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<nettime> 99 trillion errors: a short reply to Florian Cramer
wayne clements on Fri, 5 Aug 2005 13:27:10 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 99 trillion errors: a short reply to Florian Cramer

Forian Cramer has published a fascinating pamphlet (WORDS MADE FLESH. Code,
Culture, Imagination, Florian Cramer, 2005).

However, small eruptions of disorder create the basis of the errata for Cramer?s

To take the mathematically most monstrous: as Cramer knows, a small source code
may have an astronomical product (p 54), so a couple of zeros add up to an
unimaginable total of mistakes. Speaking of Queneau Cramer says:

"In 1961, he extended this concept into a computational poem, the 100,000 Billion
Poems, a combinatory sonnet in ten variations.[47] It was printed in a book whose
lines were individually sliced so that each line of poem could be turned like a
page and picked from ten alternatives. From ten alternatives for the twelve sonnet
lines, 10 [to the twelfth] possible poem combinations result."

Having reduced the sonnet by a mere two lines (who is to say the form might not
benefit for it? More aesthetically pleasing?) Cramer is quite a bit out (100
trillion minus 1 trillion = 99 American trillion). Perhaps Cramer is testing us.

Wayne Clements 


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