Category Archives: personal

A most spectacular standard deviation

Since I moved the Catalogue of Calculations to wordpress, I don’t think I have ever addressed you, all of you, directly. I have no problem when my mind tells me that I am writing for all of you, but even though I know what the numbers that represent how many of you there are mean, I have had no sense of scale with which to compare that written numerical quantity, until now, and I have not completely assimilated the scale yet.


…for crashing two of my mail servers with the ocean of condolences, blessings and good wishes that I’ve received after posting a  few words in recognition and in honor of my father, who passed away this last Saturday; July 6.  I am moved beyond words, but for only a few seconds!

WOW!; there are SO MANY OF YOU I had no idea what that felt like so thank you also for doing some math that allowed me to have a sense of scale.   I do not know exactly how many e-mails were received, some of them may have been lost when the server crashed, but it doesn’t matter it would take more than 3 of my father’s 90 year lifetimes, reading without stopping for food or sleep for 92% of each lifetime to make a small dent in the total that made it through.

I could easily say that I don’t know what to say, but that would be a lie and I would fall down dead immediately.  It’s not that I don’t know what to say, it’s that I can’t fathom how to reply to each and every one of you even to just write THANK YOU.  That’s the thing about time, you can delude yourself by thinking she will succumb to math, but she laughs at math and at us. (If we were able to perceive time as a human manifestation, it would indisputably be a female manifestation).    I can’t count this post as a means to accomplish what I want to do because it doesn’t.  It would be cheating; it would simply way beyond comfortable to express my love and gratitude to each one of you with one general-purpose thank you post, in fact it would be cheating, which is a first cousin of lying and once again, I would immediately fall drop dead.    A short while ago, I thought of something that might just come close to answering each and every one of the e-mails that continue to arrive.  I remembered that in mathematics, you should always use the right type of math for the problem to be solved.  Since I was counting, a function of quantity, I naturally continued to think in terms of Arithmetic to figure out how to solve this quandary.   This math can’t be solved with Arithmetic; it’s not a numeric problem as much as it is a matter of scale, so that makes it a job for physics!  The rest came easy.  Here’s the math:

I am not physically able to individually write a response to each and every one you, but I can THANK YOU in all of the languages that you have written to me in, or at least the ones I’ve encountered so far.  This way the scale can be accounted for through the use of language and linguistics.  Each one of you knows what language is your primary language and it is also the language you used to write so many beautiful words.  Below this paragraph is an image (it had to be an image because we still suck at font compatibility).  In that image, the words THANK YOU are written in each of the 51 languages that you have written to me in, so when you read it in your native language, know that I am thanking you directly, and every other person who wrote to me in your language instead using individual names.  It’s the closest I could come to a personal reply that yielded a valid condition for the purpose of the function.  So here it is;



(The last one- with all the numbers; is thank you in binary.  It would be unacceptable to leave out computers.  I owe them a great debt for sacrificing so many of their total number at the hands of my dad!  They provided him with comfort, entertainment and even companionship at times. So they go on the list.)

On behalf of my father and myself, I’ll thank you all one more time, in the one language that isn’t on the list because it is my primary language and I wanted to write in a very personal way, with every ounce of my heart:


We just DID better, keep it going!


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