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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The Definition of the Week (link repaired!) is "Zero" at the Peirce Edition Project’s branch at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), where members are at work on Peirce's contributions to the Century Dictionary for Volume 7 of Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition.

The excerpt begins with some nice concision:

The defect of all quantity considered as quantity; the origin of measurement stated as at a distance from itself; nothing, quantitatively regarded.
Then Peirce whisks you through the techno-historical aspect of a thermometer's scale. Each week they have a different definition at that same URL, so you might want to stop by there now (at the link at this post's start) and enjoy Zero, sez I (awful pun there).

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Which numbers spark the most curiosity? Among the smallest positive integers, that number is Three, no surprise there. But why is Eight even hotter? Thirteen has an unfair advantage. But Zero out-sparks them all, if Wikipedia readers are anything to go by. Meanwhile, the article statistics service is described on its own page as "very much a beta service."

February 2009
Wikipedia Article Traffic Statistics
-1 (number)134
0 (number)87,771
1 (number)14,174
2 (number)14,041
3 (number)20,008
4 (number)16,563
5 (number)13,564
6 (number)11,161
7 (number)18,734
8 (number)30,496
9 (number)14,681
10 (number)7,774
11 (number)5,654
12 (number)16,718
13 (number)45,924(with a 6.5K spike on Jan. 13th)
14 (number)11,921