Talk:Tau (2π)

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τ is now on the Administrators’ Noticeboard.[edit]

IRWolfie posted τ to the the Administrators’ Noticeboard:

Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Tau_article

76.103.108.158 (talk) 13:52, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

It looks like there is no problem and that we should continue discussion here. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:48, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
No, this is the talk page for a redirect, it has no content for discuss. A valid question might be 'should this be an article?' except we've had that discussion, in an RfC, the point of which is for everyone to put their views and try and come to consensus. That has now ended and there is no point re-arguing it again and again. Apart from that there is nothing, literally as there is no article, to discuss.
There is nothing to stop editors creating the page outside article space, as a userspace draft. That means there is content to discuss and in userspace there are no notability requirements. Then once ready it can be proposed as an article. But this should only be done if it's substantially improved over the last time it was tried. Doing so without addressing the POV and notability concerns raised last time, will likely result in the same outcome.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:54, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Whether this is a talk page for a redirect or not, it will have interesting material to discuss, even though the material has been recently merged. rdococ... (talk) 17:37, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing to stop editors from creating a page in userspace, that is how WP works. There can be no consensus that the an article cannot be created in userspace. As regards the quality of any article on the subject, I am perfectly happy to work with you and other editors to ensure that it meets normal WP standards.
There also can be no demand that editors stop discussing the subject here. The matter was taken to ANI, where it was rapidly dismissed. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:09, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
JohnBlackburne, about the supposed advantage of working in someone's userspace so that we can work on an actual article. There is no point in writing a new article yet, because the complaints were about the sources, not the article. In fact, one of you explicitly said that it didn't matter how well-written Tazerdadog's article was. Until we get agreement that a topic, whether tau the number or the tau movement, is notable enough for an article based on available sources, it's a waste of time to start writing an article. So there's no advantage to moving to someone's userspace. And it has the clear disadvantage of scattering the history of this issue among yet more places on Wikipedia. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 01:41, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I've not seen anything that convinces me it's a notable topic. But if you think otherwise the best thing to do it write the article, not least as it's already been done twice so there's no need to start from scratch. Make the article and its talk page the place to centralise the content and discussion, with links to previous versions and discussions. Yes, this would get the discussion off this page, but I think that is necessary as it's going nowhere here.
It would also mean there was a new article that could be proposed for mainspace like at the last RfC, because 'is this topic notable' is a pretty meaningless question without an article, and has already been answered for Tazerdadog's version. Of course I would only advise this if the article were substantially improved over that version, with in particular the notability concerns addressed. I would not advise anyone spend any time on it if it can't be so improved.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 02:14, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
My approach is going to be to continue to post new possible sources here on this page as I come across them. Until I see reason to believe that some editors' opinions have been changed, at least to neutral, I see no reason to waste everybody's time, especially my own, with anything beyond that. However, that doesn't mean I won't help and support anyone who decides to try again sooner. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 03:07, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
John, can you explain why a subject on which one of the world's most prestigious universities is running course is not notable. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:34, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Because that's not how notability is determined. Can you explain why a subject with no significant coverage in reliable sources would be notable? That's the criteria Wikipedia uses, not whether "one of the world's most prestigious universities is running course"; if reliable sources do not provide coverage then a course at a school quite obviously does not matter as much as you are suggesting. I have no problem with you dragging this out on the talk page, but you're shooting yourself in the foot by doing so because you're damaging the next RfC's chances; if the subject truly is notable at a later point it might very well get overlooked because it will just seem like a continuation of the same pointless discussion that you've been carrying on non-stop. Don't take my word on it, look at other discussions on Wikipedia; the more that time passes between RfCs or topics being brought up the more likely it is that editors will take a fresh look at the subject and discuss it on the merits of the subject, but when it's been a short time or when it's been continuously discussed editors are not inclined to do so. I'm not asking you to stop but I wanted to point that out in cast it had not occurred to you. You're not helping the subject became a standalone article by doing so, you're in fact doing quite the opposite. Other than my birthday being on "Tau day" I have no real opinion or connection to the subject in any way and if reliable sources can demonstrate notability I will support it being an article. If an RfC determines that the subject does not warrant a separate article, I want it to be because it's not notable, not because editors are tired of discussion being dragged out. I'm not going to say anything else about this but believe me, you're not helping your case by not letting it rest for a while. - SudoGhost 09:59, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Sudo, my case is your case. Like you, I have no special interest in the subject only an interest in improving Wikipedia. There are very few mathematician who discuss whether it might have been better to have used Tau rather than Pi but for the most part mathematicians find the subject very uninteresting. It is also undeniable that there is a group of people who do consider the subject interesting and important, there are plenty of sources to verify that fact. I think these people are crazy but I can, at least understand where they are coming from. There seems to be another bunch of people who object strongly to the existence on WP of any kind of article on this subject. I have no idea why this should be and why they should have such strong feelings but it certainly has nothing to do with notability.
This subject far exceeds the normal criteria for notability. Academic web sites are considered reliable sources and there are two that mention this subject in a light-hearted but mathematical fashion. There is an abundance of quality news sources mentioning the crazy Tau movement. By any objective measure there should be an article on this subject. I am utterly baffled by the motives of those who insist that WP must never have an article on this subject but this certainly has nothing to do with notability.
I see no benefit in leaving the subject for a while. What is going to happen. Will the hard line 'no article' editors change their minds? Will they move on and leave the subject to others? I have read the previous discussions and there was an AfD with the result 'keep' followed by an RfC on a 'merge'. What has actually happened is a delete. Martin Hogbin (talk) 11:06, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Happy Birthday, SudoGhost! --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 10:10, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Let me be the first to criticize this inappropriate use of the talk page. 76.103.108.158 (talk) 06:06, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Touché ;-) --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 21:14, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I refer you to the RfC where this was discussed at length. Nothing has changed since then.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 10:56, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The ANI discussion wasn't rabidly dismissed, the issue was that you dragged it off topic. Nathan (the closer) agreed that I could reopen the discussion again if I wished, but I choose not to considering it had been dragged off topic, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Google's calculator feature now evaluates the symbol τ as 6.28...[edit]

As most of you probably know, if you type an arithmetic expression into Google's search box, it calculates the value. I just noticed that the symbol τ in such expressions now gets evaluated as 6.28... (STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I am not in any way reopening the notability argument with this post. I'm just sharing some possibly relevant new information. Please feel free to ignore it until enough accumulates to be actually worth talking about a new RFC. Nobody wants that prematurely.) --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 08:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

In what possible way is this remotely relevant? I suggest you read WP:GNG. Collect these tidbits in your userspace if you wish, but don't notify the 50 or so watchers of this page about material that has no connection to notability, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:47, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It is relevant and it shows that support for τ in greater technology study is increasing. So please don't assume that's not relevant (which most πists say about anything to do with τ). rdococ... (talk) 01:13, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Tau mentioned in a math textbook[edit]

http://books.google.com/books?id=9Z0xAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=tau&f=false --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 17:52, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Will not work, still have not rose Euler from the dead. But, if this textbook had problems based in tau and used it where ever 2pi was used? What about with a Wikibook? How much use has to be proved in order for an article to exist? Why does have to be different for tau? -+- John W. Nicholson (talk) 01:12, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
An ok reference, but it doesn't go into enough depth. At best, it is marginal. Tazerdadog (talk) 03:29, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree it's not time yet to reopen discussion on having a separate article. However, I think it's past time to move tau out of the "In popular culture" section of the Pi article. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 02:15, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
What if an article is wrote about '2pi (2π 6.283185307179)' with the section that has tau in the "In popular culture" section? Why, other than spite, would there *not* be an article? There is nothing in pi about computer programming using the constant with many different names. Nor is there any thing on version numbering the major/minor version numbers of Pugs converges to 2π. There is nothing about the Continued fraction of tau. Use in radian, physical constants, .... And, the history tau. .... So, why is there not an article on 2pi? I am sure you and others can add to this list of reasons to have an article. --John W. Nicholson (talk) 14:14, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Bottom line is, it will take another RFC process to reverse the decision not to have a separate article. There's no point putting all of us through that until a different outcome is expected. Which side is right simply doesn't matter. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 20:47, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Gah, I'm getting so fed up of πists getting their own way as to whether τ should have its own article. Come on Wikipedia, it's not funny anymore. rdococ... (talk) 01:10, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Tau deserves its own article[edit]

τ is an idea for a new mathematical constant to slowly replace π at least partially. Isn't that what constitutes to an article: an idea, or confirmed fact collection, for whatever general topic?!

You see, I got so angry with this redirect that I almost wrote a much more serious comment that really describes how I feel.

It's time to let τ have its own article, just like π, e, i, and all the other mathematical constants have.

As an extension, η = ½π needs an article too, because it also expresses an idea that it might be η which is fundamental.

rdococ... (talk) 01:07, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not indiscriminately include all topics. We have a notability criteria WP:GNG, and we can also use editorial discretion, IRWolfie- (talk) 10:54, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
I believe this article DOES follow WP:GNG. I looked at the nutshell and I believe τ DOES have enough attention to have its own article: it's even on media. So don't go saying τ is un-noticeable when it has obviously been noticed. rdococ... (talk) 17:28, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
We've discussed this formally twice recently, and the consensus has been to merge it with Pi/keep it merged. As above the concern each time was it's not independently notable, and I doubt this has changed in only a few months.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 12:56, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
A thought for the tauists: the fringe following of τ may eventually result in the creation of a wiki article on the "τ movement", but what is clear is that such an article will most likely not be allowed to reproduce a list of mathematical formulae with pi replaced by tau. Such an exercise will remain non-notable even if the movement becomes notable at some point in the future. Tkuvho (talk) 14:10, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
So, let me get this straight. The mathematical constant "Gelfond's constant" passes the "notability criteria" of Wikipedia, but the mathematical constant used in every trig textbook as "2π" as the period of the sine and cosine and number of radians in a circle does not because of "We've discussed this formally twice recently" and the need to marginalize tau by "creation of a wiki article on the "τ movement", but ... not be allowed to reproduce a list of mathematical formulae with pi replaced by tau." Or, in other words, threats, lack of following guidelines, and no good reason at all. Is this correct? Or is it that you really don't want to answer "What if an article is wrote about '2pi (2π 6.283185307179)' with the section that has tau in the "In popular culture" section? Why, other than spite, would there *not* be an article?" --John W. Nicholson (talk) 23:58, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Patience, grasshopper. Assuming rdococ continues to watch this page, there will be yet another vote in favor of an article at the next RFC. Thanks for explicitly letting us know, rdococ. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 03:12, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Count me in too. Whilst I do not believe that that tau is a serious, or even interesting, mathematical, topic I do believe that the movement to promote tau easily meets the WP criteria for inclusion, along with many other fringe subjects. I remain baffled by the strength of feeling against having such an article. I should point out though that I will strongly resist any attempt to turn the article into a promotional vehicle for tau supporters. Martin Hogbin (talk) 08:25, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I see a much better justification for Tau movement than for Tau (2π). My recollection is that the Tauists are strongly opposed to such an article, though. I would have little objection to Tau (2π)) redirecting there, when it's created. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:53, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I see little scope for ever creating an article on the mathematical properties of 2π, separate from our article on π, as for the foreseeable future π will remain the primary name for this topic and the two numbers just don't have significant differences in their mathematics. If tau is notable, its notability is centered around its activists rather than its mathematics. So whatever a potential future article on tau is called, it should be an article about tau activism and not a content fork of pi. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:15, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't recall any "tauists" being "strongly opposed to" the article being about tauism, as Arthur stated. Or even mildly opposed. I think there was some uncertainty about whether the precise title should be "tauism". That name is really just a joke made by Michael Hartl. Unfortunately, nobody on either side was able to come up with a good title. But the idea that the article should focus on the push by some people to switch over to tau. I don't recall any opposition to that. However, the article has to describe what those people say are their reasons for advocating it. That's true of any article about a group advocating for something. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 00:25, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
The most recently discussed version of the article was written like an advocacy piece (a long listing of formulas involving tau with editorialization about how the notation improved them), with a tacked-on piece of revisionist history at the end explaining how various historical mathematicians really should be thought of as using tau. It was very far from being a description of the goals and activities of the tauist movement. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:45, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Whether a topic should have a Wikipedia article, and whether the most recent Wikipedia article on a topic is poorly written, are two different things. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 01:00, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Whether an encyclopedic article on a topic could theoretically exist, and whether the people interested in the topic are likely to keep it in an encyclopedic state, are also two different things. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:10, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia bars articles on subjects that might attract partisan edits? --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 01:43, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia should bar articles on subjects that will not be written in an NPOV manner, even though it is possible that should an article could be written. It's not policy, though. In any case, a draft article could be written, but it would probably be best not to use the main namespace. A subpage of this page, or a user draft area, might be best. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:15, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I do understand the concern about a potential article being too promotional, I have seen it happen, and the reverse, where an article becomes an attack site. However, I do not think this is a valid reason for not having a WP article on any subject. In this particular case, I belive that there is a clear consensus of editors who will not allow the proposed article to become a promotional vehicle. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:19, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A clear resolution is to have an article tau movement, as has already been suggested. This has been proposed in the past, but no one seemed to have sufficient interest to press the proposal. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:51, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

I assumed the most recent RFC close rejecting a separate article applied to this idea as well. Was that not everyone's understanding? In any case, I agree that a tau movement article seemed to show the most possibility of satisfying all sides during the last RFC. Next time, we should probably start with that as the proposal. (It came up rather late in the last RFC.) --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 13:38, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think "Tau movement" is an accurate title. It's not like there's generally coordinated action in defense of tau; rather, various people have been promoting the concept in different venues, often based in previous/contemporary activity but usually not coordinated with it. "Tauism" is an even worse title; as Joseph mentioned above, it was only intended as a joke/pun. Perhaps "Tau (2π) advocacy" would be a more accurate title. --Waldir talk 16:25, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Tau(2π) is fine. If we call it that nothing bad will happen, really. Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:03, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Neither is the 9/11 Truth movement coordinated, and one could question whether the occupy movement is coordinated. However, those are what they are called in reliable sources, and I don't recall the "tau movement" having a name in reliable sources. In other words, tau movement may not be the right name, but @Waldir:'s comment really doesn't provide a good reason against it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:06, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The title sets the tone for the article. A title like Tau (2π) implies that the article is about the number, and will likely lead to something like the previous drafts, an unwanted content fork of π. A title like tau movement makes clear that the subject of the article is the activism, not the number, which I think has a better chance of being independently notable. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:32, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Unless something has changed since the previous RFC, there aren't any reliable sources to warrant an article on any such "movement". Outside of a few brief mentions in the same exact sources that fail to show notability for Tau itself, there's no coverage of any such movement. - Aoidh (talk) 04:42, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


FOR CONTINUITY WITH PAST DISCUSSIONS: SudoGhost has changed his userID and is now Aoidh.

??? https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:SudoGhost&action=history sockpuppet of Xeno? ??? John W. Nicholson (talk) 08:31, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

(Comment below was a comment on Aoidh.) John W. Nicholson (talk) 08:55, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Let me get this straight...you believe that I am a sockpuppet of a bureaucrat just because that bureaucrat performed my username change? Either file an WP:SPI or keep your speculation to yourself, because accusations like that are personal attacks and will not be tolerated. - Aoidh (talk) 11:28, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


Let's not start that (notability) argument now. It seems people here are just talking about where sufficient notability is most likely to be found in the near future. Multiple editors here (and in the past) have made clear they're nowhere near seeing enough for the number, but may soon or already do see enough for the "movement". And editors are making their sensitivities known about how that distinction gets reflected in the title. We're not on the verge of agreeing to have an article right here and now. We can't. Like I said before, a formal RFC will have to be called. Impromptu discussions like this can make sure it's not called prematurely, and that it's worded closest to something that can get agreement. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 06:47, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Create a broader article[edit]

In my opinion, "Tau (2π)" is not notable as it has not made its way into publications in mathematics. I'd suggest creating an article circle constant instead, which could contrast the standard circle constant π with other proposals/possibilities such as 2π (computed by Jamshīd al-Kāshī to 9 sexagesimal digits in 1424, see approximations of pi), and π/2 (proposed by Albert Eagle in 1958, see pi)) including any available historic references. It would be of particular interest to scrutinize references prior to 1706, i.e. when the symbol π was first used to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, regarding whether they indeed imply a value for the ratio circumference to diameter of a circle or actually something else. Isheden (talk) 06:05, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Such additional historical references would be welcome. The appropriate place for them is here. Tkuvho (talk) 07:51, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
My point is that the existing historical references should be scrutinized. The convention to use π as standard circle constant was established only a few hundred years ago. One has to be careful in the case of older documents when saying that they "imply" a value for π. For example, based on the ratio 1760/280 ≈ 6.2857 of The Great Pyramid at Giza it seems natural to conclude that they may have had knowledge of the constant equal to 2π. Isheden (talk) 09:09, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
One example: According to "Pi - Unleashed" p. 167, the Babylonian clay tablet states that the circumference of an hexagon is 24/25 times the circumference of the circumscribed circle. It does not mention the ratio circumference to diameter of the circle. Isheden (talk) 09:50, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Conflating usage from times before mathematicians standardized on π (when 2π was one of several values used in circle calculations) with the modern push to replace the symbol π with a symbol for 2π is probably a mistake. This is not an example of "really people already use tau as a symbol so it should have an article", it is not an example of "tau is more convenient than pi", and it is not an example of activism to revise mathematical notation. So what is the point of bringing it up? The correct chronology is (various related values were used by different mathematicians in different cultures) => (modern standardization on π) => (some recent enthusiasts feel this was the wrong choice and wish to re-standardize on something else). Unless/until the tauists succeed, we are not going to rewrite any of our actual mathematical articles using this alternative notation, and we are not going to have duplicate warring articles for the two choices of notation, because that would be an inappropriate content fork. So the only remaining possibility is to write about the activism. And if the activists are using things like "the 15th-century Persian mathematicians used the number 2π rather than the number π (with whatever notation) and therefore we should standardize our own notation around that number." as their arguments, then our hypothetical article about the activism should report on those arguments, but it should also report on their fallaciousness — when choosing whether to re-standardize, why should we care about historical trivia? —David Eppstein (talk) 17:47, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think any tau supporters/activists are arguing that we should switch to tau because some particular ancient mathematicians used the number. Their reasons for mentioning it are probably (1) To provide perspective, that just because everybody does something a particular way today, doesn't mean other ways couldn't be just as normal and commonplace. (2) Some people find it interesting when an old idea is "rediscovered". Lots of magazine articles about modern electric cars take time out to describe how some of the very earliest cars were electric. Not because the writers think we can learn something from that old technology, but just because some readers find the "rediscovery" aspect interesting. --Joseph Lindenberg (talk) 02:56, 19 October 2013 (UTC)