Earle Brown and I spent several months splicing
magnetic tape together. We sat on opposite sides
of the same table. Each of us had a pattern of the
splicing to be done, the measurements to be made,
etc. Since we were working on tapes that were
later to be synchronized, we checked our
measurements every now and then against each other.
We invariably discovered errors in each other’s
measurements. At first each of us thought the
other was being careless. When the whole
situation became somewhat exasperating, we took a
single ruler and a single tape and each one marked
where he thought an inch was. The two marks were
at different points. It turned out that Earle
Brown closed one eye when he made his measurements,
whereas I kept both eyes open. We then tried
closing one of my eyes, and later opening both of his.
There still was disagreement as to the length of
an inch. Finally we decided that one person
should do all the final synchronizing splices.
But then errors crept in due to changes in weather.
In spite of these obstacles, we went on doing
what we were doing for about five more months,
twelve hours a day, until the work was finished.