Tue 2023-Mar-14

Pi Day 2023

Tagged: Beauty / Food / Math / Obscurantism / TheDivineMadness / ϜΤΦ

Today is Pi Day (3/14) in 2023. Sort of.

Pi Day?

Well, of course, it depends on your date notation!

  • 3/14 sort of makes sense (in decimal), but 3/14/2023 most emphatically does not.
  • And the American notation of MM/DD/YYYY is also crazy from the start. Clearly you should either go in increasing or decreasing order of granularity:
    o DD/MM/YYYY (as in Europe) or
    o YYYY/MM/DD (as in the ISO standard).
    But non of those express π very well, beyond 3 significant digits.

The Correct Way, of course, has nothing to do with decimal digits: either continued fractions in the Way of Gosper, or binary if you must have a polynomial expansion way of expressing the continued fraction, or at least with real pie. As we wrote 2 years ago, here on this Crummy Little Blog That Nobody Reads:

"Pi day door sign"

(Why has nobody ever built Gosper continued fraction hardware as an alternative to floating point? Is it because of the exponents?)

Of course, no Pi Day would be complete without a quick visit to the inimitable Vi Hart, who always has, by definition, The Most Interesting Opinions. (This one apparently involves General Relativity and observable amounts of curvature influencing measurement of π.)

I mean, anybody who can talk their friends into playing homemade cardboard instruments in a quintet while they are set on fire is… well, at the very least quite persuasive! Possibly frighteningly so.

Notes & References

1: Nope. Go eat pie, or something.

Published Tue 2023-Mar-14

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