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At the computer floating point was developed, people understood it implicitly, because it was just an automated version of their current tools: log tables and slide rules.

And likewise they knew better than to use floating-point where it doesn't work.

There are a couple of good images on this page which make clear the fact that floating point position 'degrades' in discrete steps as the number gets larger. It's not quite the same as counting in logarithmic terms, which is shown for comparison.


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