Andy has done a great job of showing why circumscribing a square around a circle is very easy as long as you have some basic tools and know-how. Hancock is obviously very wrong about the need for special advanced mathematical skills or Atlantean earth-wisdom to construct such a shape; hence, the circle-in-square pattern is seen in earthworks in both the Amazon and Ohio because it is a pretty straightforward construction.
To this, I’d like to add that Hancock’s misunderstanding isn’t just a goof up in terminology. Squaring the circle has had a distinct mystical and hermetic connotation for centuries, and Hancock’s use of the term is meant to tie the Amazonian and Ohio earthworks to the “secret” wisdom tradition of Hermeticism, which in Magicians of the Gods Hancock had traced (falsely) to Atlantis.
Basically, the real squaring of the circle is the futile effort to create a square with the same area as a given circle using a finite number of steps and only a compass and a straight edge. The Greeks and the medieval people wasted a great deal of effort looking for a solution, but in 1882, proof that pi is a transcendental number demonstrated that it was impossible to square the circle, for reasons that are too mathematically complex to summarize in a sentence. Look it up if you’d like, but all we need to know here is that squaring the circle isn’t possible.
At various points in history, squaring the circle had been considered a goal of hermeticism and alchemy, and also an important factor in the calculation of longitude (even though, in reality, it wasn’t). Hermeticism held that the squared circle represented the essential salts that held the wisdom of the soul, and some variants see it also as a map of paradise, for it combined the circular symbol of heaven and the square symbol of Earth. The philosopher’s stone, according to hermetic alchemists, was said to be a circle inscribed in a square inscribed in a triangle inscribed in a larger circle.
Hancock clearly has these sorts of ideas in mind when he speaks in awe of an earthwork with a square surrounding a circle. Since European mysticism holds it to symbolize the union of heaven and earth, the spiritual and the material, he is naturally drawn to it since his current philosophy revolves around shamanic efforts to connect the spiritual and the material. By misrepresenting a geometric construction as a mathematical secret, he hopes to imply the existence of a lost spiritual stream that doesn’t actually exist.
4/27/2019 10:04:54 am
The idea of "Squaring the Circle" also seems tied to accurately mapping the Earth. Particularly in pseudoscience literature. The key being the location of Jerusalem, and the 60° angle between the solstices. This allows one to create a square and calculate latitude. One needs to predict an Eclipse or, Transit for calculating longitude.
4/27/2019 03:30:05 pm
How much blithering nonsense can you find, kids?
4/29/2019 02:58:30 am
"blithering"... Were you born in the 1800s? Tippecanoe and Tyler too!
4/27/2019 01:59:15 pm
4/25/2019 03:24:57 am
4/27/2019 02:54:36 pm
I want Hancock in the Squared Circle with Samoa Joe. Or even Ronda Rousey. May they could clear the cobwebs all that ayahuasca has deposited in his brain. He was bad on Coast2Coast. He was worse on Joe Rogan.
4/27/2019 05:22:09 pm
Years ago I found myself in a position of being forced to attend several professional wrestling matches at the local National Guard Armory. I came face to face with people who honestly believed that the matches were real competitions and that the characters cultivated by the wrestlers were what they were in real life. So, Badass Bob wasn't really a delivery guy for the pizza shop two counties over, he was actually a big rancher from west Texas who just flew into town in his private jet once a month for the matches.
I Remember Gorgeous George
4/27/2019 06:03:17 pm
Doc, the 1970s called. They wanted to see if you got the memo.
4/27/2019 06:20:12 pm
You mean this memo?
I remember gorgeous george
4/27/2019 06:39:17 pm
No. Tonedeaf as usual.
4/27/2019 07:01:22 pm
Nice try, sorry.
I remember Gorgeous George
4/27/2019 07:12:59 pm
Nice try, sorry.
4/27/2019 07:32:56 pm
Nice try, sorry, INFINITY (credit to Pee Wee Herman).
4/27/2019 09:45:27 pm
Prelaw isn't a major, you imbecile.
4/27/2019 10:11:02 pm
Get a Haircut it'll last for a few months
4/27/2019 10:25:31 pm
This fan of the child-porn obsessed Peewee Herman complains about being linked to pedophilia. Fair enough.
Mainstream scholarship not innocent
4/28/2019 01:16:19 am
There's lots of goofball stuff in mainstream scholarship
4/27/2019 05:37:49 pm
Thanks for the shout out and the additional information. You linked to the video about the nature of science rather than the "squaring the circle" video, however.
4/27/2019 06:26:06 pm
Arrgh…. wrong link! I'll get it fixed. Thanks for pointing out my pasting error.
discoursing on his respect for psychedelic drugs
4/28/2019 01:25:41 am
No psychedelic drugs
4/29/2019 04:30:08 am
So we would be using Linux. Faster and cheaper. Or Mac OS.
4/29/2019 09:28:17 am
Or maybe if they had to rely on their unboosted brains we would now be on Windows 7 or even XP. Both of which I was quite happy with.
stop the insanity
4/29/2019 05:12:02 pm
I keep a pirated copy of Windows 7 at all times and still have an NT4 CD. With Windows 10 they've achieved maximum bloat and maximum intrusiveness.
4/28/2019 10:23:55 am
For me, it's like attending a "wrestling match" and being stuck between two fans of opposing "wrestlers".
4/28/2019 03:13:45 pm
How much blithering nonsense can you spot, kids?
4/28/2019 06:59:49 pm
It's no use whining like a child that "There were no 'Hopewell people'"
4/28/2019 07:08:10 pm
Clovis was the King of the Franks who converted the French to Christianity.
4/29/2019 05:09:30 pm
I actually met a Clovis person. He was from Clovis, New Mexico. He called himself Fred.
4/28/2019 10:13:49 pm
This Mr. Grondine sounds like a stalking turd.
What ? Another theory !!
4/29/2019 01:52:04 am
Mainstream scholarship is just full of theories that cannot be tested if factual, yet treated like "fact"
4/29/2019 09:45:55 am
When you encounter any of the poisonous plants at your site, there is one correct answer: "I'm taking care of it, and doing my best to protect the health of my crew."
4/29/2019 11:21:55 am
Andy was spot on !!
Woke too far
4/29/2019 03:08:09 pm
What if one of the crew has to make big potty? Is it Andy's job to assist with that too?
4/29/2019 03:52:15 pm
Along these same lines, whatever happened to the guy who always wrote about dropping a deuce here, there, everywhere, using flowery language?
4/29/2019 04:26:15 pm
"Was he summarily de-boned? Ex-communicated?"
10/17/2020 08:08:54 pm
The circle henge and stonehenge were used as calendars and sundials. Farmers need to accurately predict the seasons in order to plant their crops and prepare for the winter starvation. They did not have ropes to build a circle. The easiest method to build a circle for the sundial is to build a perfect square and then build a circle inside the square, and then mark the length of sunlight in the longest day. You worship the sun and the seasons to plant the crops at the correct time. Its simple and realistic and the henges are not as mysterious as people think or over-think their purpose
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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