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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. 28 Jul '04 16:07 / 1 edit
    A rue 40 Gbyte hard drive contains 40 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 bytes. At 8 bits per byte, this results in 343,597,383,680 binary bits.

    Theoretically, the number of arrangements of these bits is 2 ^ 343,597,383,680. This is an insanely large number. In decimal notation, this number would be comprised of 103,433,118,919 digits.

    Amongst the set of all such 40 Gbyte hard drives, you would find hard drives with the following contents.

    Of course, each and every item listed below merits the following condition:
    assuming that it would fit on a 40 Gbyte hard drive.

    ----------

    - Fresh installs of every single version and update of every single operating system that has ever existed and that will ever exist, in every single dialect of every single language that has ever existed and that will ever exist.

    - Digital versions of every single song that has ever been recorded and that will ever be recorded. Each song encoded in every single digital format that has ever been created and that will ever be created. Each song sung by every person that has ever existed and that will ever exist. Each song sung in every language that has ever existed and that will ever exist. Included, as well, are duets (triplets, quartets, quintets, etc.) of every single song that has ever been recorded and that will ever be recorded, including; you and Elvis Presley; your father and my father; All men with first name Vance currently living in London, England.

    - Digital photos of every moment in Earth's history as well as all possible Earth futures taken from every possible point of view. Included in this subset are photos of every single person that has every existed and that will ever exist. Each photo encoded in every single digital format that has ever been created and that will ever be created. Each person having photos of their every living moment taken from every point of view. Every photo that you have ever seen is included. Also included are actual pictures of, say, Jesus Christ at every moment of his life taken from every point of view. Included are also every picture of the cast of Seinfeld if we replace each original member with any person that has ever existed and that will ever exist. Also included are photos of you reading this very posting taken from every single point of view.

    - Digital versions of every single movie and television show that has ever been created and that will ever be created. Each movie encoded in every single digital format that has ever been created and that ever will be created. Included is every home movie and video ever recorded by every person that has ever lived and that will ever live. Included is every movie where the main actor is replaced by every single person that has ever existed or that will ever exist. Also included are video segments of every event that has ever occurred on Earth and that will ever occur. Every conceivable imaginary event would also be represented, such as: video of Marilyn Monroe's wedding to Albert Einstein on a beach in Fiji, as well as you and Leonardo da Vinci playing table tennis in Paul McCartney's living room filmed from every point of view; Julia Roberts doing porn.

    - Digital versions of every single written story, song, poem, script, newspaper article, top-secret government document, term paper, etc., that has ever been written and that will ever be written. Each item encoded in every single digital format that has ever existed and that will ever exist. Each item written in every single dialect of every single language that has ever existed and that will ever exist.

    - Every e-mail or newsgroup message that has ever been written and that will ever be written. Each e-mail and newsgroup posting containing an attachment of any combination of items listed in the preceding paragraphs. This particular posting is already included. The very next e-mail that you send is already accounted for.

    - Combinations of all the items described in the preceding paragraphs.

    Get the picture?

    Where would this set of hard drives be stored? Not anywhere on Earth. This set would occupy volume on the order of 10 ^ 103433118906 cubic Km. That is much larger that the volume of the Milky Way galaxy (to say the least).

    -Ray.

    P.S. Originally posted to alt.math.recreational on 10/12/2003.
  2. Standard member Cribs
    Moderately Offensive
    29 Jul '04 18:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rgoudie
    A rue 40 Gbyte hard drive contains 40 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 bytes. At 8 bits per byte, this results in 343,597,383,680 binary bits.

    Theoretically, the number of arrangements of these bits is 2 ^ 343,597,383,680. This is an insanely lar ...[text shortened]... . Originally posted to alt.math.recreational on 10/12/2003.[/i]
    That's an interesting observation. I have always been amazed at
    the contrast between the power and the simplicity of storing
    and manipulating information via simple bits and basic logical
    operations on those bits.

    Let's think of all the things that can be enumerated with even
    a much smaller set of bits, say one byte. One byte allows you
    to distinguish between 256 states. The ASCII code is probably
    the most useful encoding based on one byte.

    What other cool examples can you think of that squeeze
    a lot of use out of just a few states?

    Dr. Cribs
  3. 29 Jul '04 19:45
    Originally posted by Cribs
    What other cool examples can you think of that squeeze
    a lot of use out of just a few states?
    Hey, Cribs.

    A trivial answer to your question is the Unicode set of characters that are able to represent every human language. It uses two bytes, or 16 bits, to comprise the entire set.

    -Ray.