A Sri Lankan Mystery

The last thing that came out of recently deceased author Arthur C. Clarke’s printer was a sheet that said:


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7 Responses to A Sri Lankan Mystery

  1. Troublesome Frog says:

    Weird fascination with combinatorics? I have read that Newton’s notebooks contain pages where he has calculated logarithms out to dozens, if not hundreds of digits for no apparent reason. I’m thinking that Newton just had sort of a ramjet style brain that just had to be operating continuously at high intensity to be in its normal operating mode.


  2. Fez says:

    Investigators estimate that the entire collection comprises about nine billion such words.

    The Nine Billion Names of God, perhaps?


  3. Fez says:

    The text of Clarke’s “Nine Billion Names of God” for those who may have never read this gem of a short.


  4. jferg says:

    Thanks for that.


  5. Troublesome Frog says:

    The number 9 billion. :::sigh::: I am so very uncool.


  6. arensb says:

    What lovely timing.

    Hey, don’t look at me.

    Things that I will do for the sake of an arguably-cute eulogy:
    Write a Perl script that generates permutations of a given set of characters.Estimate the volume taken up by 5.5 million sheets of paper.Adopt a vaguely reporter-like writing tone.

    Things I will not do:

    Engineer an incomprehensibly-devastating stellar event 3.7×109 years before I was born.


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