May 02, 2012

helping the kids think about infinity

The “all the grains of sand on all the beaches” metaphor is played out. What we need are some new ways to help kids think about infinity. Here are a few that I might use with mine.

  • Every pixel in every billboard, television, computer monitor, checkout terminal, tablet and smartphone.
  • Every JPG, PNG or GIF (static or animated) image shared on Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Including the automatically cropped versions, resized versions and cached copies (whether at a CDN, ISP or in your browser). And all the pixels in those images.
  • Every beep after which you are supposed to leave a message. Every time you’ve pressed pound to continue. Every breath taken while waiting on hold.
  • Every email, instant message, text message, private message or direct message sent from one loved one to another. Or from one colleague to another. Or from a loved one to a colleague.
  • Every spam that’s been caught by filters. Or not.
  • Every bit of every stream or download delivered by iTunes, Netflix and Spotify.
  • Every event written to a log. Every click, keypress or browser event captured by Google Analytics. Every purchase signal captured by Amazon. Every like, friend request, comment or poke on Facebook. Every display ad impression.
  • Every keyboard press, screen tap and mouse click made by people. Or pets, accidentally. And every processor cycle spent waiting for that input.