Friday, 23 December 2011

Just thinking numbers.

I saw one of my comments with a url like:

So I was wondering: if you wanted to give each comment ever posted on the internet by a human a unique identifier how long would the url have to be?

I like to make sure I encompass every reasonable possibility and I wondered how many humans had ever lived.  According to the Population Reference Bureaux the rather whimsical calculation results in the figure 107,602,707,791.

So there have been about one hundred thousand million so far.  If every one of them lived for 80 years and left a message every second of their lives (a task that is highly improbable - like impossible) how many messages would there be so far?

One person would leave 60 messages per minute and 60 times that every hour which is 3,600.  Multiply that by 24 to get the number of messages per day and it comes to 86,400.  Multiply that by 365.25 to get the number of messages per year (the .25 accounts for leap years) and you get 316,677,600 messages by one person per year.  Multiply that by 80 to get how many messages each person leaves in their life time and it comes to 25,334,208,000.  That's twenty five thousand million messages per person and there have been 107,602,707,791 people.  So multiply those two figures together and you get the total number of messages left by this hypothetical hyperactive human race.  It comes to the not so staggering 2,726,029,380,540,414,528,000 which is 22 digits long.

If you used alphanumeric characters (that is a to z and 0 to 9) you could represent it with 15 characters.  Just 15 individual characters to uniquely identify every message in that hypothetical population.

e.g. the url would look something like:

It was just a thought.  Nothing too profound has emerged yet.  But I keep thinking these weird thinks (like the death toll counter).  Hope you have a happy Easter.  Bye.

1 comment:

  1. This is a comment about an infinite number of monkeys pounding away on an infinite number of typewriters for ever and ever. It is stored under this url ;-)