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Good Math by Mark C. Chu-Carroll

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2Integers

Natural numbers are the first numbers that we understand. But they’re nowhere close to sufficient. Given how we use numbers, you inevitably wind up needing something beyond just the natural numbers.

If you go to the store and buy something, you give them money in exchange for what you buy. You could buy something like a loaf of bread for three dollars. If you paid them with a five dollar bill, they’ll give you two dollars back in change.

Just to understand that, you’re doing something that doesn’t really make sense in natural numbers. The money is flowing in two different directions. One, going from you to the store, subtracts from the money you have. The other, going from the store to you, adds to the money you have. Positive ...

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