π-lovers: no need to panic

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Forget the carbon tax, boat people, earthquakes, dust clouds and Piers Akerman. Here’s the big issue of the day – the anti-π movement, π being the famous ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

I know! I was aghast as well. Who could possible be anti-π ? In fact the world of mathematics is reeling from the schism in its ranks.

For those who’ve been hibernating in a cave for a year or so, the trouble started with the Tau Manifesto.  In a nutshell, the Tau movement decided that our beloved π (there, I’ve nailed my colours to the mast), is actually the wrong constant to be using, and it should be Tau (τ), which is defined at 2π .

Why? I hear you ask. Well as far as I can figure out, it’s to simplify the various formulae in the mathematical world. There is also a philosophical argument that it’s more meaningful to take the ratio of circumference to radius, but I don’t buy it.

In response to the Tau manifesto, we now the have Pi Manifesto, which gives the truth of the holy number, which is writ in the very geometry of the universe – at least for Euclidean space.

I’m sure after you’ve had a chance to read it, you’ll be convinced.

And my favourite quote on the subject comes from mathematician Siddhartha Gadgil, who says:

“The whole notion of replacing π by 2π is silly since we all are very comfortable with π and multiplication by two.”

So, you Tauists, what is it you have difficulty with: π itself, or, operations involving 2?

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