That’s a great observation about numbers. Whether you start counting backwards or forwards, numbers never seem to end.

Kevin Fiedler.

To find out more about these mysterious numbers, I took your question to my friend Kevin Fiedler. He’s an assistant professor of mathematics at Washington State University.

Fiedler reminded me that some numbers are whole numbers, such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. But there are also numbers like 1.33333…, and the 3’s go on without end. A lot of the time mathematicians and engineers will round these numbers.

The answer to your question might also depend on what set of numbers you are using in the first place. Fiedler told me about a kind of math called clock arithmetic that uses the set of numbers 1 through 12.

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