Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm no Scientist but I have an old abacus out the back

Some time ago, I posted a list of the people I admire. It wasn’t a very long list and consisted of:

1) Myself

It took me four hours to come up with that list. Today I’ve been working on a different list. Today I’m working on a list of people who aren’t me. So far I have:

1) Everybody (except me)

Because I don’t know everybody, it’s going to be pretty hard to list the total number of living humans on earth at a given time. The last time I counted, there were 6,899,182,128 brothers & sisters of the planet. I counted them one by one. As you can imagine, this took a certain amount of time out of my day and by the time I was finished, I was tired. I’m pretty good with an abacus and was happy enough with my calculation but just to make sure, I counted again and this is where I ran into a problem. When I finished counting I got a very different number – 6,800,183,918. I was so sure that my initial calculation was correct and then it dawned on me. It’s something I should of realised straight away. Both of my calculations were correct. The reason, the second number was bigger is because more people were born since my initial calculation. One problem out of the way, only for another to arise. I was now happy with the number of people but how the bejaysus am I going to list all their names? Bill Y


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