} Ah, dear mortal, but you can.
} The problem lies rooted in a deep historical conflict between
} mathematics and accountancy. The zero was invented by accounts, and
} only later admitted by mathematicians, who only after seeing how useful
} it was grumped that they knew it all the time.
} Many people say that you can't divide by zero, but as I said you can.
} Try it yourself, sometime. It may cause your calculator to spell out
} ErrOr, but nonetheless, you did it. This particular feature is also the
} basis for the famous "James Tiberius Kirk School of Cybernetic Judo"
} wherein the largest of electronic minds are laid low by this smallest
} (in magnitude) of numbers.
} But I digress. When you divide by the numbers that mathematicians
} create, you get a mathematicians answer -- one well-defined answer.
} This is well and good, but also boring as you must know. However, when
} you divide by the accountant's number, zero, you get an accountant's
} answer, which is, "What would you like it to be?"
} This fact is what caused mathematicians to declare that there could be
} no zero (and for that matter, no negative numbers). It wasn't until the
} wiser accountants invented lending, interest, usury, and national debt
} that the mathematicians saw the utility of zeroes at all, and finally
} relented. But they still get grumpy about the grandest accountant's
} trick of all, dividing by zero.
} Dividing by zero and applying a little creativity can get you any
} answer you choose. Those who tell you otherwise are either jealous
} mathematicians, or people who aren't terribly creative. Both of these
} sorts of people have finite brains, and are disturbed by an infinite
} multitude of answers, so they tell you things like that "undefined."
} Whatever that means. They certainly don't. If you don't believe me, ask
} them. They will likely tell you that it means that it's undefined. Oh,
} sure, they may wrap a lot of jargon and fast talk around it, but I can
} assure you that it all boils down to undefined meaning that it's
} undefined. This isn't a very good definition, if you ask me, and
} demonstrates that the only rigor in this definition is rigor mortis of
} the polyhedral lobes. Be sure to tell them I said this. When they get
} hot under the collar, you will know I'm right.
} In conclusion, I should add this one small warning. Although you *can*
} divide by zero, it is unwise to do so, unless you know what you are
} doing. It is best done only by professional accountants and liberal
} mathematicians. You can hurt yourself when dividing by zero. For
} example, if the IRS catches you at it, they will likely not find it
} amusing (you are, after all, intruding on their turf). They will likely
} apply "penalties and interest" to the calculations that *they* would
} like to have happened, and justice itself would dictate that they
} compute them turning the denominator of the interest into a lowly but
} useful zero.
} The Big O