I smell a conspiracy. I’m not talking about the recent mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian airliner. The conspiracy I have discovered is something far more insidious. It’s an attack on the very fabric of geekdom. I’m talking about the defamation of π.
As most of you realize, we are just a couple of days past one of the most sacrosanct days on the calendar, March 14, aka 3/14, aka π (or Pi) Day, so designated because the 3/14 representation of the date is suggestive of 3.14, the popularly abbreviated form of the unending decimal value of π, one of mathematics’ most sacred constants.
While this year’s π date, 3/14/14, has a nice ring to it, π aficionados will realize that next year, or the year after, are more significant, depeding on whether you truncate (3.1415) or round up (3.1416). But today, just 2 days past this year’s blowout celebration, I stumbled across a Gizmodo article, complete with cute video, suggesting that the whole concept of celebrating the awesomeness of π is overrated. Not just overrated, but “just dumb”.
This bit of heresy was presented by self-described “recreational mathemusician” Vi Hart. Her arguments, presented at a pace that allowed no time to absorb them and cogitate on their validity, caused me to ponder. Since stalking hot mathemusicians seems like a reasonable hobby for a geek, and maybe a healthy diversification from my previous obsession of stalking hot event riders, I searched for more information about the mysterious Ms. Hart who boldly professed such blasphemy.
Not surprisingly, she has a blog, vihart.com, which demonstrates her ability to write amusingly and eloquently about a number of topics of varying degrees of geekiness. Somehow it all seemed so nice and not what I would have expected from such a heretic. Maybe she really has a point.
And then I found it. Buried deep within her FAQ page was her dark secret.
Q: Can I give you money? You should really be able to make videos full time!
A: I already make videos full time! Making my videos takes a lot longer than most people’s craziest estimates. Luckily, you’re not the only one who thinks my work is worth supporting. I am currently very generously supported by SAP, and before that, I was supported by Khan Academy. I am doing pretty good!
And there you have it, folks. Ms. Hart’s assault on the sanctity of π is sponsored by none other than the evil software empire of SAP.
Those of you who are not familiar with the abomination called SAP should consider yourselves lucky. Anybody who has experienced its ugliness will know what I mean. But even a victim of SAP might be surprised to realize that they have stooped so low as to support the defamation of π.