Sunday, September 23, 2012

pi and the couch potatoes

Not that it hasn't probably been noted before, but perhaps it could be noted again how much like any individual life the number "pi" is. Pi (π) is the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of any circle. To divide the circumference by the diameter provides a number that is roughly 3.14

But the result of the division is always approximate. The digits following the 3 stretch out infinitely -- never ending and never repeating.

Here, for example, are the first few numbers of a million-digit result:

1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209 7494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651 3282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102 7019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461 2847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432 6648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920 9628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841 4695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179 3105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011 9491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798 6094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056 8127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901 2249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290 2196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837 2978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522 3082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083 8142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235 3787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909 2164201989380952572010654858632788659361533818279682303 0195203530185296899577362259941389124972177528347913151 5574857242454150695950829533116861727855889075098381754 6374649393192550604009277016711390098488240128583616035 6370766010471018194295559619894676783744944825537977472

And that barely scratches the surface.

Never ending and never repeating ... how much is that like any thought, word or deed a human being might express? Being uncertain seems as silly as being certain. The endless ripples just ripple and ripple until any man might fall exhausted in his pursuit of "true meaning" or "unassailable fact" or "a world without uncertainty" or "authentic answers." Neither circle nor diameter is affected: Thought is thought; word is word; deed is deed ... forever ... never ending and never repeating, neither together nor alone ... forever... whatever the hell that might mean.

Given all this, is it any wonder the world created couch potatoes?

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