Happy Pi-Day!

It’s now March fourtteenth at 1:59 PM, meaning it’s 3.14 1:59. Happy Pi Day, everyone! (PS, if you are a european, please do not misconstrue this to mean that pi is 14.3 1359.) Here’s a little something to celebrate the day by.

Actually, I debated for a while about whether I should post this particular clip, because in some ways it’s completely arbitrary. People get obsessed with the digits of special numbers, but they’re meaningless. Its the same fallicy that people succumb to when they think there must be something special about being the 1 millionth customer. In base 6, they’re actually the 33233344th customer. Which suddenly doesn’t seem so special, now does it? Similarly, I could rewrite pi in another base and this song would no longer have any particular relevance to the number pi. His choice of what scale, what key, and what numbering scheme are also all just up to him. The whole thing is actually just an project in constrained composition, where he’s chosen an arbitrary set of rules he has to stick to and managed to make an attractive piece of music out of it.

So I was hesitant to spread this around, lest people who like to attach too much mystical meaning to science and math start calling it “the harmonies of mother nature” or something like that. But then again, it really is an impressively well-constructed song, given the restrictions he had to work with. And that really is a great hat/vest combo he’s wearing….

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About Colin West
Colin West is a graduate student in quantum information theory, working at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. Originally from Colorado (where he attended college), his interests outside of physics include politics, paper-folding, puzzles, playing-cards, and apparently, plosives.

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