as it happens

November 24, 2005

Sophomoric Philisophical Bull Session of the Moment
"Somewhere inside the digits of pi is a representation for all of us -- the atomic coordinates of all our atoms, our genetic code, all our thoughts, all our memories. Given this fact, all of us are alive, and hopefully happy, in pi. Pi makes us live forever. We all lead virtual lives in pi. We are immortal."
--Cliff Pickover

The quote comes from the page We are in Digits of Pi and Live Forever. It's an intriguing idea, but I liked the note of caution attributed to a "retired physicist": "People will believe in anything if it promises immortality."

It reminds me of a thought I had a for poem, or at least a prose piece, but haven't been able to bring together. There's this idea floating about that you can inscribe the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica onto a pin...simply encode the book into a series of digits, then use that series as a single measurement and place a mark exactly at the point along the side of the pin. I suspect that Quantum effects would too soon raise their ugly heads and hamper the process, but still, it seemed an interesting complement to this thought from a poem by a friend of mine:
At that moment he met her eyes and it occured to him that we live only in moments, arranged as it happens. Someday we shall live entirely in nothing but a single kiss.
--Kyle Parris, from As It Happens
Maybe an entire romance, maybe an entire life, is inscribed in the nuance of each kiss, if only we could measure accurately enough.