Tim Ikeda wrote:
>> I recently made the startling discovery that when I measure the
>> circumference of a circle and divide that number by twice the
>> circle's radius, the value of pi appears! I've been able to confirm
>> this result to three decimal places so far, using no more than a
>> simple protractor and a ruler.
> It goes without saying that I'm mightily impressed by all your
Ah yes, that's why I have an unlisted number. All those phone calls from
the Nobel committee were beginning to bother me. You'd think they'd remember
the time zone difference. *sigh*
>I think it's even more interesting that you apparently grew
>up in a culture where a great deal of progress had been made in algebra
>and analysis while almost nothing had been done in geometry.
Uncanny! Although you are a physicist and theologian, I would have
thought your unfamiliarity with prenatal botanical psychology should
have prevented you from fully grasping my theory. Some people have
suggested my theories are crazy, but the fact that I still write mostly
in the first person proves I'm not a couple tacos short of the combo
Anyway, what you deduced about my cultural background is correct.
The problems with geometry also explain much of what goes on at the
Delaware DOT (For instance, it took them a while to realize that
highway cloverleafs work most efficiently when constructed as three
dimensional structures. They tried it in two dimensions, but it never
worked any better than a four-way stop and only unfamiliar out-of-towners
bothered going through the extraneous loops). Also, to suggest that Delaware
has "a culture" is stretching things, IMHO. While one can culture things
from a Delawarian, trying to add culture to a Delawarian is a lost
cause. When your state's major contribution to fine cuisine is brine-
treated muskrat, you've got a lot of catching up to do.
>I would guess that pi had been defined by some formula such as
> pi/4 = 1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + ....
>or in terms of some integral like a gamma function. The discovery that
>the same number occurred in an elementary geometry problem would then
>have been quite a surprise.
It's interesting that Glen should mention Zeno's paradox in a recent
I purposefully skipped the series proofs because I have an irrational fear
that prevents me from even considering infinite series (Well, that and a
problem I have getting the signs of the odd and even terms correct). This
fear has to do with being able to walk from my bed to the bathroom
door in less than an infinite amount of time. If I don't think about each
infinitesimal distance I have to pass through, I can get to the door
in seconds. But when I start adding them up, well, let's just say the
exercise is more than mental. It doesn't matter whether the world is
quantized, I couldn't add 1E-15 meter steps fast enough anyhow.
Besides, using a protractor is easier for math problems and I've already
got a couple pivot points neatly dug into the dining room table (That's
what placemats are really used for).
Tim Ikeda (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jun 25 2001 - 00:49:06 EDT