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Good Math by Mark C. Chu-Carroll

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Legendary Nonsense

There are a ton of stories about the history of the golden ratio. Most of them are utter bunk.

Many histories will tell you that the pyramids of Egypt are built on the golden ratio or that the proportions of various features of Greek temples were built to fit the golden ratio. But like so much else about the lore of the golden ratio, it’s just apophenia—finding patterns where there are none.

Let’s look at an example of the supposed connection between the pyramids and the golden ratio. If we look at the faces of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the relation to the golden ratio is just a rough approximation: the golden ratio is roughly 1.62, and the ratio of the length of the sides of the Great Pyramid is 1.57. The Great Pyramid ...

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