At long last….an encyclopedia on a toothpick
After a lengthy break I finally decided to squeeze in a post. I am nearly finished with Haruki Murakami’s Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World which is a fascinating (and utterly over-the-top) novel that explores odd aspects of the mind. It involves some information theory here and there and at one point, a character describes how one could theoretically fit an encyclopedia on a toothpick. Simply encode each letter in the encyclopedia (in order that they appear) with a binary digit. Put all these digits in a row and convert this larger binary digit into base-10. Then throw a decimal point on the front and you have a fraction (rational if the encyclopedia is finite). Then simply put a notch on the toothpick at that fraction of the whole. Hmmmmmm………..