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Thread: Can you make a sentence which says: pi?

  1. #1
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    Can you make a sentence which says: pi?

    This may seem like a thread for Off Topic Babbling, but I have put it in Conspiracy Theories for a reason, which will become apparent later on.

    In this first post I will first describe a mathematical game, and then issue a challenge.

    1. The mathematical game.

    Let every letter of the Roman alphabet be given a numerical value, in the following way:

    A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=5, F=6, G=7, H=8, I=9
    J=10, K=20, L=30, M=40, N=50, O=60, P=70, Q=80, R = 90
    S=100, T=200, U=300, V=400, W=500, X=600, Y=700, Z=800

    Let every word of the English language be given two numerical values, the additive word-number, calculated by adding the values of the letters, and the multiplicative word-number, calculated by multiplying the values of the letters.

    (For example, fox has an additive value of 666, and a multiplicative value of 216,000.)

    Let every sentence of the English language have a numerical value, which is to be calculated by multiplying all the multiplicative word-numbers together, dividing the result by all the additive word-numbers, multiplying the result with the number of letters and dividing the result by the number of words.

    (For example, the sentence I am a fox. has 4 words and 7 letters. To find the numerical value, one must calculate (9*40*1*216,000)/(9*41*1*666) and multiply the result by 7/4.)

    The result will likely be a large number. It will not normally be an integer, but it will of course be a rational number. The game consist in finding sentences which yield interesting numbers. To make the number more interesting it is allowed to shift the decimal point of the result.

    2. The challenge.

    Can you find a sentence which yields the first few decimals of pi? That is: a sentence with a numerical value starting with 314159....., so that you might shift the decimal point to make it 3.14159... The quality of the fit is of course dependent on the first decimal which does not comform to the correponding decimal in pi.

    The sentence doesn't have to come from a book, but it must be a "good" sentence. That is: spelling and grammar must be correct, it must have a proper subject and verb, and it must sound like something which someone might actually say or write. Mary had a little lamb. or This is the winter of our discontent. are allowed, but Hi hey find thought. is not allowed. The sentence may be as long as one likes.

    If you find such a sentence, I would like to know whether a computer was used in any way to find it.

  2. #2
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    That seems like a toughy. I just tried, without a computer, and I got nowhere.

    But here's the Bad Astronomy Pi Code, or, at least, that's what I like to call it.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like Theomatics, aka Bible Code to me. This is nothing more than pattern recognition using numbers and formulas. I had someone once try to convince me that computers were created by the devil through the use of theomatics, since using his number system, "computer" translated to 666, or the mark of the beast. This is no different. If you look for patterns, eventually you will find them, whether they be in the bible or any other book.

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    Sounds like Theomatics, aka Bible Code to me.

    Actually Theomatics and the Bible Code are two different things.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    2. The challenge.
    Lots of people find it challenging to hit a small white ball with a metal or wooden stick, attempting to knock it into a 4-1/4-inch hole hundreds of yards distant off a tee with one stroke. Many try their whole lives, without managing to accomplish it even one time.

    Some might even say it's impossible without divine intervention.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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    %$#@ this is hard!

    whats the point of this anyways?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomWolf
    Sounds like Theomatics, aka Bible Code to me.

    Actually Theomatics and the Bible Code are two different things.
    My mistake.

    Definately theomatics though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvb
    If you look for patterns, eventually you will find them, whether they be in the bible or any other book.
    Okay. But what if you found this pattern in the very first sentence of the book?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    Okay. But what if you found this pattern in the very first sentence of the book?
    The BA Pi Code uses the very first digits of pi.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    Okay. But what if you found this pattern in the very first sentence of the book?
    I suppose it would mean that you found a pattern using a specific formula. Change the letters A=2, B=3, etc, and the pattern isn't there anymore, but you may find other patterns instead. It's not unusual for the human mind to look for patterns, as it's something that we do as early as childhood when learning our first language.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    Okay. But what if you found this pattern in the very first sentence of the book?
    What if someone hits a hole-in-one on their first attempt?
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001
    What if someone hits a hole-in-one on their first attempt?
    We all have to run up to them and chant "we're not worthy"!

  13. #13
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    Let me also add the following link which shows how theomatics applies equally well to any text.

    On the page http://www.theomatics.com/theomatics/proof.html, the theomatics author anticipates that some skeptical heathens will be critical of his work, so he "puts them to bed" immediately. He says, "The phenomenon only works in the Bible and nowhere else. No other work of literature ever written, never has, and probably never will, be able to consistently demonstrate anything like theomatics."
    Futher on he mentions this.

    Finally, I would like to make note of another very important statement on this last page: "It is absolutely, completely, and totally impossible to mathematically disprove theomatics."
    This is a straight declaration that theomatics is not falsifiable, which by definition means it is not a science. Not only that, but it has no predictive power. You arbitrarily pick which numbers are important to you, then you crop out phrases that look good, but there's no way to tell ahead of time exactly what phrases you'll find. Therefore, theomatics is completely useless.
    Source: http://www.apollowebworks.com/atheism/theomatics.html

    I suggest reading the article in its entirety.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    (For example, fox has an additive value of 666, and a multiplicative value of 216,000.)
    hmm, that kind of makes sense, i guess..
    what's CNN come out to?

  15. #15
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    Haven't been able to hit pi yet, but in terms of interesting results, so far "I am" appears to have the lowest numeric value.

  16. #16
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    Haven't found a solution, yet. But, I think this may help reduce the problem...

    If we use the two word sentence:

    Babe _ _ _ _ _ _.

    Where Babe is the name of an individual and the second word is a valid six letter verb, we get the following...

    letters/words = 10/2
    "Babe" multiplicative word number = (2x1x2x5) = 20
    "Babe" additive word number = (2+1+2+5) = 10
    Missing verb multiplicative word number = a
    Missing verb additive word number = b

    That gives us this equation...

    10x(pi) = (10/2)(20a/10b)

    10x(pi) = 10(a/b)

    10(x-1)pi = (a/b)

    Because we're free to move pi's decimal point where-ever necessary, we can effectively reduce this problem to finding a six-letter verb who's multiplicative number-to-additive number ratio is pi -- or 10xpi.

    Don't know if that's more or less complex than the original challenge, but it seemed noteworthy enough to post.


    --ISF

    edit: used those newfangled superscript tags for clarity.
    Last edited by ISflotsam; 2006-Mar-27 at 09:17 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvb
    Change the letters A=2, B=3, etc, and the pattern isn't there anymore, but you may find other patterns instead.
    Of course. But A=1, B=2, etc. seems a rather special choice, because, historically, the alphabet had this order.

    By the way: what if this numerical code had been in widespread use to write numbers (and actual numerals like 1, 2, etc. had not yet been invented) when the text was written?

    And what if pi itself wasn't supposed to have been discovered or calculated when the text was written?

  18. #18
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    Best I found in a short search and fast calcs is "We are family", with 3.08. This was done using random short sentences. The system is way too complicated to use for longer sentences (except by using computers of course).

    The reverse, using this system to write out numbers, is just plain silly, as countless "words" will yield the same result.

    And "the alphabet" didn't always exist in this order and with this number of letters. E.g. the Greek alphabet has 24 letters and another order than the English one. So if the text you are alluding too was written before pi was discovered, then using the English alphabet (and English words) will not show anything about it, as that alphabet and the language didn't exist back then either.

  19. #19
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    The best I've done is "Babe listed." Maybe "Babe" is the name of a damaged ship or something, I suppose. It yields 310344.

    To echo Fram, the currently-ordered 26-letter english alphabet wasn't in its current state until the Middle Ages after evolving through Greek, Etruscan and Latin. This was well after numerals were invented and pi was discovered. So, I'm not quite sure what this code could properly reveal from antiquity.


    --ISF

  20. #20
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    Quite so. I only used the English language and the Roman alphabet as an example, to show how difficult it would be.

    The actual text was in another alphabet altogether, and this alphabet was in use to write numbers in the way I described. I.e. if I wanted to write the number 666, I would have to write FOX or XFO or FXO or OXF or any other permutation of the three letters F, O and X. And I would not be able to write numbers larger than 900 without repeating some letters: those were primitive times indeed.

    But please, try it out with the English language and the Roman alphabet, and imagine coming up with pi without using anything more sophisticated than an abacus.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    ...if I wanted to write the number 666, I would have to write FOX or XFO or FXO or OXF or any other permutation of the three letters F, O and X.
    Or any permutations of these...

    OVATE
    TITANATE
    STRIATING

    ...but I suppose the shortest combinations would be most acceptable. Of course, that might still be confusing for numbers like 15 (JE, HG, IF).


    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    And I would not be able to write numbers larger than 900 without repeating some letters: those were primitive times indeed.
    I presume you meant you would not be able to write numbers larger than 4095 without repeating letters: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ = 4095

    Regardless, if numbers were simply represented by adding values assigned letters, why the need for the complicated rigamarole of multiplicative values being divided by additive values, etc. to "encode" the value of pi in a sentence? On the surface, that seems like a contrivance to explain a nifty coincidence.

    Anyway, other than a calculator, I haven't used a computer for any of my efforts here and my earlier sentence stands as the best I can do. I willingly concede it would be quite difficult to intentionally encode the value of pi into a sentence without a computer using the formula in the OP.


    --ISF

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISflotsam
    I presume you meant you would not be able to write numbers larger than 4095 without repeating letters: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ = 4095
    Yes, you are right. I think that it was usual to use as few letters as possible, though, so 4095 would usually be represented by ZZZZZRE.

    Quote Originally Posted by ISflotsam
    Regardless, if numbers were simply represented by adding values assigned letters, why the need for the complicated rigamarole of multiplicative values being divided by additive values, etc. to "encode" the value of pi in a sentence? On the surface, that seems like a contrivance to explain a nifty coincidence.
    Of course this was not how the numerical values were used for keeping records or other mundane purposes. But if this complicated rigmarole yields pi to a precision of 1 in 100,000 the coincidence is more than nifty. Unless one can think of another complicated (but not much more complicated) rigmarole which will yield pi, to the same precision, from the first sentence of The Hobbit.

    Quote Originally Posted by ISflotsam
    Anyway, other than a calculator, I haven't used a computer for any of my efforts here and my earlier sentence stands as the best I can do. I willingly concede it would be quite difficult to intentionally encode the value of pi into a sentence without a computer using the formula in the OP.
    Yes. And yet it was intentionally encoded this way before, at least, the time of King Nebucadnezar.

  23. #23
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    Unless you're implying the actual formula to de-code this value was plainly revealed somewhere, this still seems like nothing more than a coincidence, regardless of the precision.

    The formula appears very arbitrary. For example, why are the additive values of each word in a sentence multiplied together? Why aren't they added? Why is the number of letters divided by the number of words instead of the other way around. Why is it that the multiplicative value of a sentence is divided by the additive instead of some other operation?

    And finally, in ancient times, what exactly would be the need to, first, calculate pi to 100,000 digits, and second, once done, to encode it within a text using a complicated forumla?


    --ISF

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISflotsam
    And finally, in ancient times, what exactly would be the need to, first, calculate pi to 100,000 digits, and second, once done, to encode it within a text using a complicated forumla?
    --ISF
    I was confused by his 1 in 100,000 precision (or something like that), but what he (or she, I don't know) means is that it is precise until 4 decimals and only 1 wrong at the fifth decimal.
    EDIT: it is actually, if this calculation is correct, 4 wrong at the fifth decimal. Well, and 10^17 as well, but that is allowed by the system...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fram
    I was confused by his 1 in 100,000 precision (or something like that), but what he (or she, I don't know) means is that it is precise until 4 decimals and only 1 wrong at the fifth decimal.
    EDIT: it is actually, if this calculation is correct, 4 wrong at the fifth decimal. Well, and 10^17 as well, but that is allowed by the system...
    So let me get this straight.
    Bloke does an essentially random calculation, at least that's what it looks like to me, and comes up with the first 5 digits of pi?

    And this is amazing because??

  26. #26
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    "Sixty monkeys ate dogs" gives 3.14.

    Got that after about 5 minutes of trying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fram
    EDIT: it is actually, if this calculation is correct, 4 wrong at the fifth decimal. Well, and 10^17 as well, but that is allowed by the system...
    Oh good grief.

    If that is, in fact, the calculation Relmuis is referring to, and it's considered "more than a coincidence" because it's accurate to 4 decimal places, then I humbly submit that Genesis was NOT, in fact, ecoding the value of pi...

    Instead, we will take the actual value calculated from the first sentence of the hebrew Bible (see Fram's link) to 10 digits (3141554567) -- why 10? Because "Genesis" has seven letters and and three syllables (and 7 + 3 = 10), of course.

    Now, we convert that number to latitude and longitude coordinates...

    Lat: 31 41min. 55sec.
    Lon: 45 6min. 7sec.

    Looking those coordinates up, reveals this: link

    (For those not interested enough to click, those coordinates are smack-dab in the middle of Iraq.)

    And thus, encoded in the first sentence of the Bible is not the value of pi, but instead, is the identity of the modern-day country containing what many believe to be the location of the biblical "Garden of Eden".

    Taa daa.

    In other words, this is nothing more than a coincidence -- a contrived one at that.


    --ISF

  28. #28
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    Well, you discovered it before I was ready to reveal it -- but now you see why I put this in Conspiracy Theories rather than Off Topic Babbling.

    Because... someone did encode pi in the first sentence of Genesis.

    Why is this not a coincidence? Because there is an independent confirmation.

    If pi is the most important mathematical constant, which is the second most important one? Most mathematicians, I trust, would say it is e.

    So, if e were also to be found in scripture, and to the same precision, and encoded by the same scheme, and not in just any of the zillion sentences, but in a rather special one, that would be an independent confirmation, wouldn't it?

    Well, that is exactly what's the case (with one caveat: the scheme is the same, but the alphabet is another one -- Greek rather than Hebrew).

    And the sentence is a rather special one; it is the first sentence of the Gospel of St. John, and moreover it begins with the same words as Genesis.

    So, here we have someone who encoded pi at least a century before pi was discovered by Archimedes, and someone who encoded e at least a millennium before e was discovered by Napier.

    Someone, moreover, who either must have had lots of time and superhuman powers of calculation (not to mention patience), or a computer. Perhaps I should have put this into Life in Space, but Conspiracy Theories seems to fit better.

    Because here we have evidence for someone or something meddling with our history.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    Because... someone did encode pi in the first sentence of Genesis.
    Juggling numbers doesn't prove anything.
    Where in Hebrew numerology (or whatever term I'm looking for) does it say that you have to multiply the letters by the number of them, and divide by the words times the number of them?

    If the person who "discovered" this simply made that bit up, then I really don't see the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relmuis
    Why is this not a coincidence? Because there is an independent confirmation.

    If pi is the most important mathematical constant, which is the second most important one? Most mathematicians, I trust, would say it is e.

    So, if e were also to be found in scripture, and to the same precision, and encoded by the same scheme, and not in just any of the zillion sentences, but in a rather special one, that would be an independent confirmation, wouldn't it?

    Well, that is exactly what's the case (with one caveat: the scheme is the same, but the alphabet is another one -- Greek rather than Hebrew).

    And the sentence is a rather special one; it is the first sentence of the Gospel of St. John, and moreover it begins with the same words as Genesis.
    Well, no it doesn't.
    One is in Greek and the other is in Hebrew and translations vary. For example I have a version here which opens Genesis with:
    "When God began to create heaven and earth..."

    Which is not the same as the version John I have, which begins:
    "In the beginning the Word already was."

    As you can see, they're not terribly similar.

  30. #30
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    The following calculations are done using the system proposed in the OP.

    The first line of Hamlet: "Who's there?", gives me 1.48, which is (for such a short sentence) very close to the square root of 2, 1.41.
    Now, the first line of Macbeth, "When shall we three meet again", yields 0.676, which is 1/1.48.
    This means that multiplying the value of the first line of Macbeth with the value of the first line of Hamlet gives me almost exactly 1. This can't be a coincidence...

    Then, Richard III, first line, "Now is the winter of our discontent", yields 6.9986, which is almost exactly the mythical, holy number 7, and which is as well very close to 1/(square root of 2).

    So what bether thing to end than the final line of the quite appropriate "Much ado about nothing": "Strike up, pipers", which has 3 words, 14 letters: Pi!

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