Thursday, June 15, 2006

First Million Digits Of Pi



I nearly finished Douglas Coupland’s latest novel jPod last night, when I came to the part where he reproduces the first hundred thousand digits of Pi. There is something eerily hypnotic about those pages of numbers that kind of stopped me in my tracks. I was seeing patterns.

In jPod, Coupland states that you have a 97.9% chance of finding your own phone number in the first one million digits of Pi. Which is a fun factoid for a Thursday morning, if it is true. But his book is a work of fiction and it is not like anyone is going to check through the digits. Though no doubt some uber-geekoid will lash-up a Perl Script to hash all the numbers. How long before there is a YourPhoneNumberInPi.com fan site?

Postscript: A quick Google search has led me to the further fact that as Pi is infinite, then it should also at some point contain the complete works of Shakespere in ASCII! OK, that is quite enough infinity for one morning methinks.

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