In real life, in some applied Maths, negative numbers and positives are absolutely not the same. Take a business. It makes profits (positive numbers). It pays taxes and can give it's owners money because it's successful. Bigger the profit the better. OR It makes losses (negative numbers). It may get tax refunded and it may need the owners to invest money or borrow money for it to survive. The bigger the loss, the worse it is. It is, in this scenario, really important the number is a positive one and no way could anyone describe negatives (losses) and positives (profits) as being the same.