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I Am Worthless

I am worthless, yet when added to others I add worth.
I confounded the ancient Greeks, yet I changed men’s understanding.

What am I?

0 (Zero).

Zero is nothing, yet when you add zeroes to a number like 1, it becomes 10, 100 or 1,000.

The ancient Greeks did not have a name for zero and did not use a placeholder. They seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number, philosophizing about how nothing could be something. Once zero was added, it allowed for more mathematical understanding.


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