words one by one.

5. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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An infinite sentence in English, even one of endless repeats of some simple phrase, would not necessarily converge to one meaning even pointwise, as the meanings of the individual words can change according to words appearing later. And this can happen in a couple of different ways.

Gertrude Stein made a point of that, famously demonstrating one of them: "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"

Here's one demonstrating a different kind of non-convergence (if we ignore the likelihood that the first "Rose" in Stein's demo was somebody's name):
Buffalo. Buffalo buffalo. Buffalo buffalo buffalo. Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. (And so forth)

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Terrifying!

8. ### riverValued Senior Member

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The thread been tangentisizisitised. Fun . Just made that word up !!!.

Imagine not just a sentence , but all we know .

This thread reminds me of the book , The Final Encyclopedia .

9. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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This reminds me of that teaser:

This has had punctuation removed but is otherwise part of a sensical paragraph.

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How ?

11. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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What? No takers?

All right.

12. ### riverValued Senior Member

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And therefore ...?

13. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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What part are you failing to understand?
It was a teaser. You asked for the solution. I provided.

14. ### riverValued Senior Member

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Your point , in the end .