Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Deconstructing π


And so today we find ourselves forced to recognize yet another π Day, that most ridiculous of holidays, on which mathemagicians and their cronies in the geometranista celebrate their success in perpetuating the Great Global Rounding Swindle. Every year, they trot out the "fact' that π, guesstimated to be "3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510," is some sort of miracle number representing the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

And the worldwide mathmatical cabal, from the most celebrated MIT "professor" to the lowliest elementary school math indoctrinator, parrots the "fact," without proof or challenge. They simply repeat the usual mathemythical orthodoxy, and expect us all to believe it, even memorize it.

What is this assumption based on? This simple formula:

π = C/2r

And how do we "know" that this formula is correct? Because the mathemagicians have also told us this:

C = π x 2r

Oh, how convenient. Do they seriously expect us to believe this circular logic? Apparently so.

On a positive note, there is a growing number of courageous skeptics who challenge this so-called "fact," including fellow math skeptic Bob Palais, Research Mathemagics Professor at the University of Utah, who proudly proclaims that Pi is wrong, or the daring researcher Peter Karbach, who found a flaw in the orthodoxy. Even legal scholars are getting into the act, like the intrepid Kate Pflaumer, former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington.

And yet, our schools refuse to teach the controversy. What are they afraid of? What are they hiding? It is up to us in the math skeptic community to pressure our educational system to allow alternate definitions of π into the classroom, before the next generation of children is indoctrinated into the global mathemagical conspiracy.