Max makes certain statements and claims to belief, which he repeats many times. First, Math (number) is the language of the universe. Second, Nature can be expressed in these numbers. Third, If you graph (or otherwise represent) these numbers, patterns will emerge. Fourth, if you can discover these patterns, you can find the key to understanding the apparent chaos, and you can predict everything. What is your opinion of Max’s core beliefs? Do they really apply to the universe? Could a mathematical pattern be something like the DNA if the universe?
The complete title of the film is “Pi: Faith in Chaos”. How does the concept of faith apply to the film? The complete title of the film is “Pi: Faith in Chaos”. How does the concept of chaos apply to the film? Suppose that there is a mathematical pattern that allows one to comprehend the order of the universe. How would that impact the question of free will and determinism? Are the concepts of free will and determinism mutually exclusive? (or using a term from the course, disjoint) Patterns are used everywhere in this film. For instance the spiral pattern in the coffee creamer, the slinky, smoke, shells and plants. In Chapter 1 of our text, we looked for hidden patterns in number sequences, and (briefly) discussed the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio, both of which have been (reliably) related to some patterns in nature. How far can this be extended? To life, to the universe? Can this concept be generalized? Is this belief an underlying assumption that makes us study mathematics? Men (or women) risks their minds in pursuit of a dangerous obsession. Is the character of Max (in Pi) a fictionalization of Cantor or Godel (or Boltzmann or Turing for that matter) as described in “Dangerous Knowledge”? Why and/or why not. It has been said that “one problem of mathematics is that you can’t prove it (or even accept it) except on its own terms”. To what extent does this apply to the understanding of this film? How much real math is actually in this film? There is certainly some, the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio, but there is also lost of numerology. Does this count as mathematics? In your opinion, how much math is really in the film? Aronofsky (the director) used the “hip hop pill montage” to signify the start of each of Max’s migraine headaches. In the montage, extreme camera angles, drastic contrasts in lighting and strange music to show a manic atmosphere until the migraine headache attack is over. The director repeats the same sequence even though the hallucinations are different. Does the pattern, which give the viewer a sense of familiarity with the attacks, work well, or since each attack is unique, would it be better to make each scene different? Near the end, Max goes thru a self-inflicted “Trepanning”. Google search this term, (there is an extended entry on Wikipedia) and reflect about its use in the film. Why does Max decide to destroy the mathematical section of his brain? Does it lead to a satisfactory conclusion of the film? There are two groups after Max to reveal his 216 digit number, one is a Wall Street Firm who believe the number will reveal the future prices of stocks, and a sect of religious Jews who believe the number will reveal the name of God. How are motives of these two groups similar? How are they different? Suggest a question that you might add if you were writing this assignment. Answer the question that you suggested (in the preceding question).
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