You seemed to forget the entire point of XKCD's what-if series is, in fact, taking childish daydreams and running with it. It's a bit odd, anyways, that a person who (begin rant) thinks a COTS laptop, in a shielded cabin in a magnetosphere-shielded environment using a tiny node size is every bit as radiation-hardened as a RAD750 with a 150nm node size to reduce susceptibility to smaller particles, with latchup-proof logic, parity-checked memory, etc etc. (end rant) is behaving as a physics expert to begin with.
Actually, a power tool is precisely the model to go after, really.
I insert the safety key and press the on button. The motor turns on and it just works. Dangerous? Mildly to extremely depending on the tool. But it Just Works and that's what matters whether it's some skilled artisan who has turned more bowls on his 25,000 dollar lathe and hand-sharpened every tool he's forged himself or something absurd like that or an underpaid illegal immigrant sticking screws into a wall frame with a handheld drill/screw gun. It just works - pull trigger switch, motor turns, screw goes in. Obtuse things like spitting out errors that are purely a number just doesn't make sense in this era of 64-bit monster rigs that can churn out well-encoded, efficiently compressed video at or above the native framerate - can't we spare a couple bytes to stick a descriptive error string after looking up the error in a stored table? It isn't like we're dealing with featherweight embedded computers with barely enough space to stick a primitive FORTH in. Maybe I just need to turn in my geek card in, or something. I don't know.
I agree, if the kid ends up with a record from this, finding a job might be difficult. He may feel that society has turned on him and there is no where to go and decide the acquire a weapon and take it out on everyone.
If he gets a record for a silly drawing, having some resistors and TO-223s in a breadboard hooked to a couple AA batteries, and being smart, finding a job will be difficult and will feel that society has turned on him because it has turned on him for absolute nonsense, and hell - everyone already thinks I'm some crazy terrorist, and I don't have a future that doesn't ask if they'd like fries with it too, why not hit up the local Ryder and rent a nice big truck and run off to a farming supply shop? Heard there's a sale on the fertilizer.
A bone to pick, if you would:
Do you know how a city water system works? that's a marvelous creation. Do you understand the metallurgy used to create a nail? do you know the variety of chemical choices the can be made when making gas?
The vast majority of marvelous thing that you use you don't really care how they work in any real detail.
I don't know everything - anyone with an ounce of sense would say they don't, but frankly, I simply detest that sort of thought, that blase and complacent ignorance of the world that seems pervasive nowadays. I don't know the metallurgy in a nail, nor do I completely grok of the workings of the municipal water network in my city nor even its power grid, and only dimly aware of anything about the specifics of petrochemical refining. But you know what?
The world's only as boring as you let it be. Reading about those sorts of subjects over a lunch or while bored in the evening is the kind of thing I do. Even in the USA, a person can get a surprisingly good survey of the sciences and some trades with its broken educational system, but the problem isn't simply lack of availability, it's, again, this willful ignorance of many things. There is this growing urge to literally refuse to learn about the basics of things that deeply influence their life. I'm not an expert in a lot of fields, but at least I'm not enough of an ignorant mule to act like none of this matters.
[...W]hat kind of dumbass thinks that zero-g would enable a fish to "swim" thru air?
The same kind of dumbass that considers that impulse is impulse, regardless of it's under 0G, 1G, or 42G of gravitational pull.
What microgravity doesn't do is make air thicker, but what microgravity
Which means a fish could indeed, swim in air. In the absence of gravity to hold things down, one could simply flap their arms in the air to propel themselves forward, if slowly.
Likewise, so could a fish flap its fins and propel itself slowly through air, in the absence of gravity to cancel out the tiny force imparted on flapping fins against air.
We can't get people to the moon economically or technologically, even. Anyone you send will just die from a number of factors including exposure to the Van Allen belts, micrometeorites and low orbital debris, lack of gravity and plus, if anything else were to happen, they'd be also be dead then, because nobody could reach them in time to help them. It is a fool's journey.
Not if the 400k van has a 50k engine and a recently overhauled transmission. Repair isn't always a bandaid so that it just barely works again. It's called proper maintenance.
Uh, did you ever take a biology class, or did the man infiltrate those? Because I don't know if you've read/seen much NatGeo or Discovery, but this world is awesome as it is ready to kill you, and dying of awful disease born of unprocessed and unsterilized and improperly handled food was quite the common thing before the advent of sanitary processes. Dysentery isn't just something that makes your characters on Oregon Trail disappear.
Unless, of course, you are indirectly suggesting that the solution to this problem is a human die-back. That would indeed reduce the need.
That's very true. Corn is completely needless.
With this in mind, human subsistence can be attained just by almost anything else, and it doesn't matter if you make your diet based on anything else, because a loss of supply, be it a factory shut down if you live on twinkies (okay, silly example) or a crop blight if you live on corn, unnecessary in a diet as it is, still means famine and starvation. By extension, rice isn't necessary for human subsistence, but if you're subsisting on rice, losing it is going to leave you starving it, and the same applies to corn.
Or bismuth with a half life in the billions of years! Bismuth is a horrible contaminant because it is all over the world (because of the nuclear explosion at Three Mile Island!!!), radioactive, and everyone knows radioactive things were invented in the Manhattan Project, and because it has a long half-life and--
Well, fuck. I'm just going to have to be rational now.
This is a prime example of over-applying significant digits in your math.
Don't let this happen to you. Millions of nitpicks are made each year when significance arithmetic is misused and overused. They need your help.
Please use significant digits responsibly. Thank you.
Nuking Justin Bieber?
I find your ideas interesting, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
No, it's more like, "pull your head out of your ass, and pull funding from something that isn't utterly anemic."
Like, y'know. The military that takes up 20% of the United States federal budget. But I guess bullets are more important, huh?
Hey, asshole. If you want to whine about resources squandered on NASA, why don't you take a quick peek at the US budget and take a look at how a military communications satellite costs 13 billion, yet somehow NASA doesn't even get twice that to do interplanetary missions.
To be emphatic, fuck you.
You've actually played EVE, right?
It's entirely different from how it works in direct RMT, because there is a market for PLEX, between individual players/characters/whatever. The PLEX is bought and then sold on the in-game. There is no currency created, just an exchange of goods.
That means it follows the following flow: REAL MONEY -> PLEX -> Naturally gained ISK->in-game goods produced by players
The big thing about the whole Aurum debacle and the (ig)Nobel Exchange is that all goods are poofed in from nothing. That fancy monocle that I could actually pay a bill with? It came from nothing, and the money came from nothing. The awesome ammo that's horribly OP, so as to promote Pay-to-Win? Nobody produced it. From nothing.
The Aurum/Nobel Exchange economy thus follows this flow: REAL MONEY-> MAGIC -> MAGIC -> MAGIC -> MONOCLES
Now, how is that similar, again?