Jason (jcreed) wrote,

Walking home I realized I couldn't remember my dad's home phone number, and trying to remember it I knew I was getting a lot of interference from a childhood friend's phone number, 839 4431, and also apparently from some random digits of pi. I knew the exchange of my dad's was something like 837, but every time I tried to order my brain to come up with the last 4 digits, all I got was 837 5028, which I knew was wrong, and moreoever I knew it was an echo of ...83279 50288... the 26th-35th digits of pi, still uselessly lodged in my memory from being bored in the summer after 7th grade in a classroom ostensibly studying for MATHCOUNTS but instead staring blankly at the banner stretched around the space where the walls met the ceiling, displaying pi up to 75 digits in groups of 5 numerals.

And as soon as I sat down to type this up, the correct phone number, 835 2372 popped into my head, which is interesting, because it is just a not-quite permutative jumble of ...83279 50288..., showing my brain was sort of vaguely on the right track.

Man, I tell ya. Math is cool, but numbers are not cool. Hence math is not about numbers.

During the day I poked at my typechecker code some, ran into thebenedictine at Hillman, sporting an interesting biography of de Beauvoir, where I for my part was reading "Why Literature Is Bad For You" which I had heard of through a Ask Metafilter question about desert-island book reading lists, which in turn appeared on del.icio.us/popular a while ago. I already agree totally with the MeFi poster that the book is "ultimately [...] wrongheaded", and if anything that's an understatement, but a "fairly rewarding mental exercise to identify and take apart what I didn't like about it".
Tags: books, numbers, social

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