03-31-2018, 10:29 AM

At the last Mathjam in Berlin there was the topic about searching digits of PI or similar quests apparently pointless. For example computing PI, square root of 2, e, biggest prime, etc. Of course the quest can be also theoretical, not only of numerical nature.

I was surprised to see people finding those quests useless, in a mathjam. Well, no lie, I find them also not so useful per se (that is, in the result) in a short term view. Maybe in some 50 years or more they may be useful.

I find them useful for the byproduct results. Happiness through fun (Kraft durch Freude! ah no wait, wrong timing....) , possible spill overs finding better formulas or theories to compute or solve this or that, testing hardware, prestige (ex: "The US has the supercomputer that computed the last record of PI digits under X hours. No one was so fast until now."), a place where to learn more math or programming (ex: "this method approximate this irrational number at a rate of 14 digits per iteration"), be creative representing the results (ex: using the digits of Pi for some sort of nice drawing), the newly idea of cryptocurrencies* (see primecoin), and so on.

What is your view on those topics?

* Cryptocurrencies is a word with such loaded meaning by the average person. Actually for me it seems a word that minimizes the value of the technology. I would better say "shared p2p databases with distributed consensus on the next input to store". That is way more appealing to me.

I was surprised to see people finding those quests useless, in a mathjam. Well, no lie, I find them also not so useful per se (that is, in the result) in a short term view. Maybe in some 50 years or more they may be useful.

I find them useful for the byproduct results. Happiness through fun (Kraft durch Freude! ah no wait, wrong timing....) , possible spill overs finding better formulas or theories to compute or solve this or that, testing hardware, prestige (ex: "The US has the supercomputer that computed the last record of PI digits under X hours. No one was so fast until now."), a place where to learn more math or programming (ex: "this method approximate this irrational number at a rate of 14 digits per iteration"), be creative representing the results (ex: using the digits of Pi for some sort of nice drawing), the newly idea of cryptocurrencies* (see primecoin), and so on.

What is your view on those topics?

* Cryptocurrencies is a word with such loaded meaning by the average person. Actually for me it seems a word that minimizes the value of the technology. I would better say "shared p2p databases with distributed consensus on the next input to store". That is way more appealing to me.