|(quoted from Getaway from Getawehi)|
"In all my books, twice one is two - and it's never before been in dispute"
"But your books were written on Terra, not Getawehi. On Getawehi, they don't apply"
"But that's insane!". Mathematics is merely a system for expressing the properties and relationships of quantities. It's universal, not a local phenomenon. Once one is one, twice one is two...."
"Not on Getawehi. It seems to be different here. Once one is one but twice one is only a bit over one and a half. One point five seven zero eight, to be more exact. And three times one is about two point three six."
"It's long been suspected that our mathematics may not be universal. Dimensionless numbers, for example, although have an accepted value in the part of the universe where we customarily use them, are more likely to be local coincidences than physical absolutes. But on Getawehi, we seem to have hit on something even more fundamental [...] It has something to do with unity."
"Yes. Unity...one...a whole. I'm no mathematician but it seems to me there's a darn great hole in our idea of the structure of numbers. We've explored number structure up to infinity and several orders beyond - but something we've always taken for granted is the constant mathematical value of unity.
"But it has to have a constant mathematical value!. Once one is one...it can't be otherwise by its very definition."
"So we've always assumed. But what if we happened to be wrong? What if there is a difference between the value of one as representing a whole thing and the value of one as a mathematical factor? They both seem to be the same in our corner of the universe but one used as a factor on Getawhei is demonstrably only 0.5785 of what it was on Terra"