How is it "simplistic? I'm not talking about applications. I'm talking about calculations, i.e., complex number arithmetic. My point to sabriath is that computers perform that arithmetic using real numbers -- just like humans do.
Though I find it quite simplistic saying "Computers calculate complex numbers the same way humans do". That statement shoots past the whole application of complex numbers: to solve calculations.
Computers calculate complex numbers the same way humans do. Complex numbers are just ordered pairs of real numbers, with certain algebraic rules about using them. Computers handle them the same way they handle reals.
...the thought I was having about built-in imaginary numbers is that computers cannot do imaginary numbers anyway.
Exactly what I said....
"There are ways to calculate in the 'imaginary plane' using real numbers"
Meaning that using vectors and algorithms with those vectors, you can perform the actions of "imaginary space" through the real. And as I stated, this added method of doing things causes you to pour milk into a glass before a bowl because a drawing surface has X and Y....those aren't imaginary, so a transformation has to occur first. I did a small run with 3D a few months ago and have learned of the ease these transformation calculations have on rotations and such, but it still requires at lest 2 or 3 of them in order to account for the final calculation needed to get to X/Y space...meaning a static model doesn't need it.