A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates Paperback – 15 Nov 2001
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Sooner or later somebody will translate this properly (I believe the definitive treatment will be in octadecimal, but limiting the palette to ones and zeroes), but in the meantime I'd advise anyone to get a decent binary-decimal dictionary and read the original for themselves instead of this substandard translation.
By beckoning to the reader with quite such a profoundly searching question, author Rand sets up some pretty lofty expectations. However, as events progress, it becomes quite abundantly clear that we are in for a spectacularly variable piece of literature. By the time I had reached page 5, I couldn't help but feel that the refreshingly avant-garde sense of potency had begun to fade, leaving things to degenerate into little more than a mind-numbing drawl. Events began to meander, with little sense of direction or overarching structural cohesion. Intermittently, I might find myself becoming convinced that I had begun to detect a trace of of method among the madness. However, time after time, such expectations were to be confounded- by the most deviously ingenious of subversions. As a case in point, let's have a look at the concluding paragraph to the penultimate page:
Rest assured that I shall not divulge precisely what was to transpire upon that final page, but I can tell you that the conclusion left me open-mouthed and goggle-eyed with bemusement. Had I just encountered a profound statement about the aleatoric structure of the universe and the fleeting nature of life? Was the entire final page the result of a perversely improbable misprint? Or had the author simply been permitted to watch one David Lynch film too many? Ultimately, this is a work that raises more questions than it has answers to.
So imagine my disappointment when the time arrived, I cracked open the prize and found that there are NO SODDING 3's!!!
I know the million digits are random, but you'd have thought that somewhere in there a 3 would pop up. But no - not one of the little blighters.
Whoever proofread this book should be on the sharp end of a stern talking-to. Quite frankly, it's not good enough, and now I feel ripped off.
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