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(x, why?)
by Chris Burke
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1026: (x, why?) Mini: Boolean
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Mr. Michael Keegan, Math Teacher

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Boolean is a logical value equal to True or False and is used in logic (such as in computer programming).

The interesting thing about them was when I found out that False has a zero value, but True isn't equal to 1. In fact, True is simply "not zero", literally any value other than zero (or possibly "null", which is something else and I'm not going there right now).

That means that in situations where you might write "If x != 0 then" (Note: != mean "not equal to" in many computer languages"), you could just write "If x then" because any value other than 0 (which we didn't want) would evaluate as True! This was great! ... except that my professors condemned this as "clever coding" which was harder to read, decipher and maintain, so Don't Do It.

I'm not a programmer by trade any more, but from what I read, clever coding could be the standard, for all I know, because it executes faster, and it's more of a feature of languages like C than it was of PL/I or Pascal.

Final note: "Boolean" is named after George Boole, so it gets a capital "B", like "Venn diagram".

Oh, and this is a bullion cube joke, if you didn't get that. You don't use "Boolean cubes", except maybe in roleplaying games.


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