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Scale and economy October 31, 2008

Posted by Steve "Oz" in Misc..

Just something to think about:
From http://betterexplained.com/articles/how-to-develop-a-sense-of-scale/:
“Sometimes, a different type of scale may be useful. We know time and distance, which cover a surprisingly broad range of sizes.

For most of us (myself included), millions, billions and trillions are “big”. It’s not intuitively obvious that a trillion is actually a million squared — that is, a trillion makes 1 million look imperceptible.

Check out these brain-bending figures:

  • 1 second is 1 second
  • 1 million seconds is 12 days (Interesting)
  • 1 billion seconds is 30 years (Wow, that’s a lot)
  • 1 trillion seconds is 30,000 years (Jumpin’ Jillikers!)

Yowza. Do you feel the staggering difference between a trillion and a million? Between a billion and a million?

We get a similiar effect when thinking about distance:

  • 1 millimiter is 1 mm (pretty tiny)
  • 1 million mm is a kilometer (down the street)
  • 1 billion mm is a 1000 km (600 miles — partway across the country)
  • 1 trillion mm is 1,000,000 km (Going around the world 25 times, almost as wide as the Sun)

Again, see the difference? How small a million is (”down the street”) compared to the size of the Sun?”
So, the US National debt is over 10.5 trillion.  If one dollar equals one millimeter traveled, you’d have to travel around the world over 250 times to equal it.  Now, that’s scary… Happy Halloween!
For Rae’s Save the World effort:
My highest level atained was 41.  Please post a comment if you can beat it.  And no cheating. (i.e. – looking up words.)



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