On my way home from school today I was thinking about π and the arbitrary nature of things. Π is a pretty important number. It pops up over an over in mathematics concerning the relationship of things in nature. It’s also an irrational number. Strange that something so important would be irrational.
But why is it irrational, really? Yeah, it can't be reduced to a simple fraction and has all those non-repeating decimals, but really, what it all boils down to that π is 3.14 blah blah blah because we have arbitrarily assigned our number system to be based on 1.
What if π was our basic unit? How would that change things? If our number system were set up so that π=1, or rather that 1= the Circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. For one thing, circles would be a lot easier. It could be done. Or rather, it could have been done. Once upon a time when whoever was inventing numbers and math, what if they saw that π was an important number and decided to base the entire number system on that?
One only means one to us because that's what we believe. It's what we've been taught, that's the significance that has been assigned to that particular unit by society, by people. It could have just as easily been assigned to π. If π had been assigned as our basic unit, as 1, it wouldn't actually change the world we live in much at all. Ok, it was totally fuck math, but we'd be used to it by now, and we'd have a totally rational number to explain the relationships of circles.
I wonder though, if that's how we saw the world - where π was the basis of our number system, if we would See things differently? I think this is something to think about while staring at the ceiling and just letting my mind wander. It's kind of a mind-fuck. Sadly, I don't have time. I have to do stuff for school.