The Great Issue of Our Time…

The Great Issue of Our Time…

…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:

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