Digital is Discrete

Bob was cross. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your niece?”

“It’s a little embarrassing to admit you have an odd one in your own family, wouldn’t you say?”

“But she’s perfect.”

“That’s an illusion, boy, and it’s my duty to warn you so. Don’t get me wrong. To your hormone-driven eyes she’ll be the widest gamut visual effects driven bonanza ever; but to her you barely make grayscale. Don’t look depressed. You must be wondering what you have to do to make the grade. It’s easy. All you need to do is sample.”

“What now?”
Digital is Discrete

“This is going to be harder than I thought. What did you think digital is? A walk in the park? A walk in the park is analog. Digital is a walk in the park chopped up into little pieces called bits.”

“You could have said ‘chopped up into little bits’.”

“No, that mistake would have taken a week to correct. Look, I’m extremely busy today and your eyes look like they are in desperate need of a good read. Let me get my notes.”


“Unless you want to forget the whole thing and go home?”


“I thought so. Wait here.” Sampler goes inside.

Bob couldn’t take his eyes off the only thing that came between him and nirvana – Cathy’s door. What was behind it?

Years ago he had had a neighbor – Dr. Schrödinger, whose cat died under mysterious circumstances. There was talk of a door that should have been opened but wasn’t. It wasn’t clear whether the cat died because the door was opened or because it wasn’t opened.

“That’s stupid”, his father answered in his head, “How would you know either way unless you opened the door?”

Bob’s battery drained. Was his father hinting or being explicit? “Remember, son, a good cameraman never leaves the scene without a record on tape. Make your own light.” This was followed by advice from his mother: “Don’t worry, son, we can always fix it in post.”

Bob found himself standing in front of Cathy’s door, hand on knob. Maybe it’s locked. Only one way to find out – Bob turned it.

It wasn’t locked.

Historians agree what happened after that is a bit fuzzy. Heisenberg said you can’t observe anything without changing it, and one isn’t sure whether he said that with certainty or uncertainty. There were at least two screams – one in constant pitch and the other varying across the full spectrum, as if a teacher had a student’s ear clamped and wouldn’t let go.

After a few jump cuts, brief flashes of lightning and an earth shattering door slam Bob found himself kneeling in front of Sampler, holding both his primes.

In between the crushing pain Bob managed to blurt out: “I didn’t know she was changing. But don’t worry; I couldn’t see much in low light.”

“Too excited to knock, eh? Didn’t your dad teach you to clap before every take? Well at least you guys got acquainted.”

Cathy arrived like a storm. “Uncle Sampler, who the hell is this pervert?”

“This here is Analog Bob, one of my favorite students.”

Bob could swear he was invisible to her.

“What do you teach these morons? I’m going for a walk.”

She didn’t wait for an answer, and slammed the door shut on her way out.

“Straighten up, kid. These notes are our secret. You have a long way ahead of you.”

“Thank you, Professor Sampler. You won’t regret this.” Bob limped out.

Sampler picked up the tapes Bob had brought over.

“Ah, fun time.”

Next: Professor Sampler’s Notes: Analog
Previous: Analogue is Analog

2 replies on “Digital is Discrete”

  1. “Don’t worry, son, we can always fix it in post.” – Hilarious!
    Perhaps I’m one of those few who would actually get these puns. Love your website. Keep it going!

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