Thursday 15 September 2011

More Dead than Alive...

would be a pretty fair description of how I feel this morning, after an evening with Mr Appleyard (not his fault, and it wasn't even a late one, but I slept badly). The title also sums up a subject that emerged briefly in the course of our conversation - are there more people dead than alive? I've always liked to think so and to continue to regard the dead as 'the great majority' - but lately there has been talk of the living outnumbering the dead. Appleyard and I concluded that it was probably incomputable, but it turns out that the answer's simple - despite population growth, the dead still outnumber us. It is strangely consoling to know this - as it is, I always find, to wander around a graveyard...


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  2. You may have hit upon an absolutely earth shattering discovery Nige, supposing we do not, after all, live in a post big bang world, despite what the clever clogs think. We are living in the top half of a giant egg timer, when the sand runs out, when all of the living are converted to dead 'uns the egg will be boiled, time will have ended. That explains why the body count favours cadavers at the moment, more sand in the bottom than the top.
    It also lends credence to that most wonky of creeds, Jehovah's witnesses, they swear that only themselves will be left after judgment day, standing on pillars, obviously of salt, ready for the egg.
    Why not? makes as much sense as that circular tube around Geneva airport.

  3. Malty - I like your thinking! Give me an eggtimer over the big bang any day, even if it comes with JWs (heck, there's always a down side). Like you, I await the boffins' bewildered return to the drawing board after Mr Higgs's elusive Boson fails to show up.

  4. From my (second) favourite blogger, Richard Fernandez:

    "Technology Review notes that the Internet is filling up with dead people and there’s not much anyone can do about it... The problem with dead people is that they accumulate. Because they are part of a summation the terms never go away no matter how far one looks. The ranks of the dead never diminish, only increase. Which means that assuming everyone eventually joins a social networking program of some kind, the ratio between the virtual quick and the dead will eventually approximate the physical ratio. What do we do when 90% of Internet reputations belong to individuals who have gone to their long home?"

  5. That's brilliant! Thanks, Mike.

  6. Oops!
    But for now, he explained, "we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy"
    "And of course the consequences can be very serious."

    wrong type of quark on the track, mate

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