The image above doesn’t do anything; this piece is about the information that follows. Teaching myself how to use Processing’s PDF features (wow, super easy), I whipped up a visual representation of a million. Ever seen a million of anything? Want to? This is a link to a PDF file (117MB) with a million instances of letter "i". It’s also interesting to note that my computer was able to create this file in about two and a half minutes. Pretty fast for a million! So then I thought (in my very human inability to imagine very large numbers) I could make The Book of I that has one “i” for every person on the planet. Hah, yeah right. Here’s the math on that. One million took 150 seconds and made a file 224 pages long, that was 117 megabytes in size. The population of the USA is around 314 million as of July 4, 2012. That took my computer a little over 13 hours to produce. The file was 70,336 pages long and about 36GB in size. To do the full Book of I would mean approximately 7,080,000,000 instances of the letter “i”, which would take my computer 295 hours (that's 12.29 days for those of you keeping score at home), and would generate a file of 1,585,920 pages that would be around 828GB. Anybody want to download an almost Terabyte-sized PDF file? Turns out Henry James Predicted TMZ. _____________ about a “Princess Zucchini” — _______________________ — and how the beauty of these people is their ______________________: the olive eyes, the early marriages, the handsome men ... “Last winter, in ________________, I was struck with the queer incident of __________________ — (Sidebar! 1888 was already 16 official years into Impressionism; that year Gauguin was painting _________________ alongside Van Gogh, and Monet began his endless haystacks.) I mean ______________________. CA sez “We have displaced or made extinct so many other species of animals, insects and plants that we have actually lost track!” In the age of Emily Dickinson less than a billion humans ________________ roamed the open plains of ___________________. They are museums of fur and hooves. We love our _______________, they comfort and soothe us when _____________________. ONLY RULE: NO _________________. ;Do not fear LOOKING at these people. The kinds of people who show up will ___________ Look at how WEIRD our world can be! What are we ___________________? As much as 80% of __________________________, remember this detail. As soon as the hour is up, casually walk away WITHOUT TALKING! NO TALKING! GO, ______________. Scientists in the US have created a robot the size of a fly that is able to perform the agile manoeuvres of the ubiquitous insects. The song is about a doe lifting up a knight’s head and carrying it to a lake ... Is this what Louise Glück was on about in, “The Red Poppy, when she wrote “The great thing / is not having / a mind”? And why, in “OK Fern”, Maureen McLane asks “Tell me what to do / / With my life”? It does everything a commercial is supposed to do. It begins with a cigarette flipping through the air in slow motion several times with Beefheart singing ‘Woe-is-a-me-bop.’ There are long silences, Beefheart finally appears doing his famed Hand and Toe Investment. Rockette Morton crosses the screen with a black sack over his head working an egg beater. The Captain kicks over a bowl of white paint in slow motion. Wild elephants sometimes stand silently at the bodies of dead companions and, later, stroke their sun-bleached bones as if embracing a memory.
[Note: Sources: Dan Waber, “The Book of I, by Dan Waber”, at logolalia, n.d., via Moribund Facekvetch (Gary Barwin), FB post, 3 May 013; JBR, a bit of the collab with Anne Gorrick, waiting her to fill in the blanks (sources used: Choire Sicha, “Henry James Predicted TMZ!”, at Slate, 3 May 013, CA Conrad, “(Soma)tic Poetry Ritual and resulting poem / EQUINOX EVE: Silent Meeting Group”, at MATTER, 1 May 013); Victoria Gill, “Robotic insect: World’s smallest flying robot takes off”, at BBC News, 2 May 013; Timothy Morton, “Secret Life of Plants Liveblog: Knowing (Maureen McLane)”, at Ecology without Nature, 3 May 013; Warner/Reprise letter, as quoted in Marc Campbell, “Banned Captain Beefheart TV Commercial: 60 Seconds The Networks Did Not Want You To See”, at Dangerous Minds, n.d. (in response to The National Association of Broadcasters, who banned the commercial, which was for Beefheart’s Lick My Decals Off, Baby); Barbara J King, “How animals mourn their dead”, at New York Post, 28 Apr 013]