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If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.
If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.
I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

Who am I?

I may post an answer depending on the amount of time has past before today. I will add hints every [random period of time].

The puzzle is perfectly correct; I assure you.

Hint 1:

The answer has nothing to do with politics.

Hint 2:

Take each part between commas and then do the action of wordplay.

Hint 3:

For the "not being in violation" one part of the phrase refers to the prefix that you add, and the other is synonymous to another word.

Hint 4:

The now added calculation-puzzle tag

Hint 5:

Moghwyn June 10th answer is the closest one yet... except the wordplay isn't perfect, which leads to the 0/0=1 stretch

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    $\begingroup$ My guess is that the answer is a number, being above 8. $\endgroup$ – Conor O'Brien Jun 10 '15 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ These sentences hurt my head. It reminds me of "John, while Jim had had 'had', had had 'had had'. 'Had had' had had a better effect on the teacher." $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jun 10 '15 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Engineer Toast. This wording is throwing me off entirely: 'If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being correct' $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Jun 10 '15 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ So combination of politically and not over 8 is making me think President and terms. $\endgroup$ – Cain Jun 18 '15 at 23:43
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    $\begingroup$ I think that "not being in violation" might mean "fraction", because "violation" may mean "infraction", and "not being in" could mean "take away the prefix in". $\endgroup$ – JS1 Aug 29 '15 at 4:15
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I'll give it a guess. I think Moghwyn was very close.

My answer is the number 0.

If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

First, some wordplay:

On top politically = "in power", meaning the power that a number is raised to.
Not being in violation = "fraction", because a violation is an infraction, and "not being in" means to remove the "in" from "infraction".
Right = true, or 1
Wrong = false, or 0

So the statement means:

If a number is raised to the 0th power, it is 1. If 0 is the numerator of a fraction, that fraction's value is 0.

If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

More wordplay:

Above 8 = "base", because in chemistry, a solution with a pH of 8+ is considered a base (as opposed to an acid). In this case, base refers to the base of a power expression. So in the expression x^y, x is the base and y is the power.

So the sentence means:

If 0 is the base, 0^y is 0. If 0 is the denominator of a fraction, its value is infinity.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

0^0 is not allowed, but it can be both the numerator and denominator of a fraction, i.e. 0/0.

I'm not sure I agree with this last statement because I think both expressions have undefined values.

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  • $\begingroup$ SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Close... "If I i am above 8" is wrong... consider parallelism. But I would say this is a plausible and right answer, just not THE right answer. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Sep 10 '15 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ @awesomepi How about now? $\endgroup$ – JS1 Sep 10 '15 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ I meant the zero over zero in a limit sense $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Sep 11 '15 at 12:24
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I think you're

A digit

I haven't got the whole solution, but a lot of it seems to work.

I think "on top politically" means

prime (as in Prime Minister)

and "being not in violation" means

perfect, as in perfect number. The only perfect digit is 6.

If I am on top politically, I am right

This is a bit I haven't got, I have no idea how 2,3,5 and 7 are right, although I suspect it's something to do with wordplay and/or a synonym of "right". The best I have is that they're all rational numbers

but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

and this bit is really tenuous, but could refer to deep sixing someone, which is pretty wrong (x/6 the 6 could be said to be "deep").

If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

If I am above 8 I am Nein! (wordplay!), and 6/9 is 0.6666... with infinite decimal places.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8,

9 is not prime

but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

6/x or x/6 is fine, albeit the first is undefined if x = 0

I'm honestly not confident with any of that, but I've been staring at this for days now and I'm mostly hoping that this bumps the puzzle enough for someone to answer it.

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  • $\begingroup$ The explanations are weird, but I like them! $\endgroup$ – leoll2 Jun 15 '15 at 10:28
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting... I like your thinking, but it isn't it. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Aug 28 '15 at 3:16
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Trying to find the wordplay Moghwyn missed you might be

nothing

If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

The political leaders often can do what they want, nothing is right. If nothing is violated though, nothing is wrong.

If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

To say nothing is above 8 is clearly wrong, but you can safely say nothing stays forever.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

If on top politically, nothing is right, but still nothing is not above 8. If on top politically and thus nothing is right (nothing seems the right thing), that interestingly does not mean that nothing is wrong... it just means there is sometimes nothing totally wrong or totally right to everybody you ask.

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I'm pretty sure the idea suggested by the tag is

putting together parts of words to form new words, where "on top of" means before and "low of" means after.

I haven't managed to find exact words to fit this, but here are a few of the things I've tried, which hopefully will help someone else.

If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

"Being not in violation" could be legal or obey. We need to put some letters before this to get something that's wrong, so maybe ill (giving illegal) or dis (giving disobey)? I haven't come up with a good synonym of "politically"...

If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

Unfortunately illate and disate don't resemble any words I can think of, nor do legalill or obadis.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

Again, illegalill and obadisobey don't look like words.

More work needed, but I think I may have cracked the main concept of the puzzle!

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Swinging for the fences here,

The number 1 or the keyboard key 1

If I am on top politically, I am right,

1 is True for computers

but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

on top of 1 being ! on the keyboard so !1 is 0 which is False

If I am above 8, I am wrong,

* denotes a pointer in C which is initialized to NULL which evaluates to False

but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

Q is below 1 and is the set of rational numbers which is infinite or forever

I cannot be on top politically and above 8,

I'm pretty rusty on my C but I think pointers can't be assigned to address 1 since that is for the heap

but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

!1 is 0 and 0 is considered a rational number if 0 is on top. 0/x

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  • $\begingroup$ A good shot for the fences. I think the Q thing could refer to Q often being used to quit programs and if you dont q it keeps going, but yours makes sense to and the syntax of this puzzle beffuddles me. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Aug 28 '15 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Goinghamateur The syntax in this puzzle made my brain hurt so I looked down at the keyboard and started thinking not equal instead of not in violation and then thought of != $\endgroup$ – SirParselot Aug 28 '15 at 20:17
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Taking a very large leap, you might be

the number 0.

Key:

Replace "politically" with "0".
Replace "being not in violation" with "any number other than 0".

Reasoning:

If I am on top politically, I am right,

0 / 0 is 1 ==> TRUE
(0 / 0 is actually really indeterminate, hence the very large leap).

but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

0 / x, with x <> 0 is 0 ==> FALSE

If I am above 8, I am wrong,

0 / 8 is 0 ==> FALSE

but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

x / 0, with x <> 0 is infinity.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8,

0 / 0 isn't more than 8.

but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

0 / x and x / 0 are both valid.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 0/0=1 is a very (imo incorrect) stretch! $\endgroup$ – leoll2 Jun 10 '15 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ The interpretations you make in "Key" are also quite a stretch! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 10 '15 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ It is, the wording in both places it shows up is unusual enough that this might still be intended though. Still, chances are excellent that there's a far better solution than mine. :-) $\endgroup$ – Moghwyn Jun 10 '15 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, incorrect, but you are surprisingly close... consider some wordplay. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Jun 11 '15 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ It's too late to edit my comment, so I'll post this in a new one: This is way too much of a stretch. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Jun 11 '15 at 1:50
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Lets assume you are 'x'.

If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

if (x == 'on top politically') => x = right elseif (x= 'on top of being not in violation') => x= Wrong.

Similarly, If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

if( x > 8) => x= Wrong; else if (x = "low on being not in violation") => x = Forever;

I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

True because if (x=="on top politically") => x= right; and if( x > 8) => x= Wrong; which is a contradiction. Hence, either one is false or both are false statement. Second one implies x = wrong or forever where forever could mean either right or wrong. So, one plausible solution is that x = 'on top of being not in violation' and x = 'above 8' => x = WRONG.

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By a stretch, but are you

Negative Infinity (-INF) ?

EDIT: Refined my reasoning after reading the highest voted answer:

on top politically = power, being not in violation = fraction

If I am on top politically, I am right, but if I am on top of being not in violation, I am wrong.

x^-INF ~ 0. from a programming context, I'm sure I read somewhere that different languages treat 0 as TRUE and non-zero as FALSE. -INF/x, with x <> INF, -INF, or 0 , is still -INF. Hence it is FALSE.

If I am above 8, I am wrong, but if I am low on being not in violation, I am forever.

-INF/8 is -INF which is not a very desirable number. But if it is 8/-INF, and if I remember school math correctly, it is 0. Which is good, and TRUE => truth, which by a stretch, is forever. Or may be it is 0 that is forever.

I cannot be on top politically and above 8, but I can be on top and low of being not in violation.

x^-INF !> (not greater than) 8, obviously. And Infinity Arithmetic defines fraction (division) by -INF.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also, don't miss the obvious 8 and INF-symbol similarities (a difference of rotation). $\endgroup$ – Meet K. Sep 10 '15 at 7:36

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