Were getting a little too heated and filled with spam flags for my taste, so here they are. I think this is the protocol we agreed to, anyway. Original question.

0/2=0, 0mod2=0... what else do you want? – J. M. 9 hours ago

What book says "even numbers start from two"? I want to know what to tell people to avoid... – Pete L. Clark 8 hours ago

+1 for "thinking outside the books". – Day Late Don 8 hours ago

why −1 is an odd number? This is not a question that can have a real answer. It is matter of definition, There are two ways that definitions are made, constructive and conditional. Constructive definition for even numbers can be something like this : k=1,2,3,4,5,… then 2k are the even numbers , here without explicitly having 0 as a value for k, 0 must not be considered to be an even number. Conditional definition : e.g. a number k is even if and only if kmod2=0. then 0 can be considered even since it passes the test. – Arjang 7 hours ago

@Arjang: −1 is an odd integer because it is of the form 2n+1 for some integer n. That's my definition of odd. – TonyK 7 hours ago

@TonyK. and what that integer n might be? – Arjang 7 hours ago

@Arjang: have you tried to find it? – Mariano Suárez-Alvarez 7 hours ago

@Mariano Suárez-Alvarez : yes, this guy came to my store and asked me to give him odd number of eggs, he would accept 1,3,5 ,7,.. eggs but he just wouldn't accept -1 eggs as odd number of eggs. I am totally baffled why -1 egg is not acceptable as odd number of eggs. Do you have any idea why somebody might not accept -1 eggs as odd number of eggs? – Arjang 7 hours ago

@Arjang: if your point is that -1 is not an integer, well, then you are wrong according to the definition used by mathematicians. What egg-buyers consider an integer is, really, irrelevant. – Mariano Suárez-Alvarez 7 hours ago

@Arjang: This guy came to your store? And asked you to give him an odd number of eggs? Call me cynical, but I think you're lying. – TonyK 7 hours ago

@Mariano Suárez-Alvarez : yes -1 is an integer, but it is not a natural number. The even odd concept was originally defined for natural numbers not integers. Otherwise if the even/odd concept was defined over integers there wouldn't be a doubt over 0 or -1 being even or odd. Just because one way to extend the concept makes them even or odd it doesn't mean that by the original concept they are even or odd. – Arjang 7 hours ago

@TonyK, Next time you try to convince somebody that -1 eggs is an odd number of eggs, try to get them to count it just to be sure. – Arjang 6 hours ago

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    $\begingroup$ I put my comment back, not realizing it had been moved here. (Shouldn't you have left a comment saying that you moved the comments?) My comment was neither heated nor spammy, but sincerely congratulatory. $\endgroup$
    – Blue
    Dec 27, 2010 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Day Late Don: I guess I didn't want to make it appear to the OP that I was singling out his/her voice in the comments. It seemed cleaner to me to move the whole thing here (and I have to admit I thought you were referring to another comment). My apologies. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ In before Arjang's comment, things were fine... :( $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ One thing I am slightly worried about is whether users have been flagging the answer post as SPAM/offensive with the intended target being the comments posted (e.g. some of the ones duplicated above). It is not entirely clear to me whether in situations like this (a dubious [IMHO] answer with some possibly inflammatory comments by the same user) such flagging is warranted. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: those comments reposted by Qiaochu were comments to the question; there were a different set of comments (e.g. "It is good to see that nonsense like this is downvoted") for Arjang's answer. In any event, the damage to Arjang has been done, as he is back to having a reputation score of 1. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ Oh. I misunderstood. So those comments above were picking up the SPAM flags. Okay, sorry about the noise. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ @J. M. : Which comment of mine screwed it up? $\endgroup$
    – jimjim
    Dec 27, 2010 at 21:23

3 Answers 3


I really have no idea on this one. I think Arjang feels like s/he is being personally attacked. Perhaps someone involved in the comments could inform this user of the constructive criticism aspect of the MSE community and explain that the comments weren't intended as personal attacks.

Outside of that, I think we should just let the discussion blow over. The original question has been put to rest, I believe. It doesn't seem like this discussion is very productive at the moment and I don't think this is likely to change.

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    $\begingroup$ If one looks at Arjang's history, it's not like he's hasn't been... "questioning" things before. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2010 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ No i do not feel personally attacked. The ideas I question and push for to be tested for validity and me are totally separate. If you have noticed at the end when somebody points out the flaw or the logic of why I thank them and back them up. $\endgroup$
    – jimjim
    Dec 27, 2010 at 21:08

I would like to put my hand up and admit that the posts that I intended to be about how natural concepts of even and odd numbers can be, can be completely be mistaken for being personal in nature , my apologies to TonyK. and Mariano Suárez-Alvarez specially. Reading them again, I see drawing the idea that I intended is completely lost. Furthermore the whole thing degenerated into -1, 0 being/not-being even/odd. The idea of what even and odd might have seem natural is completely lost. I will adjust my future posts to be clearer and with less chance of being mistaken for personal attacks.


For those of you who just saw this thread (like me) and couldn't find the answer in question: the answer seemed to have garnered sufficiently many SPAM flags to have been locked and deleted by the Community user.


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