Let’s All Celebrate Pi(e) Day

By Shlomo  Maital   

  pi

 It’s nearly midnight,  March 14, 2015,   or    3.1415 – yes, it’s still Pi Day, the day we celebrate pi, that incredible number, the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter… 3.1415927   … and another 3.1415 won’t happen for a whole century, until 2115.    

   What can we learn from  pi and Pi Day?  New York Times columnist Manil Suri, a mathematician,  observes that an exceptionally simple idea – take the ratio of the circle’s circumference to its diameter —  can yield an ‘irrational’ number (that’s what the mathematicians call it, because you cannot express it as a ratio of two whole numbers, like 22/7) that is incredibly complex, one that has been calculated to trillions of digits, and those digits are simply random.  

    But this is not irrational at all.  For many ideas of great beauty, their utter simplicity generates rich complexity and interest.  Like Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, written in spare simple prose, but with infinite meanings.  Or the Bible and its stories. 

    The simpler your innovation, the more complex its potential uses,   because the more ‘stuff’ and ‘wrinkles’ you put on it, the more you limit the users’ imaginations. 

     So – follow John Maeda.  Simplify.  Follow Antoine de St. Exupery (author of The Little Prince) who said “perfection is not when nothing more can be added, but when nothing more can be taken away”.  And while you’re at it, have a piece of deep-dish apple Pi.  Simplicity?   Sliced apples (thinly sliced, so they taste better),  dab of sugar, cinnamon, and pie crust (I like crumble topping,  oatmeal and margarine and brown sugar).   There’s nothing better. 

      Happy Day-After-Pi(e) Day!

      And here, just for fun, is pi   to one thousand digits.  Who knows – you might need it some day!  3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 8214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436

 7892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548

 0744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798

 6094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872

 1468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960

 5187072113499999983729780499510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881

 7101000313783875288658753320838142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778

  18577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989  


 

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