My sister taught me addition and subtraction and multiplication and division, so by the time I got to school, I knew it all, and when we'd do the times tables, I was just focused on doing it faster than anybody else. I already had the information, so it just got me to focus on excellence.
According to the celestial multiplication table, once one is three, and three times one is one, and according to heavenly subtraction if we take two from three, three are left. The addition is equally peculiar, if we add two to one we have but one. Each one is equal to himself and the other two. Nothing ever was, nothing ever can be more perfectly idiotic and absurd than the dogma of the Trinity.
Robert Green Ingersoll
The minimum could be defined as the perfection that an artefact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction. This is the quality that an object has when every component, every detail, and every junction has been reduced or condensed to the essentials. it is the result of the omission of the inessentials.
The Difference Engine can in reality (as has been already partly explained) do nothing but add; and any other processes, not excepting those of simple subtraction, multiplication and division, can be performed by it only just to that extent in which it is possible, by judicious mathematical arrangement and artifices, to reduce them to a series of additions.
But the best read naturalist who lends an entire and devout attention to truth, will see that there remains much to learn of his relation to the world, and that it is not to be learned by any addition or subtraction or other comparison of known quantities, but is arrived at by untaught sallies of the spirit, by a continual self-recovery, and by entire humility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"She can't do sums a bit!" the Queens said together, with great emphasis. "Can you do sums?" Alice said, turning suddenly on the White Queen, for she didn't like being found fault with so much. The Queen gasped and shut her eyes. "I can do Addition, if you give me time-but I can do Subtraction, under any circumstances!"
The going away of friends does not make the remainder more precious. It takes so much from them as there was a common link. A. B. and C. make a party. A. dies. B. not only loses A. but all A.'s part in C. C. loses A.'s part in B., and so the alphabet sickens by subtraction of interchangeables.
If production does not increase in Iraq in an exponential way between now and 2015, we have a very big problem, even if Saudi Arabia meets its obligations. The figures are very simple, you do not need to be an expert. It is enough to know how to do a subtraction. China will grow very quickly, India also, and even Saudi Arabia projections of the 3 Mb/day will not be enough to meet the rise of Chinese demand.
He wondered how he could ever have thought of the planets, even of the Earth, as islands of life and reality floating in a deadly void. Now with a certainty which never after deserted him, he saw the planets - as mere holes or gaps in the living heaven - excluded and rejected wastes of heavy matter and murky air, formed not by addition to, but by subtraction from, the surrounding brightness.
C. S. Lewis
My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language. . . . Maybe I was only then becoming aware of the weight, the inertia, the opacity of the world--qualities that stick to the writing from the start, unless one finds some way of evading them.
Even connoisseurship can have politics, Slow Food wagers, since an eater in closer touch with his senses will find less pleasure in a box of Chicken McNuggets than in a pastured chicken or a rare breed of pig. It's all very Italian (and decidedly un-American) to insist that doing the right thing is the most pleasurable thing, and that the act of consumption might be an act of addition rather than subtraction.
A German merchant of the fifteenth century asked an eminent professor where he should send his son for a good business education. The professor responded that German universities would be sufficient to teach the boy addition and subtraction but he would have to go to Italy to learn multiplication and division. Before you smile indulgently, try multiplying or even just adding the Roman numerals CCLXIV, MDCCCIX, DCL, and MLXXXI without first translating them.
John Allen Paulos
"Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: what remains?" [asked the Red Queen] Alice considered. "The bone wouldn't remain, of course, if I took it-and the dog wouldn't remain; it would come to bite me-and I'm sure I shouldn't remain!" "Then you think nothing would remain?" said the Red Queen. "I think that's the answer." "Wrong, as usual," said the Red Queen, "the dog's temper would remain."
This is so whether the said body of citizens or its prevailing part does this directly of itself, or commits the task to another or others who are not and cannot be the legislator in an unqualified sense but only in a certain respect and at a certain time and in accordance with the authority of the primary legislator. And in consequence of this I say that laws and anything else instituted by election must receive their necessary approval from the same primary authority and no other: whatever may be the situation concerning various ceremonies or solemnities, which are not required for the results of an election to stand but for their good standing, and even without which the election would be no less valid. I say further that it is by the same authority that laws and anything else instituted by election must receive any addition or subtraction or even total overhaul, any interpretation and any suspension: depending on the demands of time and place and other circumstances that might make one of these measures opportune for the sake of the common advantage in such matters.
Marsiglio of Padua