2024: Light Hacks
Title text: Life hack: Wait for an advanced civilization to be briefly distracted, then sneak in and construct a slightly smaller Dyson sphere inside theirs.
"Life hacking" is the practice of using common everyday items in novel ways to increase the convenience or enjoyment of daily activities. This comic pokes fun at the many blogs and video channels that purport to cover life hacking tips, but merely point out obvious or intended uses for products or well known techniques as low effort clickbait. Megan tells Cueball that, by using sheets of paper, she can reflect and diffuse the light coming from a lightbulb. She refers to her discovery as a life hack, while Cueball sarcastically points out that all she has done is reinvent the lampshade, to which Megan again refers to as a life hack. A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical energy-collecting megastructure encompassing a star, and collecting a large percent of its energy in the process. It is named after the physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson. The joke here is that Dyson spheres are generally not intended for lightbulbs, yet using them in this way is suggested by Meagan as a life hack, poking fun at the fact that life hacks make things more complicated instead of convenient. Freeman Dyson argued that Dyson spheres, if they existed, could be found by infrared surveys, as large objects that would emit infrared radiation. IKEA pendant lampshades are spherical shells that surround the bulb. Megan claims studies have tried to use infrared surveys to find Dyson spheres at Ikea locations, without success. When Cueball tells her the easier way, searching for it online, she eagerly refers to his method as another life hack, much to Cueball's annoyance.
The title text creates a different sort of confusion of the term lifehack, with another sort of popular clickbait videos. Described activity, if done, would be considered a prank - depriving the distractible civilization of their sunlight and energy source, rather than bringing any benefit to the builders of the smaller sphere.
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [Megan walks to the right, holding a sheet of paper and a light bulb]
- Megan: I discovered a cool life hack -- you can put a white sheet behind a lightbulb to reflect more light.
- Off-panel voice: I'm ... not sure that's a life hack.
- [Megan stops, and positions the light bulb between two sheets of paper]
- Megan: And you can put a sheet in front to diffuse the light.
- Off-panel voice: So you've invented the lampshade.
- Megan: Life hacks!
- Megan: Freeman Dyson suggested that advanced civilizations would build spherical shells that surrounded their bulbs, redirecting 100% of their energy.
- Off-panel voice: Yes, they have those at IKEA.
- Megan: Well, they might. Infrared surveys are inconclusive.
- Off-panel voice: You know you can just check their website.
- Megan: Ooh, great life hack!
- Off-panel voice: No!
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