Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Pi Day

Posted at — Mar 14, 2021

It’s Pi day.

I think Pi has great analogs to humanity and the way we exist.

Pi is a beautiful, simple, abstraction, for a rather complex number. One character, \( \pi \), represents an non-terminating number.

A single Greek letter encapsulates a never ending number.

It reminds me of the human tendency to abstract something we don’t quite understand.

How often in life do we think we’ve understood the whole picture, reduce the experience to a label, and then operate on our assumption that the label is sufficient?

A racist sees skin colour and reduces a person to hate.
A friend sees a smile on a face and reduces a person to being okay.
A society sees food being stolen and reduces a person to immoral.

Are any of these abstractions sufficient in their representation?

Hiding behind that Greek letter is an infinite sequence of numbers.

Hiding behind that face is an infinite sequence of experiences.

We can never truly understand another human being. We continue to try, though, as we do with Pi. We compute more and more digits. We find new, complex representations with origins in different stems of mathematics. We continue to expand our picture of \( \pi \).

Our love for Pi is a testament to the human desire to seek truth and create understanding. It’s important to realize this desire won’t ever be fulfilled.

We spend years with humans around us. We decompose the experiences, signals, emotions and interactions to try and understand someone with confidence.

It’s an exciting ride to be a part of, but with the insight that this journey won’t ever complete – you can detach.

I found a way to embed LaTeX on the site. Naturally, I want to shoehorn as much mathematics into the post. Here are some cool and equal representations of \( \pi \):

Cool summation (My favourite mathematician: Srinivasa Ramanjuan):

$$\frac{1}{\pi} = \frac{2\sqrt{2}}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^{4}396^{4k}}$$

Pretty cool approximation (Liu Hui):

$$\pi \approx 768 \sqrt{2-\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2 + \sqrt{2 + \sqrt{2 + \sqrt{2 + \sqrt{2 + \sqrt{2 + 1}}}}}}}}}$$

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