A digital consultant living in Minneapolis

FRAGILE FUTURE - a blog on humanity, philosophy and design thinking

Pi is insignificant to Maths

Every time you put spark to paper it lights on fire. Same with wood and many other things. What you see as a result is the chemical world being ripped apart in a reaction and the output is that fun dancing plasma flame we call FIRE. We love FIRE we stare at fire as though it’s revealing something to us, but what?

This is similar to how I feel about the whole number known and loved by many as Pi. There’s even a day of the year dedicated to celebrating it. So what is Pi exactly? And why does everyone (including some brilliant Maths wizards) go so ape for it.

My theory, is that just like FIRE humans like CIRCLES. Huh? Yeah, like we love them. The moon, the starts, the iris of our eyes. From early humanity a circle seems entirely natural and it’s fun to fashion objects into this shape, or draw it in the sand with a stick. We see CIRCLES all around us even though they don’t exist.

So in our obsession with CIRCLES (or arcs/parabolas) we want not only to make them out of clay and iron, but out of maths as well. But you can’t, because they don’t exist. So when you want the ass end of your arced line to meet up with itself you go ahead and use good ol’ Pi to get the job done. The thing is that Pi is an OUTPUT from ripping apart maths in a way they don’t want to, leaving you with this stupid long ass number that doesn’t end, not even in the quantum world, I imagine.

When we use Pi as an INPUT we’re really just forcing the vector into a seemingly natural shape that pleases our eye but will never please maths. The number Pi is just the universe responding consistently to fallacious human desires and misuse of maths. It is not a key to the universe, more so a clue to keep looking. Nothing is built using Pi, we are not living in a Pi universe. It’s just that every time we we do the same dumb stuff we get the same dumb number.

I recall as a computer programmer, having to use Pi to draw CIRCLES on-screen for various games and whatnot. Thankfully there’s a nifty global object for Pi so the computer handles all the rubbish around bending your vector into a “circle.” It’s crazy to think that all those damn circles I made on-screen for them were never really circles. Sure I drew a shape that fulfilled the expectations, due to the fidelity constraints of the canvas and observer (human eye) But the maths were not fooled, and no math CIRCLES were made.

If the idea that circles are not real is new to you, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the maths of Benoit Mandelbrot.