Trump Bans Irrational Numbers in Latest Executive Order

30th March 2017

Photo: Evan VucciPresident Trump shows his working to the world, flanked by his minions.

In his 314th Executive Order US President Donald Trump yesterday angered almost everyone on Earth again by signing an Executive Order banning the use of irrational numbers.

Trump, who has been closely guided on the formation of the legislation by ‘Secretary of Education’, Betsy DeVos, said it was “…a victory for rational numbers and real Americans” before pointlessly showing everyone in the room that he had actually signed the document.

The consequences of the Executive Order are as yet unclear, however initial conjecture suggests that the Executive Order overturns the non-binding resolution, passed March 12th 2009, by the U.S. House of Representatives (HRES 224), recognizing March 14th as National Pi Day. On hearing the news “Prince of Pi”, retired Physicist Larry Shaw, who invented Pi Day back in 1988, was inconsolable. “…this is an international disaster, an embarrassment to this country…” he said, whilst choking back a Pi-shaped pie.

The Democratic backlash is already gathering momentum. Hillary Clinton called Trump’s move “Obtuse, Mean and Negative… What’s his Angle? He uses his Power to continually Divide us and Distance us from what’s Real. It’s a Prime example of his policies running Perpendicular to the rest of the Globe…and I got 2,865,075 more votes than him, Period!”, she accurately fumed.

Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff announced “According to our ‘extensive’ research the digit sequence of π, for example, is conjectured to satisfy a specific kind of statistical randomness, but to date no proof of this has been discovered.” President Trump immediately Tweeted “Irrational numbers colon the enemy of the People! No proof. Fake news. SAD”

Pi used to play an essential role in calculating air travel time and distance. Why? When planes flew great distances, they were actually flying on an arc of a circle. Now they must fly in absolutely straight lines, which President Trump says will “…obviously save fuel…I fly a lot, and I mean a lot. No one flies more than me. Listen, I own a jet. I own a 757, beautiful plane, it’s the best plane!”

When informed that mathematicians will now find it impossible to calculate the number of hairs on President Trump’s head, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway countered “Impossible is not a word in the President's vocabulary...”

Until yesterday π appeared throughout modern science, and was used every day in billions of computations, from supercomputers simulating the earth’s climate to mobile phones. π also used to appear in Einstein’s “field equations” of general theory of relativity, which governed the universe on the very largest scales. Now the universe is in even more chaos.

Hair today, gone tomorrow...

Other irrational numbers affected by the ban include the Golden Ratio, which was represented by the Greek letter Phi (φ). It was approximated to 1.618034 and was also called the golden mean, golden section and Golden Number.

The Golden Ratio was found in the proportions of animals, plants, the solar system and even in the price and timing movements of stock markets. Its appeal thus ranged from mathematicians to doctors to naturalists to artists to investors to mystics.

The square root of 2 (√2), occasionally called "Pythagoras' number" or "Pythagoras' constant" was probably the first number known to be irrational. A Babylonian clay tablet (dated c. 1800–1600 BC) gave an approximation of √2 accurate to about six decimal digits - 1.414214.

In June 2016 Ron Watkins calculated √2 to 10 trillion decimal places. Ron also set a record back in September 2016 when he calculated Euler’s number e (2.718282…) to what was then accurate to 5 trillion decimal places.

Asked yesterday about the Executive Order Ron simply said “What’s the point? I give up”.

The irony of the Executive Order being signed in an elliptical office, the area of which could once be calculated using the formula A=πab, where a and b are the respective semi-major axes of length, was completely lost on everyone present, of course.