### A New Name; Real Numbers

January 19, 2012
– Comments (8)

Out with the BullnBear and in with the Aleph! I've changed my username to TMFAleph1. If anyone is interested, this is the significance of the new name:

German mathematician Georg Cantor came up with the concept as when he began ordering infinite sets -- yes, infinity comes in different sizes! Aleph-zero is the number of elements in the set of all integers, which is a countably infinite set (you can begin to count the integers even if you'll never get through them all.)

The set of real numbers (the "continuum"), on the other hand, is *much* larger – it's uncountably infinite and the number of elements it contains is 2 ^ aleph-zero (2 to the power of aleph-zero.) According to the continuum hypothesis, aleph-one, which is the next largest size of infinity after aleph-zero, is equal to that number. You're probably wondering what any of this has to do with someone who writes about finance investing. Well, for one thing, those notions remind me of one of my favorite quotes in finance:

*There is no hard line between arbitrage and speculation, it is a continuum.*-- Stephen Ross, MIT

Furthermore, aleph-one is tied to the real numbers and that's what I try to provide in my writing: The "real" numbers. Lastly, my writing and analysis should, at its best, present all of the characteristics under the meanings of 'real' that I have highlighted:

*re·al adj \**ˈ**rē(-**ə**)l\*

* a ***:** **not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory** **:** genuine <<em>real gold>; also **:** being precisely what the name implies * real* professional>

b (1) **:** occurring or existing in actuality *real* live celebrity> *rea*l life> (2) **:** of or **relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities** *real* world> (3) **:** existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard *real* gas> — compare ideal 3b

c **:** having objective independent existence *real*>

d **:** **fundamental**, essential

e (1) **:** belonging to or having elements or components that belong to the set of real numbers *real* roots of an equation> *real* matrix> (2) **:** concerned with or containing real numbers <<em>real analysis> (3) **:** real-valued <<em>real variable>

f **:**** ****measured by purchasing power** <<em>real income> <<em>real dollars

That's the long and short of it (the long, really.) Fool on, as they say.

Alex Dumortier (TMFAleph1)