The Instigator
awesomeness101
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
WriterDave
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

A square is the best quadrilateral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
WriterDave
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,902 times Debate No: 21802
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

awesomeness101

Pro

It's just legit.
WriterDave

Con

There is little doubt that the square is the most fundamental of the quadrilaterals, being their representative in the family of regular polygons. However, also being one of the only three regular shapes that can tessellate (the other two being triangles and hexagons), it also carries the unique burden of being the most boring of the quadrilaterals. A surface constructed of nothing but square tiles is uninteresting to look at.

By contrast, other quadrilaterals have had indispensable places in human culture, if not in pure geometry.

Consider the rectangle. This shape is forever burned into the American psyche as the representation of ultimate intelligence and mystery, thanks to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Consider the trapezoid. In many ancient cultures it was widely used in architecture, and after the arch was discovered the shape went into wider use. Stones that are trapezoidal in cross-section are better able to distribute weight to their two neighbors.

Consider the rhombus. How can one look at a rhombus and not giggle a little inside?

Given these facts, it is not at all clear that a square is the best quadrilateral.
Debate Round No. 1
awesomeness101

Pro

However the square is the most usable quadrilateral. It has been used for arches and multiple other architectural uses. They are also in many games such as scrabble, sudoku, and chess/checkers. Plus they are a very popular art theme. Most vehicle are based off of squares.
WriterDave

Con

As I have pointed out, it is the trapezoid cross-section, not the square, that is used in arches. This is most obviously the case with the keystone, the most important piece of the arch.

The square's utility in architecture and games cannot be denied -- however, this is again due to the fact that the square tessellates. A pattern of interlocking squares can repeat forever. As I have indicated, this is rather boring. Moreover, it is not the squares themselves that give such games as my opponent listed their value; it is the rules that we humans have constructed, and the pieces we have built such as chess or Scrabble pieces (or, in the case of Sudoku, the numbers we write inside the squares).

Squares have been used in art, but I submit that rectangles, when used in art, are more memorable. Consider, for instance, the abstract works of Piet Mondrian. Not to mention the aforementioned 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And seriously: how can anyone not find the rhombus kind of funny?
Debate Round No. 2
awesomeness101

Pro

I agree with your arch keystone argument, but the rest of the arch is made with squares. Also, yes the squares are not the most important part of the games, but the makers, of the games listed, chose the square instead of any other quadrilateral.

And yes the rhombus is quite hysterical.
WriterDave

Con

I'm no engineer, but I believe that if an arch were made of squares rather than trapezoids, the stress between stones would be concentrated on the innermost portions of the stones and not evenly distributed, which would make the arch unstable.

Game designers chose squares because they only had three options -- triangles, squares and rectangles -- of which only the square offers the possibility of a two-dimensional grid, which simplifies game play. A game of checkers or chess played on a board of tessellating triangles would require three players; a game of go on hexagonal intersections would increase the complexity of an otherwise very complex game by orders of magnitude. This might suggest that the square offers advantages, but these advantages are of simplicity, which is desirable for a simple species but which our minds are now capable of transcending.

I note that my other arguments have gone unaddressed.

Thanks to my opponent for this stimulating debate. I submit that the square has not been established as the best quadrilateral, and ask the reader to vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by awesomeness101 4 years ago
awesomeness101
Yea that maked more sence now.
Posted by WriterDave 4 years ago
WriterDave
I regret I made an error in my third statement; the third polygon mentioned should have been a hexagon, not a rectangle.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mimshot 4 years ago
Mimshot
awesomeness101WriterDaveTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made good points throughout that were not refuted by pro and were, in some cases, agreed to.
Vote Placed by Islam_Forever 4 years ago
Islam_Forever
awesomeness101WriterDaveTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had very weak arguments and was rude