The Power of Irrational Numbers | The Unsolved Mystery of Math

How many of our responses are rational vs irrational? Based on my calculations, 57% of our responses are irrational and 43% of our responses are rational. This means that more than half of the time, we are reacting irrationally to the world around us.

In mathematics, an irrational number is one that has no measure in common with what it is attempting to be divided by. Each irrational number can be expressed as an infinite decimal expansion with no regularly repeating digit or group of digits. Together with the rational numbers, they form the real numbers.

Think about it, how many situations–be it in business or in life–go on and on and on. This is the power of irrational numbers at work. Somehow or another, we can’t ‘fix’ the problem; no matter what we do or how hard we try. The irrational number continues on and on.

Why am I talking about this?

It is not that the world is crazy, but irrational numbers are a phenomenon that do exist–especially when there is a problem that cannot be solved and for which there is no answer. And there are problems like this that exist in the world.

A few years back, I watched this show called Unsolved Mysteries. It used to drive me nuts. It would begin by showing a murder of some sort that had left clues behind. And no matter how many clues were found, the mystery remained unsolved. Once in a while, the case would reopen with an additional lead; but no criminal was found and no explanation could explain why a particular incident had happened.

The climax–if you could even call it that–would lead to ‘The End’; but it wasn’t a conventional ‘The End’ where the issue was resolved and there was a happy ending. Rather, it was an issue that went on and on… Until the host came on at the end and said, “Okay, no idea, The End.”

So if you ever face a problem for which there is no solution. And even all the clues you receive do not allow you to solve the mystery, take a cue from our host and just say, “Okay, no idea, The End.”

You would not have had a satisfactory experience, but you would have experienced the power of the irrational. It happens more often than you think. It doesn’t have to make sense for it to exist… and to go on existing.

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