Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Large Is Six Million...; A Memo by Payman Akhlaghi (2014)

How Large Is Six Million...
A Memo By Payman Akhlaghi (Draft 1)

(*) First published at on February 5th, 2014, under How Large Is Six Million....

Imagine yourself sitting behind a desk in an office where people come to you every day to be interviewed. You are paid a handsome amount to find out about each person, whether it's a man or a woman, young or adult, their name, age, city of birth, parents and grandparents, children when it applies, occupation, joys and sorrows, regrets and future dreams. You are required to spend one minute with each interviewee, and you'll do this five hours a day, five days a week, back to back, without a break. If you can keep pace for 52 weeks per year, five days a week, 5 hours per day, without taking a week or a minute off, then you will need 76 years, 11 months, and one day to meet six million individuals and spend only one minute with each of them.

A few years ago, the students in an American school were guided to get a sense of "six million" by collecting one single item, and their dramatic and moving effort was captured in the documentary, Paper Clips (2004).

Or you may imagine yourself walking by a file of people who are standing up, facing eastward, shoulder to shoulder, on a straight line, no gaps in the file. Allowing 3 feet width per person, it will take 1 mile to fit 1760 people. A file of six million people would become 3409.09 miles long. That is almost 1000 miles Longer than the direct distance between Los Angeles and New York, which is only about 2448 miles.

Imagine the people, in your office. Imagine the people in the line. Imagine them saying goodbye, lying down, closing their eyes...

- Sites Consulted:
(*) For distance between cities:
(*) For unit conversions:

© 2014, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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