Peace of the Pi

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spectators watch as a Buddhist calculates
the 3080th digit of pi
We all know that pi is irrational, meaning that there's no pattern to its digits. So how is it that we can calculate it to the thousandth decimal place and beyond?

As with all transcendental numbers, the answer lies in the secretive religion of Zen Buddhism. To compute each digit of pi, a Yogi will enter a deep trance and request the digit from the spectral plane. The monk must then continue meditating while waiting for the answer to come. In some cases, the guru will learn the digit in mere seconds, while in other cases, monks have been known to sit for weeks in patient anticipation before receiving a reply.

Of course, the answer must then be checked carefully to make sure that the swami's concentration didn't slip, resulting in a foul-up. Standard practice is have twenty shamen (or shawomen) check each digit before it can be officially recognized as correct.

This sort of technique, known as "Vedic math", tends to stick in the craw of Western mathematicians who prefer "rigorous" methods like algebra and calculus. Personally, I say go with whatever works!

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Blogger Hannah Rose Williams said...

I'm not a skeptic by any means, but it seems to me that in this case, it's a lot faster and easier to obtain and verify those numbers mathematically. Not to mention you don't have to screw around with strange spirits you don't know.

For all I know, math could be the candy equivalent in the spirit realm's unmarked white van. ;)

10:31 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

To those who do not know Mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty of nature. ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in, as mentioned by physicist.

Michelle of Mould Remover

10:00 PM  
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12:26 PM  

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