# Talk:2283: Exa-Exabyte

Is this the first non-coronavirus related comic after eight in a row? -- brad

My personal suspicion is that this one came out so late in the day because Randall was trying to think up another coronavirus-related comic so as not to break his streak :) 108.162.242.5 20:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

We sure this is not covid-19 related? A comic revolving around how hard biology is doesn't seem to me like a definite chain breaker for a biology related topic. Though I'll admit its a bit of a stretch 172.69.198.58 21:14, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the comic is SARS-CoV-2 related. The virus genome can be found all over the internet lately, it is even used for spamming. Condor70 (talk) 21:32, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

- Did someone already modified SARS-CoV-2 to be able to infect computers as well? -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:35, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
- Hm, not that I can find... This looks like a job for xkcd readers! Somebody get right on this, please.
- ProphetZarquon (talk) 06:12, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

so, is she counting all of humanity as one string of DNA data, or does each human count separately, or each cell in a human's body, or what? 162.158.74.215 21:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

- According to the NYT article, it was calculating "number of cells contained in each organism and multiplied that by the amount of DNA contained in each cell". 172.69.33.161 22:46, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
- So, very small part of it would be each human cell counted separately. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:35, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
- Good lord, that's got to be 92% or more redundant data; somebody teach these folk about the wonders of compression & differential versioning databases. ;S
- ProphetZarquon (talk) 06:15, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

'This is a comic about the difficulty of picturing or understanding large numbers. As mentioned in the comic, an exabyte is 10^18 bytes, while an "exa-exabyte" -- not a real word but one that makes sense if you apply the principles of metric prefixes' One of the principles of metric prefixes (which can be found in the linked page) is 'Prefixes may not be used in combination.' So "exa-exa" does not make sense in the metric world. It only makes "sense" in the messed up world were you lbf/lbm has the value 1 instead of g.172.68.65.138 01:54, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Most the data is redundant though. Compressed, and it definitely should be, it would take only about 2% as much space to store. Mikemk (talk) 05:32, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

- Glad somebody else already noted that.
**I think this should be noted in the explanation.**- ProphetZarquon (talk) 06:18, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

It is worth mentioning that Randall is also mocking the education system for its lack of ability of explaining complex stuff to pupils. The teacher here is supposed to be able to provide different analogies from real life so that there is a chance of getting a feeling of the magnitude of the underlying number. Instead, she just repeats the explanation in the same mathematical terms as the original concept. That clearly doesn't help. Even worse, it prompts another student to attempt to explain it in even simpler terms but miss the point completely. The irony here is that incorrect but easy to understand explanation is accepted and not the correct one. Here it's also possible to mention similarities regarding climate change information not getting through to the general public but that would be a stretch. Also, what's the whole point of understanding these numbers if they are just a funny statistical fact? -- SomethingLike (talk) 06:15, 21 March 2020 (UTC)