1727: Number of Computers

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(Graph extends above 100 billion, not just above 10 billion.)
(Transcript: typo)
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==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
[A graph is shown, with the x-axis representing time (labeled in years from 1942 until 2030) and the y-axis indicating computer count. There is a line that starts slowly, then rockets up exponentially, eventually reaching the right edge of the graph at ~10 billion, labeled 'Number of Computers created.' On the right, another line appears, this one barely sloping upwards at all, capping out at 4, labeled 'Number of Computers destroyed by hurtling them into Jupiter.'
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[A graph is shown, with the x-axis representing time (labeled in years from 1942 until 2030) and the y-axis indicating computer count. There is a line that starts slowly, then rockets up exponentially, eventually reaching the right edge of the graph at ~10 billion, labeled 'Number of Computers created.' On the right, another line appears, this one barely sloping upwards at all, capping out at 4, labeled 'Number of Computers destroyed by hurling them into Jupiter.'
  
 
Caption: NASA needs to pick up the pace if they ever want to finish the job.
 
Caption: NASA needs to pick up the pace if they ever want to finish the job.

Revision as of 11:17, 31 August 2016

Number of Computers
They try to pad their numbers in the annual reports by counting Galileo's redundant systems as multiple computers, but they're falling behind badly either way.
Title text: They try to pad their numbers in the annual reports by counting Galileo's redundant systems as multiple computers, but they're falling behind badly either way.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Rough draft, needs better phrasing and transcript
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

In this comic is a graph of all computers in the world, on a log scale. Also on the page is a graph representing all computers destroyed by NASA by throwing them into Jupiter.

Space probes sent to Jupiter are typically scheduled to deorbit and fall into Jupiter's atmosphere. There are multiple reasons for this, including avoiding contaminating Europa with Earth pathogens.

The caption below the comic humorously implies that NASA's reasons for causing the probes to deorbit is merely to destroy computers for the sake of destroying computers (and failing horribly, given they have destroyed three computers out of >100 billion).

Transcript

[A graph is shown, with the x-axis representing time (labeled in years from 1942 until 2030) and the y-axis indicating computer count. There is a line that starts slowly, then rockets up exponentially, eventually reaching the right edge of the graph at ~10 billion, labeled 'Number of Computers created.' On the right, another line appears, this one barely sloping upwards at all, capping out at 4, labeled 'Number of Computers destroyed by hurling them into Jupiter.'

Caption: NASA needs to pick up the pace if they ever want to finish the job.

Title text: They try to pad their numbers in the annual reports by counting Galileo's redundant systems as multiple computers, but they're falling behind badly either way.


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Discussion

Huh. Just noticed I missed a sentence at the beginning, but I'm too lazy to fix it. Could someone else rewrite my horrible draft? 173.245.50.85 06:19, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

I have done that now. ;-) And added a "few" extra details. --Kynde (talk) 14:52, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

The dotted line may also mean that the mission could possibly be extended, as happened to many NASA missions, in which case the destruction would occur later than currently planned. Zetfr 15:22, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

There's a HAL9000 joke in there all over it. Aasasd (talk) 16:26, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

The line is indicating linear growth, not exponential. Exponential growth would be parabolic, not straight. Tinny 17:20, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Note the log scale.162.158.86.137 17:51, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Did you miss the point about the left axis being logarithmic, or do you need an "explain explain xkcd" page to teach you basic graphing concepts? flounder 108.162.237.136 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

If the implied goal is destroying computers in Jupiter I’m afraid it is completely impossible for NASA to finish even if we stopped manufacturing them now. Some computers have already been destroyed by other means. 162.158.74.27 03:01, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Could there be a reference to Lord of the Rings? Having to travel a long distance to destroy an object in the one location it can be destroyed. 108.162.237.133 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Is that really so hard to send probe on Jupiter orbit into Jupiter? I would expect it would likely happen even if not trying, either because orbit not being totally stable or because the probe will hit something. Or get under Io. ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 21:28, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


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