Tuesday, January 16, 2007


On the subject of scaling:

Think about everyone you've ever met, everyone you've ever interacted with in person. Beggars, sales clerks, every fellow student, all the baggers who have rung you up at the supermarket, everybody's who's ever honked a horn at you, every stranger you've been introduced to. Hey, throw in every media figure you've noticed, just for kicks.

There are more cities on the face of the earth than people you have met. There are around 20,000 cities in the USA alone.

So, for each person you see, each person you meet, they can be thought of as each representing everyone you've ever met, because there are more people on the face of the earth than there are people you've met squared. If everyone you met was twenty thousand people, you still wouldn't have met everyone on the planet!

Now, if everyone held hands, we could wrap around the earth blah blah blah... here's what they usually leave out. If we all held hands, we'd each have to be more than three hundred feet tall just to reach Neptune. Every person on earth, four hundred feet tall. That's as tall as a skyscraper.

That's just to Neptune. To reach the nearest star, we'd need almost ten thousand chains of that length - and that's already assuming everyone is very, very tall for some reason.

The number of people we meet is really quite small.

Now, put it in a game. :D

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