MATH: Surreal numbers?

byteboy (
Mon, 10 Nov 1997 00:46:13 -0500

This might have already been covered in the infinities thread, it seems
I came into this mailing list a bit late. If this tidbit has already
been covered, please accept my apologies and ignore this message.

Awhile back I read an article in some magazine that I can't remember -
maybe it was a MENSA thing (eep, the M-word!), maybe Popular Science, I
don't know - but it was on this new concept called Surreal Numbers.
Now, at the time, I was just learning about _imaginary_ numbers, so
the thought that numbers could be surreal was something I liked to think
about from time to time, but never got into - no one could teach me but
myself. Anyway, it seems that some mathematics theorist was coming up
with all these crazy notions about numbers such as infinity + 1, and was
calling them surreal numbers. Has anyone else heard of such a thing or
is my memory playing tricks on me?