Friday, March 5, 2010

"You have started a chain reaction that could bring about the next apocalypse."

This is a journey into how my mind works.

I received an e-mail with a link to photos from the International Space Station. They were awesome and I thanked J for sharing them with me. One was of an atoll. I’d never heard that word either, so I looked it up.

Then, I wondered how many of them there are in the world. So I Googled “how many atolls are there” and found this on WikiAnswers, which has a link to the Atoll Research Bulletin form 1953, which lists atolls by region, latitude/longitude of the atoll, and any additional notes.

From here, things got even more strange. As I looked over the typeface, it was clear it had been written with a typewriter. "Imagine the work it took to create this document!" I thought. Amazing!

Then, I found a typo on page 1 of the typed text, but figured it is so minor, the author either didn't notice it, or he overlooked it because back then they used typewriters and he would have had to rub it out on the original and the carbon copies or start all over.

I began to think about how much has happened since 1953. I even read a couple of articles about the history of typing. Essentially, it goes like this: first came ink bottles and quills, then the advent of typewriters, which eventually turned electric and gave way to word processors, which morphed into computers, which eventually became accessible to everyone. Then, the dawn of the internet, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Which got me to thinking about Census 2010. And how, once upon a time, census records were done by hand. Which is kind of special for some reason. . . a written record, a scripted declaration of your kith and kin, the capturing of a time when life was slower. . .

I could go on and on. . .

But I think you get the idea. And somehow, just somehow, it's not, as it first appears, an entirely random thought process. It's actually kind of circular, if you think about it. Or linear, at the very least.

[Title quote is from "The Mummy Returns"]

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