Politics

On this Pi Day, let us contemplate the nature of math and an enduring mystery of the universe

It’s Pi Day, so I thought it might be interesting to think about and have some fun with numbers, while also revisiting a very old argument about the nature of numbers.

The mathematical constant pi is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter, and has fascinated people for millennia. The fact something infinite, and whose numbers don’t repeat over the infinite, is derived from something as simple as a circle, is in many respects a “beautiful” yet complex feature of the universe. And did I mention we still don’t understand everything about it?

If one then throws in things like Euler’s Identity, and pi’s connections to other fundamental concepts of math and science, one starts to understand why it has fascinated people for a very long time. But what are pi, 0, 1, or for that matter, numbers in general? Here’s a nice little mind-bender that’s been around for a while: Is mathematics a human invention, or a discovery made by humanity?

It seems like a simple question, but not quite.
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