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Vi Hart pushes back on Pi and whole Pi Day thingy.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Jeanette says:

    (insert engineering nerdery) I object to the use of τ on the basis that it’s already in use as a time constant. Try η (eta) instead.

    1. You know what Jeanette, I’m…quite frankly I’m sick and tired of the neo-Bourbakist hegemony using their quibbling sophistry to maintain the ivory tower, status-quo control of the common man by uh… by uh… kinda lost my train of thought there… Well… if give me a piece of Vi’s cherry pie we’ll call it a draw.

  2. Interesting. I see the basic pedagogical complaint. She’s not wrong, but she did do a little bit of hand-waving. That made sense when she admitted that this was someone else’s material and idea.
    I really, really, don’t like her attack angle of “radians ARE confusing,” as if that’s a fact. Radians make perfect sense, it’s degrees that we’re born and bred with that’s actually f’d up. If you train radian usage properly, and get past that initial resistance to regress to degrees, use pi or tau or whatever you want, because you already won. (though tau is spoken for in many disciplines, as already commented, so you would be introducing confusion at a later time)

  3. I’ve got Tau to 13 digits and pi only to 11. I’ll celebrate both days, as I do love pie so.