…is whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy. This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.”
The theory was posted by U.S.-based Twitter user @fermatslibrary.
Supported by a graphic, the theory proves that one 18 inch pizza is better value than two 12 inch pizzas. Since it was posted, the tweet has received almost 1,500 comments and a total of 60,000 likes. It has also been retweeted 25,000 times, as people try to spread the word.
To spread the word about geometry, in a context that people care about. Pizza.
Some users are baffled by the theory, claiming that it cannot be true.
Democratic Party voters, no doubt. This is the tweet that sparked controversy on the internet:
Here’s a useful counterintuitive fact: one 18 inch pizza has more ‘pizza’ than two 12 inch pizzas pic.twitter.com/hePSpG0pJs
— Fermat’s Library (@fermatslibrary) January 7, 2019
It’s been a long while since I spent much time calculating the areas of circles, but I’m so old I went to junior high school in an era where all students had beaten into their heads the fact that the area of a circle is equal to 𝛑r2 (squared). So the area of a circle is proportional to the square of its radius. The radius of an 18-inch pizza is 9; 9 squared is 81. The radius of a 12-inch pizza is 6; 6 squared is 36. 81 is more than twice 36.
The bizarre theory, which is actually mathematically proven to be true, gathered a large audience.
It isn’t a theory, let alone a “bizarre” one. It is elementary geometry.
I am often baffled as to how so many of our fellow citizens can fail to understand basic facts of politics and economics. It is sobering to be reminded that many of them are stumped by the size of a pizza. I think liberals must understand this better than we do, which is why they generally appeal to emotion rather than reason.
STEVE adds: John, John—don’t you know that for liberals it is intolerable that half of all Americans are below the median?