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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
text. 

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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