Fooey. He has hardly any name recognition, was not born a US citizen, and has been dead for centuries. Being more reality-oriented than those who nominated Donald Trump for the job, I cannot seriously promote Bhaskara. What a pity.
Who’s Bhaskara? We will get to that question shortly. First, consider whatever gadget U are using to read this post. It depends on many things, discovered over many years by many people who (unlike many pols) preferred building up to tearing down. With many steps omitted (and “depends on” abbreviated to ←), a few of those dependencies go like this:
Your Gadget ← quantum physics ← coordinate systems ← Pythagoras’ Theorem
Back in high school, Pythagoras’ Theorem may have seemed like a little fact about right triangles that may have been mildly interesting but did not deserve the effort of slogging thru the book’s tedious proof. I could read the proof line by line, observe that it was valid, and be glad that I never needed to retrieve it for a test. Hardly anybody could remember it for more than a few minutes.
Pythagoras’ Theorem turned out to be essential to blogging (and much else), so it would be nice to have a proof that mere mortals could remember, appreciate, and be inspired by. Enter Bhaskara, 1114-1185.
Bhaskara replaced the usual picture (of 3 squares glued to the sides of 1 triangle) with a picture of 4 copies of the same triangle, arranged to form a big square with a little square inside it:
4 · ( ½ · a · b) + c²
w/o bothering with algebra and how to compute areas of right triangles. We just need to bother with drawing both figures. Wanna try your hand at drawing the other figure?
OK, I admit that having written a proof of mind-blowing elegance does not really qualify Bhaskara to be POTUS. Too bad that many people think mind-blowing arrogance can hack it.
Clicking on the “politics” category or tag in this post will display all my uses of acidic humor to cope with the current state of US politics. But acids are corrosive. Sometimes, I forego acid and contemplate some of the enduring (so far) glories of modern Western civilization, one of which is that it is not entirely Western. In particular, we got some elegant math from India and some elegant poetry forms from Japan.
true and good and beautiful
(like Bhaskara’s proof).