PopeWatch: Holes and Pegs

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From the only reliable source of Catholic News on the net, Eye of the Tiber:



WASHINGTON––In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, former President Jimmy Carter talked about his letter to mathematicians. In it, Carter called on leading mathematicians to support efforts to fit square pegs in round holes.

“I asked them to join with me in doing some of these things to prevent inequality, and to prevent segregation between figures, and to prevent unnecessary discrimination between different types of shapes, and to prevent things of that kind,” Carter said.

The former president went on to say that there was a movement towards equality in the geometric community, but that mathematicians had done much to support discrimination by ‘ordaining’ that squares were not equal to circles:

“This has been done and still is done by the mathematic community ever since the dawn of geometry, when mathematicians ordained that a circle cannot fit into a square, for instance, but another square can. A circle can fit into a circle, but it can’t fit into a square. This is wrong, I think.”

The geometric community has come out in defense of only squares fitting into square holes saying that the former president “grossly misunderstands” geometry.

“Carter’s comments about the role of squares shows a gross misunderstanding of geometry,” a spokesman for the mathematic community Ashley Thompson told EOTT this morning. “As math teachers across the globe continue to remind us, a square is a plane figure with four equal straight sides and four right angles. They have a very important role in geometry. But their role is not to be a circle or even to attempt to fit into a circle.”


PopeWatch contacted the Pope for a comment and he said, “What, does Carter have an Apostolic Exhortation also?”

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  1. Carter walking, talking proof for the adage, “Only the good die young.” Now, I need to go to Confession.

  2. Mathematicians just don’t get it!
    The Alliance for Free and Equal Shapes, TAFES, are making great headway bringing this discrimination to the public eye. Having a former President of the United States of America speaking out on this issue will catapult this dehumanizing and insensitive topic out from the shadows of drawers and containers everywhere.

    This Grassroots movement has empowered the trapezoidal community too. For a very long time they were looked upon as odd and substandard, but now they too are coming out of the containers. They to want to……fit in. 🙁

    Fear not TAC. Ovals are content being ovals

  3. I was afraid my exuberance for this news would disgust readers that frequent your blog. The possibility of being banished from future contributions did cross my mind, but to my surprise you throw in Sam. 🙂

  4. This type of acceptance could change the physical world is ways only Joe Biden could conceive. Astonishing!

  5. Dizzy gold-digger blondes, if we are to believe such mysterious creatures exist, are living proof that diamonds can merge perfectly with squares. If a wife is involved, then the theorem also works for triangles.

  6. Joe Biden is pro-choice?

    I’ve commented for three years or so on the (c)atholic politicians that support death and still go happily to the communion rail without any detriment from clergy. Canon 915 is only good if it’s used. So rare is this Canon that the majority of Catholic’s believe it’s fine and dandy to support a death squad President; (see O’bummer.)

    Yes. I know Joe and Nancy and the (c)atholic unfaithful. Intrinsically evil? They don’t give a heck.

  7. I used to read mathematical magazines that were geared toward those teaching advanced mathematics. A correspondent wrote in one magazine:

    “Someone wrote on the wall in the men’s room in the mathematics building:
    2 + 2 = 5, for large values of 2”

    I think our politicians would understand.

  8. Perhaps President Carter doesn’t appreciate the difference in meaning between the words distinction and discrimination.

  9. TomD, “Someone wrote on the wall in the men’s room in the mathematics building:
    2 + 2 = 5, for large values of 2”

    I wonder who has ambition so small, to post his theorem on the toilet-room wall.

  10. When John Nash co-invented the game Hex at Princeton, his friends almost called it John, in part because they often used the hexagonal tiles on the floor of the men’s room to play it.

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