Daily Illuminator

June 21, 2007: Your Oxcart Is At 87% Capacity; Consider Compressing Or Discarding Unwanted Material

We live in a fast-paced information age, with unimaginable amounts of data stored on CDs, DVDs, hard drives, and other forms of media. But have you ever wondered what the conversion of that material would be into . . . oxcarts?

Readers of Pyramid got some insight into this puzzler in this week's Omniscient Eye, where we look at information density throughout the history of the written word. How much can you fit on a clay tablet? How many words can you fit on a scroll, and how big would it be? What's the practical upper limit of readable text? And how much data can an oxcart lug around in the form of books?

To help generate answers for the last question, Pyramid has created a handy website that should satisfy the world's data-to-oxcart conversion needs. This converter is open to the public, but if you'd like to read the article that inspired it or the many other questions that The Omniscient Eye has answered you should subscribe to Pyramid today!
Steven Marsh
Editor of Pyramid Magazine

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