Infinity > Infinity + 1

Ongoing  /  Concept & Execution

A network computing project to count to infinity by aggregating 1 count per viewing client per second ... ad infinitum

If we could let it run long enough, this is what the binary number 100100000101100000110000000110011110011110011000011001100110011001100111100001 (that's 170,411,888,266,936,332,163,553 in decimal) ?

The graphic representation of the count is a binary number articulated in the divisions of a set of concentric rings. Each ring is subdivided into a number of sectors according to the series of the powers of 2, i.e. 2^n = 1; 2; 4; 8; 16; 32. 

The problem of representation (and preception) of the proposed approach to infinity, is of course that no matter how great the count, its rate of increase or its acceleration, the distance remaining to be covered is always still infinite. At the scale of very large numbers, how does one represent an effectively infinitesimal degree of difference? The meaningful growth of such a series on the scale of human perception of time, levels off to an asymptotic curve – easily proven by the haste with which one gets bored of watching the count. 

Nonetheless, we remain fascinated by all such mind-numbing patterns of rhythmic repetition and growth, and as the count increases and the number coils outwards from the center, the objective seems increasingly plausible – though stubbornly unattainable, if only because of the sheer effort required to articulate the count. 

While the actual count is not deducible on immediate presentation, the scale of the count is eventually grasped by watching the growth of the pattern over time, and so understanding the structure of the graphic. 

The count is executed in a distributed fashion by each client, using updates on the scale of the network (and therefore the rate of increase of the count) from its peers, and continuously re-estimating and correcting for the rate of growth of the count. 

There is therefore no single precise count, but rather a cluster of close estimations, each inevitably dependent the relative position of the client within the network and the perceptions of the client's neighbors

9 sequential frames of the counter,
representing the numbers below

- Well, I count 1 million. So there!
- 1 million plus 1!
- 1 million plus 2
- 2 million
- 10 million
- 1 billion
- 1 zillion
- 1 ga-zillion
- 1 gazillion plus 1
- 1 gazillion plus 1 gazillion
- Infinity
- Infinity plus 1
- Infinity plus infinity
- Infinity times infinity
- Infinity times infinity plus 1!
- Who's on first?

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