a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
A short story in which a man tries to explain to his son, Barry, the relative sizes of things when the child happens to ask, “How small is in-fin-ite-ly small?”. So father and son start exploring the idea of large numbers and the counting process and naturally arrive at infinity. As the father puts it, “Infinity isn’t a concept I run into often, myself, in my world with the government. Billion dollar and trillion dollar dents are routine but what would an infinite amount of debt look like, exactly?”. From there, they flip the thinking process to discuss smaller and smaller sizes, using the analogy of cutting any given object in progressive halves forever (As they discuss this and the related concept of the universe collapsing in a big crunch into an infinitesimal dot, the son asks the inevitable existential question – what banged in the Big Bang?
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)