Pi Day and oh, That Icon

Nerds, mathematicians, lovers of all things circular today celebrate Pi Day, the day that honors π, one of the world’s most mysterious inspiring infinite mathematical constants. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 at 1:59:26 p.m., the date and time which corresponds to the first eight digits of π, or 3.1415926. π . It, March 14th is, also, the birth day of a German physicist.  Those nerds like to think that they might figure out some of those mysteries, like that guy who’s birthday is March 14th, 1879.

By the way, if you don’t remember π  can be approximated, but never represented by anything finite, by:

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609…

For it’s a transcendental number.

In 1900 Lord Kelvin announced “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now.” On the other hand, at the end of 19th century some subtle cracks had already appeared with discovery of radioactivity and the Michaelson-Morley experiment had put the concept of the ether in jeopardy. Established scientists Hendrix Lorentz, Henri Poincare, and Ernst Mach had noticed that Maxwell‘s equations were not invariant according to Newton‘s laws, but they did not start from first principles, they couldn’t imagine giving up absolute space and time, Newton’s assumptions. Einstein did question those assumptions.

For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained – and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent. … Ruthless pragmatists about ideas, and insatiably curious, Architects are driven to find the most efficient means to their ends, and they will learn in any manner and degree they can. They will listen to amateurs if their ideas are useful, and will ignore the experts if theirs are not. Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them. Architects are interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them. [Please Understand Me II]

Of course, Albert Einstein was an Architect Rational, whose birthday was March 14th.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole. [Wikipedia]

Quote1.pngAny intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.Quote2.png  — Albert Einstein

26 thoughts on “Pi Day and oh, That Icon

  1. pam March 14, 2012 / 11:34 pm

    Mwwwaah to Albert and all the sexy nerds!

    Like

  2. Tallgrayguy March 15, 2012 / 2:16 am

    Einstein’s birthday is March 14th, I believe. Did you mean to say it was May 14th as set forth in your post the last three times?

    Like

    • David Keirsey March 15, 2012 / 12:31 pm

      It was late at night when I published the blog 😦 Details, details. Thanks for the catch.

      Like

  3. Marc-Olivier March 15, 2012 / 1:23 pm

    Nothing to do with your article, but any chance that you do one day an article about famous Americans mobsters? I would be curious to know what type are people like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Carlo Gambino and Al Capone.

    -Thank you

    Like

    • David Keirsey March 15, 2012 / 5:24 pm

      Yes these guys are interesting. I could do them, on other hand, talking about the rogues — people get offended that they are same Temperament as these guys, even though there are bad guys in all of the Temperaments.

      Like

      • Marc-Olivier March 15, 2012 / 5:56 pm

        If you confirm me that Meyer Lansky is a rational mastermind. I will be proud. He did so many things for the mafia in the shadow without spending many years in jail.

        Also it would be good that you forget some overrated mobsters like John Gotti or Benjamin Siegel. Guys for an unknown reason are mobsters icon.

        Bye

        Like

      • Brian S. March 17, 2012 / 8:05 am

        Far from taking offense, I would be fascinated to learn of any Composers among history’s villains.

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      • David Keirsey March 23, 2012 / 10:51 am

        Good question. I don’t have an immediate answer.

        Like

  4. jason taylor March 15, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    I still think I am an INTP. I am closer to that then the others.

    Like

    • David Keirsey March 23, 2012 / 10:49 am

      Not that I could figure out. However, I have no doubt there are. One can perceive Karl Marx as “evil” but he never was interested in “implementation” — the question is: should you blame Soviet, Chinese, and Cambodian excesses on Marx. There are many religious people who see Darwin’s ideas are “evil.” I suspect the Unabomber was a Mastermind, but he could be an Architect.

      Like

    • Mike Galos April 1, 2012 / 7:17 pm

      Clearly there are (and I’m an Architect so it’s not a case of trying to make us look good)

      Any type that is Utilitarian can go to far and move toward pragmatism at the cost of people (one thing we call “evil”). On the other hand, any type that is Cooperative can go to far and move toward dogmatism at the cost of people.

      Society knee-jerks from the excesses of each group in turn to their opposite on one of the axes.

      Rationals get too pragmatic so society turns to Idealists
      Idealists get too inefficient so society turns to Artisans
      Artisans get too self-serving so society turns to Guardians
      Guardians get too rigid so society turns to Rationals
      and the cycle continues (about every 20 years or so for the last few centuries)

      RIght now we’re transitioning from an Artisan phase to a Guradian one and so people are objecting to the Artisan “screw the rules if I make a buck” philosophy of current Wall Street and are turning to the Guardians’ “There must be rules to enforce fairness” philosophy. Sometime around 2035 the Guardians will overreach, the rules they enforce will pinch too much of society and we’ll have another period of “do what works” rationality.

      Like

      • David Keirsey April 1, 2012 / 7:41 pm

        It’s possible there is these cycles, although I am wondering that the cycles might be getting shorter and shorter and shorter. The Internet is changing the game — and going global.

        Like

      • Mike Galos April 1, 2012 / 8:03 pm

        The 30 year Artisan period we’re now ending is unusual in its length although cycles for the two high-population types do tend to be longer and “borrow” from the two smaller groups’ cycles. If anything, though, it seems like the cycles are becoming more irregular.

        The Artisan phase we just went through really started in 1980 and should have ended a decade earlier. It is possible that the 9/11 crisis extended it rather than being the trigger that shifted society toward the next phase. If society was not quite ready for a transition then that crisis would tend to freeze out change as people become drastically change averse and put off reacting to the excesses of the end of period overreaching out of that aversion.

        Besides that example, though, we clearly had an Idealist period from about 1966 and the Summer of Love until the Reagan change in 1980. And there’s little doubt that the Rational period from the end of WWII went for 20 years with “scientific management”, automation and “efficiency experts” until it’s crisis in the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam.

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      • David Keirsey April 1, 2012 / 8:31 pm

        Being a nerd and having lived through those eras, it sure felt like those Artisans were in full force and dominant during the sixties and seventies. The first couple of hippies might have been Idealists, but the vast majority were pedal-to-the-metal Artisans having a time of their life.

        Like

      • Mike Galos April 2, 2012 / 1:10 am

        Being another fellow nerd who also lived through those eras I’d agree that the micro affects are determined pretty much always by the vast majority that are Artisans and Guardians but the macro – the sea in which we all swim at the time – is determined by whose philosophies determine the flavor of the times. Those are what go in cycles.

        For example, it often seemed odd that virtually all of the major leaders of the personal computer revolution were born within the years 1955-1957 until I realized that they were all cusp children who were raised and educated under the Rational period and who came into their adulthood and their choice of how to influence their world in an idealist sea. Hence they used their rationally rewarded tendency toward logic to the idealist goal of giving computing to the masses.

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      • David Keirsey April 2, 2012 / 1:17 pm

        Have you read Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. I could relate to that explanation very well, since I was five years older, and had started in computers five years earlier, with second generation computers with punch cards. Didn’t occur to me start a business with those puny 4004 or 8008 chips, when we had the PDP-10 and the Evans-Sutherland systems were the “cutting edge”.

        Like

      • Mike Galos April 2, 2012 / 10:14 pm

        I have but found Gladwell’s explanation to be a bit simplistic in that there’s no real magic in 19 year olds starting high-risk businesses. That’s usually something done by people in their mid 20s who are in the early stages of a job market and have less too lose than college students. It was, after all, a huge gamble for Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard – much more of a risk than it would have been to put off a post-college job hunt for a year or two or skip the somewhat traditional year of “finding yourself” in Europe after graduation.

        He also doesn’t explain why we didn’t see exactly the same thing happen 6 years later when the PC industry reinvented itself after IBM’s 3rd entry into the market finally took off and virtually all the early companies folded with the notable exception of Microsoft and Apple. (Look back at an early copy of Byte and you’ll be amazed at how few of the names are even familiar) Or, for that matter, at any of the other inflection points in technology that could have equally triggered a social as well as technical revolution. (It didn’t happen with timesharing services or minicomputers which could have started similar technologically driven social movements.

        That combination of technological background and social change driven environment comes around rarely and I find it hard to think that it’s purely coincidental that the exact social constructs happened at exactly that time.

        If you haven’t read it, I’d suggest reading John Markoff’s excellent “What the Dormouse Said” for how ’60s counterculture philosophy created the PC revolution of the ’70s and ’80s.

        Oh, and the first system I spent any real time on was a CDC Cyber 70/74 with first an IBM 029 keypunch and an express reader (card reader/line printer combo) and later with DECwriter II printer terminals attached to 300 baud Bell 103 modems. (I’m a year younger than Gates)

        Like

      • David Keirsey April 2, 2012 / 11:48 pm

        Gee you missed the joys of the plug boards of the IBM 605, the IBM Sorter 82, the card operating system of the IBM 1401 — and the IBM 026, and I am thinking the IBM 024 (but my memory ain’t so good anymore).

        Interesting, I do remember that the British (e.g., Sinclair) competed with the Bay Area companies, as well as a few So Cal companies formed by some computer types from the universities for the PC market. I didn’t get a sense many of those guys were like Jobs, rather many were nerds like Gates — who didn’t have anything to do with the 60’s counterculture. I probably had heard of many of those company names in the first Byte magazines. I have read one of Markoff’s books (about Kevin Mitnick), I will put it on my list.

        Like

      • Mike Galos April 3, 2012 / 7:17 am

        It wasn’t that all the people involved were part of the counterculture, it’s that the counterculture (and it’s very Idealist prioritization of what is and isn’t important in society) was the tone of the times. It was as natural at the time to think “how will this help people” at the time as it was in the 1980s to think “how will this help me”. You can see that influence in Gates and Wozniak’s later work in using their wealth for charity. (Jobs was much more a 1980s person ahead of his time, though.)

        I didn’t quite miss out on the 026. I had some bugs in a FORTRAN job once and the lines waiting for an 029 were long so I figured I’d just use an old 026 to punch cards for the updated lines. Nobody had mentioned that the 026 and the 029 encoded special characters differently, that you had to put a different control card in to say “use 026 encoding” or that you couldn’t mix 026 and 029 cards in one job. It was a long night.

        Like

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