1727: Number of Computers

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 06:17, 31 August 2016 by (talk) (Created rough draft)
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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.


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. On the right side of the page, another line appears; a line representing all computers destroyed by NASA but throwing them into jupiter. The compusers in reference are those which were thrown into Jupiter so that before their destruction, they could beam back data to earth about Jupiter. Obviously destroying computers is not their intention; however, the caption states that NASA is trying to destroy all computers by doing so, and failing horribly, given they have destroyed 3 computers out of >10 billion.


[A graph is shown, with the x-axis representing time and the y-axis indicating computer count. There is a line that starts quickly, then slows to a halt around 10 billion labelled 'Number of Computers created.' On the right, another line appears, this one barely sloping upwards at all, capping out at 4, labelled 'Number of Computers destroyed by hurtling them into jupiter.' Caption: NASA needs to pick up the pace if they ever want to finish the job.

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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? 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. 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 (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. 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. (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)