We Haven’t Been Moving In Circles, The Rooms Have
Dated August 13, 2011
Today I learned that A Rubik’s cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations.
That’s…ones, tens, hundreds, thousands…carry the illion…over forty-three quintilian combinations. You could round that number down to forty-three quintilian and you’d be lopping off 252 quadrillion combinations.
If Ernő Rubik had written the Kama Sutra that thing would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica (RIP). And also sex would be much twistier and confusing and most people would never finish unless they peeled off the stickers and cheated.
Moving at a speed of one rotation every second you would need fourteen hundred trillion years to work your way through every combination of the cube. The big bang was about fourteen billion years ago so…yeah. It’d be a little while.
Here’s the most amazing thing, though. The most inspirational, holy-crap-that’s-sweet thing I’ve heard in ages. Here’s the thing to take with you into every room you ever walk.
You are never more than twenty moves from solving a Rubik’s Cube.
When you’re stuck and twisted beyond recognition and everything, everything, everything seems wholly intractable, when it’s all gone sideways and there are forty quintilian ways for things to go wrong and it seems like you’d need a trillion years to get to good, you are never more than twenty moves from sorting it out.
You are never more than twenty moves from awesome.
And, anyway, it’s just a game.
*Drops the mic*
Fun (Ish) Fact of the Day To date more than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide. One of those can be found in several shots in my first film, “For Catherine.” I still haven’t solved the damn thing. But I’m close.
Band Name of the Day: 20 Moves
Quote of the Day: “We turn the Cube and it twists us.” -Ernő Rubik
IBM’s New Motto: Think…About Murdering Everyone!
Dated August 12, 2011
Today I learned that IBM was behind the holocaust. Not solely, you understand, there were others who helped out. Hitler, for example. And probably Leno, though I haven’t been able to prove it just yet. But IBM had enough involvement that when I read about it I went to get a beverage so I could take a sip, spit it all over my monitor and shout “WHAAAAA!?”
Also disturbing is the fact that a book about this sort of thing came out eleven years ago and no one bothered to tell me. Among the things I always want to know is which people and organizations systematically murder folk. I’m making a field spotters guide. I imagine my future as an evilologist, wandering the national parks and clocking a nazi or what have you in a tree and saying, “Oh look! There’s a genocidal fuck! Let’s go that way!” And then I would go in a different, less murdery direction. Like a boss.
This book, helpfully titled IBM and the Holocaust, from Edwin Black (who I’m pretty sure also sang “I’ll Be”) lays out, among other things, the close, personal involvement and micro-management of Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, in his companies co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler’s campaign to destroy Jewish people.
Hitler was like, “You know my methods, Watson. Basically it’s all just brutally killing dudes for no reason.” And Watson was like, “Cool. I’ve got an app for that.”
Not to make, you know, the murder of millions of innocent people all about me or anything, but the whole thing kind of makes me feel better about the poor, sad, suicidal Chinese bastards who make the Apple products which run my life. Not that much better but, at least I don’t own a Thinkpad.
According to Black, from the beginning of Hitler’s regime in 1933 and on through for twelve years, “IBM used its exclusive punch card technology and its global monopoly on information technology to organize, systematize, and accelerate Hitler’s anti-Jewish program, step by step facilitating the tightening noose. The punch cards, machinery, training, servicing, and special project work, such as population census and identification, was managed directly by IBM headquarters in New York, and later through its subsidiaries in Germany.”
Basically they created and maintained a database of Jews and how to round them up. This list was later recovered and renamed the “IMDB”.
IBM also kept punch card records of every inmate in concentration camps with specific codes for how they died among many, many other things, all of which are detailed in Blacks book. In no uncertain terms the man for whom the Jeopardy computer is named (of which I have written earlier in this book) is guilty as hell of genocide.
That’s fucked up.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: IBM has never denied any of this.
Band Name of the Day: International Business Murderbastards
Quote of the Day: Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice. -Adolph Hitler