Thinking without language?

Vidar Hokstad vidarh at screenmedia.no
Tue Nov 23 04:13:40 EST 1999


"Lee Sau Dan 李守敦" wrote:
> 
> >>>>> "Alan" == Alan Roth <alan42 at mindspring.com> writes:
> 
>     Alan> How many digits can you memorize? I haven't found a personal
>     Alan> need to go past 3.14159.
> 
> Quite  true.  On  Linux (and  most Unices),  it's very  easy to  get a
> decimal expansion of pi for as  many places as you like (provided your
> computer has enough virtual memory, and you have enough patience).
> 
>         $ echo 'scale=400; 4*a(1)' | time bc -l
>         3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307\
>         81640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058\
>         22317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644\
>         28810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610\
>         45432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925\
>         40917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116092
> 
> This took  only 9  seconds on  a Pentium 133  running Linux.   So, why
> memorize pi to so many decimal places?

Not to mention that you will likely *never* deal with any objects that
are large
enough that you'll actually *need* pi to that many decimal places. It's
more of
a mental excercise to see if you can do it. Even dealing with astronomic
distances
you're rather unlikely to need anything more than 10-15 decimals.

Regards,
Vidar Hokstad
<vidar at hokstad.com>




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