People and numbers

16 May 2020

As a secondary school pupil I remember spending numerous lunch breaks on a school computer trying to calculate the first thousand digits of pi which I vaguely remember to be non-recurring and non-terminating. (Pi, yes the number starting 3.1…. not the edible one despite their curvy relationship.) We can always get a little bit more accurate for a smoother ride to infinity and beyond.

I sometimes think we use letters as numbers to make stuff up. Imaginary numbers indeed. Ok, so the real world, as with real numbers, can be considered complex with imaginary bits that might for instance include a J, other than my wife. Electrical engineers can imagine J to avoid conflict. Very useful, currently.

I am just an ordinary level mathematician, as you may have guessed. I like real, real numbers, that make sense to me. Now thanks to a virus, we have another number to get hold of, R, representing an important concept that I think I understand. I am however questioning myself. Is it’s calculation real world or imaginary depending on your values, political or otherwise. In some ways R seems like Pi which fractionally is an irrational number that’s hard to define without motive.

We are told all sorts of things justified by numbers at the moment. To add another powerful letter I’ll suggest e. I am told that e to the pi*i =-1. Oh yes, more negativity. For many calculating R right now, i might be an imaginary unit. But the I of I am is a very real person with feelings of my own. The e in me relates to everyone’s emotional equality.

We must never forget the individuals behind the big numbers right now. It’s even possible to calculate Euler’s real identity. My recent past makes me think of pi as power and importance. We do need to get equilibrium with both these. Algorithms can be like a bin, garbage in, then garbage out, even if the bin itself is great!

Right now this makes R far from, as easy as pi, to handle positively. The root of this expression, easy as pi is the Maori word pai, meaning good. We need to keep goodness at the root of all we do with our numbers and calculations. Intellectuals can offer supposedly insightful information based on guess-timates that are far from empirical or evidenced based, even when presented as such. I hope we do good for the many and not just the few when using our calculations.

The base of things for me, in recognition of Euler, is that I am now going to log some natural calm rhythmic heartbeat, sleep -the only natural logarithm I can handle right now.

Bird of prey when headteacher. Brave whilst handling.

Our hearts are really being put to the test and I am positive about that.

May the lord bless you.

Oh I got that from Numbers too, try 6:24.

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