Pi: Proving One Is Not Googley

June 17, 2022

I read “Google Sets New Record for Calculating Pi — But What’s the Point?” The idea for this story is Google’s announcement that it had calculated pi to 100 trillion digits or 1×10^14. My reaction to Google’s announcement is that it is similar to the estimable firm’s claim to quantum supremacy, its desire to solve death, and to make Google Glass the fungible token for Google X or whatever the money burner was called.

But the value of the article is to demonstrate that the publisher and the author are not Googley. One does not need a reason to perform what is a nifty high school science club project. Sure, there may be some alchemists, cryptographers, and math geeks who are into pi calculations. What if numbers do repeat? My goodness!

I think the other facet of the 100 trillion digits is to make clear that Google can burn computing resources; for example:

In total, the process used a whopping 515 TB of storage and 82 PB of I/O.

To sum up, the 100 trillion pi calculations make it easy [1] for the Google to demonstrate that you cannot kick the high school science club mentality even when one is allegedly an adult, and [2] identify people who would not be qualified to work at Google either as a full time equivalent, a contractor, or some other quasi Googley life form like an attorney or a marketing professional.

That’s the point?

Stephen E Arnold, June 17, 2022


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