I agree that it sounds silly and I have sometimes wondered about whether we went too far with the decimal places. This was also a point that came up when member BoyHitsCar and I were designing the various dough calculating tools. We knew that there were some members (mostly techies) who had highly specialized and accurate scales. We also knew that we only going to have one chance to make a decision on how many decimal places to use in the numbers in the tools. So, we decided to go out to several decimal places and let the chips fall as they may.
I have never regretted the above decision. I have found it useful on several occasions to have the extra decimal places. For example, the other day I was trying to adjust a thickness factor value to end up with a dough that weighed exactly 11 ounces. It took me several decimal places with the thickness factor to do that. Otherwise, I got 10.99 ounces or 11.01 ounces, or something like that. Being able to use several decimal places for baker's percents has also proven to be invaluable to me personally, especially when converting recipes recited by volume measurements to weight measurements, which I perhaps do more than any other member of this forum. In so doing, I will often end up with baker's percents that go out several decimal places.
I will also often go out to several decimal places for audit purposes, for example, in the event I ever have to try to recreate my own math. I did this recently in Reply 36 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13385.msg133849.html#msg133849
. I knew that I didn't have to use numbers out to several decimal places but I was concerned that I might have to make changes later on as Norma conducted her experiments. Seeing how I actually came up with the numbers, even out to several decimal places, will make it easier for me to modifiy the numbers if later needed. I may be the only one on the forum who does this sort of thing, but there is a method to my madness.
I also saw recently where another member, Brian Spangler, a successful artisan pizza operator at Apizza Scholls, reported at Reply 164 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg126520/topicseen.html#msg126520
, in response to a question that I posed to Brian on this matter, that he uses a digital scale that can weigh out yeast to a thousandth of a gram. As you can see from my baker's percent versions of Brian's recipe, at Reply 155 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7225.msg124913.html#msg124913
, I went out to several decimal places on the yeast and other ingredients.