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Pi (the movie).

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Kingkool
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Pi (the movie).

Post by Kingkool » June 14th, 2012, 11:52 pm

I had to watchthis movie three times before I could fully grasp how powerful, amazing, and just plain weird it is. It's only 88 minutes long, and I give it my highest recomendation. And trust me, it will be the wierdest 88 minutes of your life. You can watch it for free on iMDB with a free account, or on hulu, here's a link:

http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi3915620889/

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a) the various themes, the plot, and, most importantly, the ending.

b) the possibility that this or something similar could happen

C) the various philosophical questions such a reality would raise, such as, "is such a thing the work of god?", "would it be morally/ethically wrong to exploit this understanding of the stock market for personal gain?", "can anyone handle such a revelation being placed on them, and them alone?"
“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”- Douglas Adams A Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Scott » June 15th, 2012, 6:50 pm

The last time I watched Pi was many years ago. As far as Darren Aronofsky movies go, I prefer Requiem for a Dream.

Pi is a great movie in that it really makes you feel it. You feel like you've watches something that has caught on to the secrets of the universe. But after sitting back and thinking about what it actually says, it doesn't have much basis in reality. In that way, numerology actually made a great symbol for the thrust of the movie. It seems to make sense, but under a critical eye it simply doesn't. I will never forget him drilling into his own head, though. And I like to interpret the story as him simply being nuts the whole time, much like A Beautiful Mind.
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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by A Poster He or I » June 15th, 2012, 10:47 pm

I loved Pi, though it's been so many years, I don't remember much of the details, just the main aspects of the story and some key scenes. From all that I remember, Scott's post exactly captures my own thoughts. I'm just not sure how much philosophical meat is here but it does seem like a metaphor for madness and return to sanity.

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Kingkool » June 17th, 2012, 12:04 am

Scott, Going off your argument that it couldn't happen, which is most likely true, I have thought of something that might disprove your assumption.
1. Mathematics is the language of nature. 2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. 3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature
Assuming this is true, the way we think, and act upon those thoughts must have some sort of pattern. Therefore, the way we build, in this case the stock market, and the way we react, in this case reaction to the changes in stock quotes and the thought that our money is in a good or bad place, has a pattern. And therefore, by some means, we should be able to predict this pattern. If you figure out how to do this, you should be able to take advantage of that.

I think that when he drilled himself in the head and burned the paper in the end, it was a statement that such knowledge is that of god, and should only be possesed by god. And in the end he was happy because he didn't have the capacity to hold that information (possibly an alternate reality). So the message is probably, ignorance is bliss.
“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”- Douglas Adams A Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Scott » June 17th, 2012, 7:19 pm

What you seem to be describing is causal determinism. If causal determinism is true, and one is omniscient in regards to the past or present insofar as there is such a thing as a present, then one can predict the future with certainty.

The presence of god or other supernatural things, somewhat seems to undermine the idea of causal determinism but even more definitely seems to undermine any practical ability to predict the future since we would -- apparently by definition -- be even less able to understand the causal laws and factors determining the actions of the supernatural beings.

Let's look at more narrow example: If you could compute the position of all the atoms in one's brain and their current motion and energy, and causal determinism is the case, then you can predict how that brain will work like predicting how pool balls will arrange on a table by calculating their current position and movements. At that point, psychology would be useless and we can throw it out the window. We don't need the heuristics and generalizations of psychology when we have all the causal information at the atomic level. But you need all that data, including a way to get the data and a way to calculate it. Finding the simple mathematical laws that describe the way nature works and allows us to predict the future movement of balls on a table requires us having way more robust knowledge about the present and/or past than just that simple equation, i.e. where the balls currently are on the able and what is their movement/inertia.

I don't think causal determinism, if an accurate description of our reality as we deal with it, can lead to a human being accurately predicting the stock market in the way depicted in Pi.

Nonetheless, your interpretation of the ending of Pi might be spot on. The ignorance is bliss message might extend to more practical matters than religious, in that before he apparently drilled the knowledge or intelligence out of his head he had a lot more dangers and stress to deal with.
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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Hereandnow » July 14th, 2012, 11:44 pm

Consider though: the question posed is one of cognition. If the maddening issue that makes us so human is the issue of knowing and this is a discursive affair (as mathematics is, of course) it suggests there is hope for us to see clearly into the nature of things if we can only could do the math better; though, the argument moves implicitly toward any form of Platonsim: get more familiar with logic and rationality and the divine mind is not far away. A kind of rational realism. Reason is the divine spark; etc. One interpretation is that any presumption that reason would have to look deeply into the mysteries of Being is unavailing. I see the protagonist (name?) with his super chip poised over the psychotic battlement: his spartan bedroom cluttered with the sins of idolatrous rationality. Like a presumptuous god, this chip lords over the all. It represents the Icarian transgression against god's limits. weird, yes. But the movie is cleary very weird (though it does not rivel Erasorhead).

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Jklint » July 15th, 2012, 12:29 pm

I borrowed this movie from the library curious as to why it is so often mentioned and hyped. To me it was thoroughly unimpressive; actually a stupid movie. Being a drug addicted nut case is not going to make you creative let alone deliver the secrets of the universe. Pi is the story of a genius in reverse and that makes it pathetic. It would have been more stimulating had the protagonist in Pi been more Ramanujan like.

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by T-RAY » December 11th, 2012, 12:35 pm

This is a beautiful movie about trying to attain the ultimate realization and the insanity it puts you through to get there.

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Hereandnow » December 23rd, 2012, 7:11 pm

This is a beautiful movie about trying to attain the ultimate realization and the insanity it puts you through to get there.
You think this movie was beautiful? ErrrrrThe pulsating brian gives me pause to agree.

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Re: Pi (the movie).

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 24th, 2012, 5:59 pm

Haven't seen the movie. Probably won't- pulsating brains are not my thing.

This is rather an annoying site. I just updated a thread and, since I was also the last to post there, it's still down the list in the dead-fish pan. No one will read it. Also, the clutter and clog in my mailbox is atrocious. I have put this address on my filter-to-garbage list. Why don't they just jam "interest" down my throat and force me to swallow it with a plunger? Sorry to tack this on to the Pi discussion but the system will relegate it to oblivion unless it's attached to something people are talking about. Weird system. And, the goody-two-shoes footprint is really cut deep in the muck.

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