Astronomer, Simon Mitton, once counselled Stephen Hawking [Wikipedia] that each equation he included in his upcoming book, “A Brief History of Time” — the sort of book that he hoped would sell well in airport bookstores — would halve its sales.
I haven’t gone to the trouble of explaining the math behind half of half of half of however many books Hawking thought x number of airport bookstores might sell because I’m a copywriter, not a mathematician, and not even half of half of half as smart as the author.
Dr. Hawking decided to take the advice of his fellow astronomer, who incidentally has an asteroid named after him and erred on the side of selling more than one book to his mom.
Ed: For you number nerds who want to dig a little deeper, Omni Calculator has an exponential growth calculator that might be coerced into working in reverse to determine what Hawking was probably able to calculate on the fingers of one of his hands, that is, if you know the number of airports in the world that have bookstores and how their cosmology titles sell.
Hawking ultimately included only one equation in the entire book, E = mc2.
A Brief History of Time became a bestseller and has sold more than 25 million copies.
The two opening paragraphs below opened a cover letter template for my favourite Slovenian IT super-brain, and were written to intrigue IT-focused recruiting agencies, not a bookstore; not even one in a restaurant at the end of the universe.
The toughest part of this job was determining where one acronym ended and the next one began in the C.V. that was attached to the cover letter.
It was the closest thing to rocket science I’d ever written, until I had occasion to explain the difference between writing in the first and third person to an otherwise stellar US-based NASA writer.
Dear Irish IT Recruiter,
Someone once counselled Stephen Hawking that each equation he included in his book, “A Brief History of Time” — the sort of book that he hoped would sell well in airport bookstores — would halve its sales.
It is my intention that the cumulative effect of the 42 equation-like, technological acronyms, from ASP.NET to XAML, that you will find in my attached C.V. — the sort of C.V. that I hope will sell well to a handful of flourishing IT enterprises — whether their universe is books, bookstores, airports, history, time or thyme, will equate to a kind of antithesis to Dr. Hawking’s dilemma.
Thanks a billion billion billion to Guillermo Ferla at Unsplash for the Andromeda Galaxy photo.
— this post was last updated