Friday, February 19, 2016

Pages 243-244: Brushes with celebrity

I didn’t want to name names when two scientists make a cameo on page 243 of The Billionth Monkey...but here’s a hint: these modern physicists are very famous--for physicists, at least! ;). If you haven’t figured it out, I’ll go no farther than to say their names rhyme with Neil deGrasse Schplyson and Brian Schplox.

Somebody has noticed a striking resemblance...
Speaking of celebrities, the last Tweezer update in the book, on page 244, contains just one numerological Easter egg: it is 477 (from 477 likes), which equivalent to ΣΤΟΥΑ where ΣΤ=6.* While I dislike numerological "monkey tricks" like colel, I’m not using this for any kind of exegesis; it’s simply because the normal values of Σ=200 and Τ=300 would have produced a sum larger than what I wanted at this point i the book (i.e., 971 likes). ΣΤΟΥΑ is the Greek transliteration of Stoya, the model whose photograph graces all these Tweezer status updates. This was my way, as we near the end of the book, to thank her once again for permission to use her photo. Thanks also to steve prue for taking the photos and for permission to use them, and to Dean Samed for the awesome Photoshop work! Sorry, no previews or spoilers here: you'll have to read the book to see what I'm talking about.

* Some systems of Greek gematria treat the letter pair ΣΤ as the obsolete compound letter stau, and enumerate it as 6. See, e.g., Frederick Bligh Bond and Thomas Simcox Lea, A Preliminary Investigation of the Cabala Contained in the Coptic Gnostic Books and of a Similar Gematria in the Greek Text of the New Testament, Shewing the Presence of a System of Teaching by Means of the Doctrinal Significance of Numbers, by Which the Holy Names Are Clearly Seen to Represent Aeonial Relationships Which Can Be Conceived in a Geometric Sense and Are Capable of a Typical Expression of That Order (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1917).

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