An Irrational Holiday

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An Irrational Holiday

Post  Rusty Houser on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:07 am

Happy Pi Day

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- NASA engineers and mathematicians in this high-tech city are stunned and infuriated after the Alabama state legistature narrowly passed a law yesterday redefining pi, a mathematical constant used in the aerospace industry. The bill to change the value of pi to exactly three was introduced without fanfare by Leonard Lee Lawson (R, Crossville), and rapidly gained support after a letter-writing campaign by members of the Solomon Society, a traditional values group. Governor Guy Hunt says he will sign it into law on Wednesday.

The law took the state's engineering community by surprise. "It would have been nice if they had consulted with someone who actually uses pi," said Marshall Bergman, a manager at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. According to Bergman, pi is a Greek letter that signifies the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is often used by engineers to calculate missile trajectories.

Prof. Kim Johanson, a mathematician from University of Alabama, said that pi is a universal constant, and cannot arbitrarily be changed by lawmakers. Johanson explained that pi is an irrational number, which means that it has an infinite number of digits after the decimal point and can never be known exactly. Nevertheless, she said, pi is precisly defined by mathematics to be "3.14159, plus as many more digits as you have time to calculate".

"I think that it is the mathematicians that are being irrational, and it is time for them to admit it," said Lawson. "The Bible very clearly says in I Kings 7:23 that the alter font of Solomon's Temple was ten cubits across and thirty cubits in diameter, and that it was round in compass."

Lawson called into question the usefulness of any number that cannot be calculated exactly, and suggested that never knowing the exact answer could harm students' self-esteem. "We need to return to some absolutes in our society," he said, "the Bible does not say that the font was thirty-something cubits. Plain reading says thirty cubits. Period."

Science supports Lawson, explains Russell Humbleys, a propulsion technician at the Marshall Spaceflight Center who testified in support of the bill before the legislature in Mongtomery on Monday. "Pi is merely an artifact of Euclidean geometry." Humbleys is working on a theory which he says will prove that pi is determined by the geometry of three-dimensional space, which is assumed by physicists to be "isotropic", or the same in all directions.

"There are other geometries, and pi is different in every one of them," says Humbleys. Scientists have arbitrarily assumed that space is Euclidean, he says. He points out that a circle drawn on a spherical surface has a different value for the ratio of circumfence to diameter.

"Anyone with a compass, flexible ruler, and globe can see for themselves," suggests Humbleys, "its not exactly rocket science."

Roger Learned, a Solomon Society member who was in Montgomery to support the bill, agrees. He said that pi is nothing more than an assumption by the mathematicians and engineers who were there to argue against the bill. "These nabobs waltzed into the capital with an arrogance that was breathtaking," Learned said. "Their prefatorial deficit resulted in a polemical stance at absolute contraposition to the legislature's puissance."

Some education experts believe that the legislation will affect the way math is taught to Alabama's children. One member of the state school board, Lily Ponja, is anxious to get the new value of pi into the state's math textbooks, but thinks that the old value should be retained as an alternative. She said, "As far as I am concerned, the value of pi is only a theory, and we should be open to all interpretations." She looks forward to students having the freedom to decide for themselves what value pi should have.

Robert S. Dietz, a professor at Arizona State University who has followed the controversy, wrote that this is not the first time a state legislature has attempted to redifine the value of pi. A legislator in the state of Indiana unsuccessfully attempted to have that state set the value of pi to three. According to Dietz, the lawmaker was exasperated by the calculations of a mathematician who carried pi to four hundred decimal places and still could not achieve a rational number. Many experts are warning that this is just the beginning of a national battle over pi between traditional values supporters and the technical elite.

Solomon Society member Lawson agrees. "We just want to return pi to its traditional value," he said, "which, according to the Bible, is three."

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Gomezz Adddams on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:00 am

Harh, harh, .... harh, harh. We all know Joos and the Bible are stoopid and Flat Earthers. What is stoopid is this piece of crap "satire". Even a cursory search of history shows that the Hebrews didn't have words for fractions except for 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3.

Biblical Hebrew didn’t have words for fractions with the exception of half, third and quarter. It did however approximate pi in 1 Kings 7:23, when describing that Solomon constructed in the Great Temple of Jerusalem “a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23).

In the Mishnah (Ohalot 12:6) we are told that a square surrounding a circle has a circumference a quarter longer than it. Based on my high-school geometry and algebra, that comes out to an estimated pi of 3.2. Not too shabby, though elsewhere in the Mishnah, 3 is given (Eruvin 1:5), including in a rabbinic discussion on the round sukkahs (Sukkah 7b).


However:

But wait. Could there be some mysterious biblical code giving a remarkably accurate estimation of pi, after all? Maybe, according to gematriya - an Assyro-Babylonian numerology system that Jews adopted and adapted, which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase.

Read it all here:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.579613


Next up is the story of how stoopid Babylonians invented zero by cutting off all of a slaves toes and fingers.  Suspect
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Rusty Houser on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:25 am

Gomezz Adddams wrote:Harh, harh, .... harh, harh. We all know Joos and the Bible are stoopid and Flat Earthers. What is stoopid is this piece of crap "satire". Even a cursory search of history shows that the Hebrews didn't have words for fractions except for 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3.

Biblical Hebrew didn’t have words for fractions with the exception of half, third and quarter. It did however approximate pi in 1 Kings 7:23, when describing that Solomon constructed in the Great Temple of Jerusalem “a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23).

In the Mishnah (Ohalot 12:6) we are told that a square surrounding a circle has a circumference a quarter longer than it. Based on my high-school geometry and algebra, that comes out to an estimated pi of 3.2. Not too shabby, though elsewhere in the Mishnah, 3 is given (Eruvin 1:5), including in a rabbinic discussion on the round sukkahs (Sukkah 7b).


However:

But wait. Could there be some mysterious biblical code giving a remarkably accurate estimation of pi, after all? Maybe, according to gematriya - an Assyro-Babylonian numerology system that Jews adopted and adapted, which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase.

Read it all here:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.579613


Next up is the story of how stoopid Babylonians invented zero by cutting off all of a slaves toes and fingers.  Suspect

I'm very sorry that you were so upset by this light hearted satirical reference to the Indiana Pi Bill of 1897.

Have a piece of pi and relax.

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Darth Cheney on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:32 am

Why do liberals continue to clutch to the belief that only government can create utopia through evermore regulation and ensuring everyone is equal in value? Changing pi to 3 would be more relevant than liberalism and its ideals.
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Skeptical on Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:43 pm

Paquette wrote:Happy Pi Day

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- NASA engineers and mathematicians in this high-tech city are stunned and infuriated after the Alabama state legistature narrowly passed a law yesterday redefining pi, a mathematical constant used in the aerospace industry. The bill to change the value of pi to exactly three was introduced without fanfare by Leonard Lee Lawson (R, Crossville), and rapidly gained support after a letter-writing campaign by members of the Solomon Society, a traditional values group. Governor Guy Hunt says he will sign it into law on Wednesday.

The law took the state's engineering community by surprise. "It would have been nice if they had consulted with someone who actually uses pi," said Marshall Bergman, a manager at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. According to Bergman, pi is a Greek letter that signifies the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is often used by engineers to calculate missile trajectories.

Prof. Kim Johanson, a mathematician from University of Alabama, said that pi is a universal constant, and cannot arbitrarily be changed by lawmakers. Johanson explained that pi is an irrational number, which means that it has an infinite number of digits after the decimal point and can never be known exactly. Nevertheless, she said, pi is precisly defined by mathematics to be "3.14159, plus as many more digits as you have time to calculate".

"I think that it is the mathematicians that are being irrational, and it is time for them to admit it," said Lawson. "The Bible very clearly says in I Kings 7:23 that the alter font of Solomon's Temple was ten cubits across and thirty cubits in diameter, and that it was round in compass."

Lawson called into question the usefulness of any number that cannot be calculated exactly, and suggested that never knowing the exact answer could harm students' self-esteem. "We need to return to some absolutes in our society," he said, "the Bible does not say that the font was thirty-something cubits. Plain reading says thirty cubits. Period."

Science supports Lawson, explains Russell Humbleys, a propulsion technician at the Marshall Spaceflight Center who testified in support of the bill before the legislature in Mongtomery on Monday. "Pi is merely an artifact of Euclidean geometry." Humbleys is working on a theory which he says will prove that pi is determined by the geometry of three-dimensional space, which is assumed by physicists to be "isotropic", or the same in all directions.

"There are other geometries, and pi is different in every one of them," says Humbleys. Scientists have arbitrarily assumed that space is Euclidean, he says. He points out that a circle drawn on a spherical surface has a different value for the ratio of circumfence to diameter.

"Anyone with a compass, flexible ruler, and globe can see for themselves," suggests Humbleys, "its not exactly rocket science."

Roger Learned, a Solomon Society member who was in Montgomery to support the bill, agrees. He said that pi is nothing more than an assumption by the mathematicians and engineers who were there to argue against the bill. "These nabobs waltzed into the capital with an arrogance that was breathtaking," Learned said. "Their prefatorial deficit resulted in a polemical stance at absolute contraposition to the legislature's puissance."

Some education experts believe that the legislation will affect the way math is taught to Alabama's children. One member of the state school board, Lily Ponja, is anxious to get the new value of pi into the state's math textbooks, but thinks that the old value should be retained as an alternative. She said, "As far as I am concerned, the value of pi is only a theory, and we should be open to all interpretations." She looks forward to students having the freedom to decide for themselves what value pi should have.

Robert S. Dietz, a professor at Arizona State University who has followed the controversy, wrote that this is not the first time a state legislature has attempted to redifine the value of pi. A legislator in the state of Indiana unsuccessfully attempted to have that state set the value of pi to three. According to Dietz, the lawmaker was exasperated by the calculations of a mathematician who carried pi to four hundred decimal places and still could not achieve a rational number. Many experts are warning that this is just the beginning of a national battle over pi between traditional values supporters and the technical elite.

Solomon Society member Lawson agrees. "We just want to return pi to its traditional value," he said, "which, according to the Bible, is three."


It's unfortunate that there isn't a "who gives a rat's ass" category. I believe this would be a perfect fit.
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Jammer on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:43 pm

Darth Cheney wrote:Why do liberals continue to clutch to the belief that only government can create utopia through evermore regulation and ensuring everyone is equal in value? Changing pi to 3 would be more relevant than liberalism and its ideals.

Not to mention that the mathematical solution from any formula requiring the use of pi will be substantially more accurate than any solution ever provided by a liberal program or policy.  However, I am sure everyone already knew that tidbit of information.
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Gomezz Adddams on Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:26 pm

Paquette wrote:
Gomezz Adddams wrote:Harh, harh, .... harh, harh. We all know Joos and the Bible are stoopid and Flat Earthers. What is stoopid is this piece of crap "satire". Even a cursory search of history shows that the Hebrews didn't have words for fractions except for 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3.

Biblical Hebrew didn’t have words for fractions with the exception of half, third and quarter. It did however approximate pi in 1 Kings 7:23, when describing that Solomon constructed in the Great Temple of Jerusalem “a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23).

In the Mishnah (Ohalot 12:6) we are told that a square surrounding a circle has a circumference a quarter longer than it. Based on my high-school geometry and algebra, that comes out to an estimated pi of 3.2. Not too shabby, though elsewhere in the Mishnah, 3 is given (Eruvin 1:5), including in a rabbinic discussion on the round sukkahs (Sukkah 7b).


However:

But wait. Could there be some mysterious biblical code giving a remarkably accurate estimation of pi, after all? Maybe, according to gematriya - an Assyro-Babylonian numerology system that Jews adopted and adapted, which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase.

Read it all here:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.579613


Next up is the story of how stoopid Babylonians invented zero by cutting off all of a slaves toes and fingers.  Suspect

I'm very sorry that you were so upset by this light hearted satirical reference to the Indiana Pi Bill of 1897.

Have a piece of pi and relax.

I see. Somehow a boneheaded attempt at squaring a circle 15 years after it was proven impossible, becomes justification for taking a swipe at the Bible and fundamentalist Christians. The story of the Indiana Bill is curiously amusing on it's own and would have sufficed for the "Out of this World or Strange Stories that fit no where else" thread but you decided to run with the more provocative attack on 1 Kings 7:23, Christianity and Joos with some sheety satire. Maybe your crappy brand of humor would be better directed at the fact that the Europeans don't get to celebrate Pi Day since they are really fcuking stoopid and write down this date as 14/3/15. Must be a Socialist thing.
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Rusty Houser on Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:39 am

Gomezz Adddams wrote:I see. Somehow a boneheaded attempt at squaring a circle 15 years after it was proven impossible, becomes justification for  taking a swipe at the Bible and fundamentalist Christians. The story of the Indiana Bill is curiously amusing on it's own and would have sufficed for the "Out of this World or Strange Stories that fit no where else" thread but you decided to run with the more provocative attack on 1 Kings 7:23, Christianity and Joos with some sheety satire. Maybe your crappy brand of humor would be better directed at the fact that the Europeans don't get to celebrate Pi Day since they are really fcuking stoopid and write down this date as 14/3/15. Must be a Socialist thing.

That seems to be a common thread in here, I can't imagine how awful it must be to imagine that everything is some kind of sinister "attack".

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Rusty Houser on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:09 am

Jammer wrote:
Darth Cheney wrote:Why do liberals continue to clutch to the belief that only government can create utopia through evermore regulation and ensuring everyone is equal in value? Changing pi to 3 would be more relevant than liberalism and its ideals.

Not to mention that the mathematical solution from any formula requiring the use of pi will be substantially more accurate than any solution ever provided by a liberal program or policy.  However, I am sure everyone already knew that tidbit of information.

How in the world do you and darth read either the fictional piece of satire or the real world example and come up with the idea that this is a "liberal policy"?

Best case scenario: Neither one of you actually bothered to read any of it and just started screaming "liberal" out of sheer reptilian reflex.

Most likely scenario: You're both just plain too stupid to grasp anything more complex than a knock-knock joke and rely totally on the black hat, white hat spaghetti western mentality out of sheer reptilian reflex.

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Skeptical on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:44 am

Paquette wrote:
Jammer wrote:
Darth Cheney wrote:Why do liberals continue to clutch to the belief that only government can create utopia through evermore regulation and ensuring everyone is equal in value? Changing pi to 3 would be more relevant than liberalism and its ideals.

Not to mention that the mathematical solution from any formula requiring the use of pi will be substantially more accurate than any solution ever provided by a liberal program or policy.  However, I am sure everyone already knew that tidbit of information.

How in the world do you and darth read either the fictional piece of satire or the real world example and come up with the idea that this is a "liberal policy"?

Aren't you a little surprised neither of them read the links you so generously and prominently provided in your first post showing your claim was nothing but satire ?
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Rusty Houser on Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:17 am

Skeptical wrote:Aren't you a little surprised neither of them read the links you so generously and prominently provided in your first post showing your claim was nothing but satire ?

That's true, I do tend to forget that there are those who are completely incapable of spotting even the most obvious satire. I really should accommodate the intellectually disadvantaged by providing a huge, 24 point disclaimer with flashing lights alerting them to the obvious.

But of course that won't help if they don't take that first step and read what's in front of their faces. There's not a lot I can do for people who form an opinion without even understanding what's being discussed.

And face it, anyone who looked at that article and thought it was about "a liberal program or policy" is far too stupid to understand a satire disclaimer. It isn't about not being smart enough to differentiate between fact and fiction, darth and jammer couldn't even grasp the basic meaning of the written word right in front of their faces.

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Skeptical on Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:44 am

Paquette wrote:
Skeptical wrote:Aren't you a little surprised neither of them read the links you so generously and prominently provided in your first post showing your claim was nothing but satire ?

That's true, I do tend to forget that there are those who are completely incapable of spotting even the most obvious satire. I really should accommodate the intellectually disadvantaged by providing a huge, 24 point disclaimer with flashing lights alerting them to the obvious.

But of course that won't help if they don't take that first step and read what's in front of their faces. There's not a lot I can do for people who form an opinion without even understanding what's being discussed.

And face it, anyone who looked at that article and thought it was about "a liberal program or policy" is far too stupid to understand a satire disclaimer. It isn't about not being smart enough to differentiate between fact and fiction, darth and jammer couldn't even grasp the basic meaning of the written word right in front of their faces.

Just don't forget to use the Lysol deodorizer!
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Just Braying It on Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:16 pm

Gomezz Adddams wrote:
Paquette wrote:
Gomezz Adddams wrote:Harh, harh, .... harh, harh. We all know Joos and the Bible are stoopid and Flat Earthers. What is stoopid is this piece of crap "satire". Even a cursory search of history shows that the Hebrews didn't have words for fractions except for 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3.

Biblical Hebrew didn’t have words for fractions with the exception of half, third and quarter. It did however approximate pi in 1 Kings 7:23, when describing that Solomon constructed in the Great Temple of Jerusalem “a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23).

In the Mishnah (Ohalot 12:6) we are told that a square surrounding a circle has a circumference a quarter longer than it. Based on my high-school geometry and algebra, that comes out to an estimated pi of 3.2. Not too shabby, though elsewhere in the Mishnah, 3 is given (Eruvin 1:5), including in a rabbinic discussion on the round sukkahs (Sukkah 7b).


However:



But wait. Could there be some mysterious biblical code giving a remarkably accurate estimation of pi, after all? Maybe, according to gematriya - an Assyro-Babylonian numerology system that Jews adopted and adapted, which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase.

Read it all here:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.579613


Next up is the story of how stoopid Babylonians invented zero by cutting off all of a slaves toes and fingers.  Suspect

I'm very sorry that you were so upset by this light hearted satirical reference to the Indiana Pi Bill of 1897.

Have a piece of pi and relax.

I see. Somehow a boneheaded attempt at squaring a circle 15 years after it was proven impossible, becomes justification for  taking a swipe at the Bible and fundamentalist Christians. The story of the Indiana Bill is curiously amusing on it's own and would have sufficed for the "Out of this World or Strange Stories that fit no where else" thread but you decided to run with the more provocative attack on 1 Kings 7:23, Christianity and Joos with some sheety satire. Maybe your crappy brand of humor would be better directed at the fact that the Europeans don't get to celebrate Pi Day since they are really fcuking stoopid and write down this date as 14/3/15. Must be a Socialist thing.

Attack?

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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  Gomezz Adddams on Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:17 pm

Liberal wrote:
Gomezz Adddams wrote:
Paquette wrote:
Gomezz Adddams wrote:Harh, harh, .... harh, harh. We all know Joos and the Bible are stoopid and Flat Earthers. What is stoopid is this piece of crap "satire". Even a cursory search of history shows that the Hebrews didn't have words for fractions except for 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3.

Biblical Hebrew didn’t have words for fractions with the exception of half, third and quarter. It did however approximate pi in 1 Kings 7:23, when describing that Solomon constructed in the Great Temple of Jerusalem “a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23).

In the Mishnah (Ohalot 12:6) we are told that a square surrounding a circle has a circumference a quarter longer than it. Based on my high-school geometry and algebra, that comes out to an estimated pi of 3.2. Not too shabby, though elsewhere in the Mishnah, 3 is given (Eruvin 1:5), including in a rabbinic discussion on the round sukkahs (Sukkah 7b).


However:



But wait. Could there be some mysterious biblical code giving a remarkably accurate estimation of pi, after all? Maybe, according to gematriya - an Assyro-Babylonian numerology system that Jews adopted and adapted, which assigns numerical value to a word or phrase.

Read it all here:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.579613


Next up is the story of how stoopid Babylonians invented zero by cutting off all of a slaves toes and fingers.  Suspect

I'm very sorry that you were so upset by this light hearted satirical reference to the Indiana Pi Bill of 1897.

Have a piece of pi and relax.

I see. Somehow a boneheaded attempt at squaring a circle 15 years after it was proven impossible, becomes justification for  taking a swipe at the Bible and fundamentalist Christians. The story of the Indiana Bill is curiously amusing on it's own and would have sufficed for the "Out of this World or Strange Stories that fit no where else" thread but you decided to run with the more provocative attack on 1 Kings 7:23, Christianity and Joos with some sheety satire. Maybe your crappy brand of humor would be better directed at the fact that the Europeans don't get to celebrate Pi Day since they are really fcuking stoopid and write down this date as 14/3/15. Must be a Socialist thing.

Attack?

You don't think physicist Mark Boslough's ham handed attempt at humor/satire/parody wasn't an attack on the Bible and Christians? A look into the history of the article shows that he had posted it on talk.origins and it was published in a New Mexico skeptics newsletter as a jab at creationists in New Mexico advocating for creationism teaching along side of evolution.

Of course the joke is on Boslough. If you look at an Israelite mathematician from 150 AD, Rabbi Nehemiah's explanation finds that if you account for the thickness of the rim and use the inner circumference you come up with a value very close to modern day Pi.

Of course one could also argue that even the Babylonians and Egyptians value of Pi were nothing more than estimates.
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Re: An Irrational Holiday

Post  nightlight88 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:17 am

Darth Cheney wrote:Why do liberals continue to clutch to the belief that only government can create utopia through evermore regulation and ensuring everyone is equal in value? Changing pi to 3 would be more relevant than liberalism and its ideals.


Its a mental condition, ultimately fatal. They do not believe that individuals have responsibilities and that a central planner will make all things ok.
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