Kreative input

Jeg hørte to små historier for nylig der passer glimrende sammen: Eric Idle’s fortælling om hvordan hans “Galaxy Song” blev konstruktivt korrigeret af fysikeren Brian Cox (“Eric Idle on “Galaxy Song”, the New Biological Version“) og så den legendariske, og pedantiske, ingeniør Charles Babbage’s korrektion af et digt af Lord Tennyson:

… it is said that he [Babbage] sent the following letter to Alfred, Lord Tennyson about a couplet in “The Vision of Sin”:

Every minute dies a man,
Every minute one is born

I need hardly point out to you that this calculation would tend to keep the sum total of the world’s population in a state of perpetual equipoise, whereas it is a well-known fact that the said sum total is constantly on the increase. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in the next edition of your excellent poem the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected as follows:

Every minute dies a man,
And one and a sixteenth is born

I may add that the exact figures are 1.167, but something must, of course, be conceded to the laws of metre.
Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines

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