* https://float.exposed/ (companion blog post: https://ciechanow.ski/exposing-floating-point/)
(Reproducing from another discussion a month ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18832155)
So you can represent 12345000 or 12.345 or 0.00012345.
But 12345600 rounds to 12346000, 12.3456 rounds to 12.346, and 0.000123456 rounds to 0.00012346.
Yup... and as I recall, it was a must have for MS flight sim and Falcon 3!
The hard part of floating point isn't the representation of numbers, it's how to perform arithmetic with rounding/truncation in the specified way (and why the specified way is preferred). The blog post doesn't touch on that at all.
Being able to read maths doesn't automatically mean that it is the best way to present an explanation of something.
It's not necessary, it's just funny. The owl picture is a meme borrowed from the internet to make the same point you did ... that it feels like math notation skips over the how.
FWIW, spending time in a floating point calculator can be very enlightening. I use this page all the time https://www.h-schmidt.net/FloatConverter/IEEE754.html
A great exercise to try with your son: try numbers of various magnitudes and see what a 1-bit change does to the decimal value. For example, try the earth's radius in meters and determine the FP32 precision in meters at the surface of the earth.
Same reason why many people refuse to visit nude beaches despite others not seeing any issue in said these beaches: personal values and principles.