Monday, January 16, 2006

Making a REALLY BIG number understandable

It been suggested the the full cost of our war against terror (at least the Iraq part) may eventually cost $ 2 trillion dollars. It's hard to visualize that large a number, so Hit & Run asked for suggestions on putting that into clear focus. Some of the comments (warning - I don't vouch for the accuracy of the calculations - it's much too early, and I don't feel like it):

  • It's a stack of $100s 1357.32 miles high, weighing approximately 20,000 tons.
  • population of USA (via google): 295,734,134

    2 tril/295,734,134 = $6762.83 per person in US

    population of Iraq (via google): 26,074,906

    2 tril/26,074,906 = $76,702.09 per person in Iraq

    We should try to break down the national debt this way - it might make people less likely to pressure their legislators to "get their share".
  • If you made the average US wage in 2004 it would take you a little more than 56,103,263 years to make 2T.
    Had you been collecting that amount since the split of the common ancestor between apes and humans, you would be about a tenth of the way there.

    At the other end, if you could buy a water molecule for each dollar, you might just be able to see it with one or two Trillion dollars(Googling I found an estimate of 10T molecules in water drop the size of a period).

Any further suggestions?

2 comments:

drive recovery said...

Hi , I was just blog surfing and found you! Wow, I really like this one.
It’s such a pleasure to read your post …. Interesting! I was over at another site

looking at data backup

and they didn't go into as much detail as you, but nonetheless interesting.

joel said...

Link to my site and enjoy untethered information relaiting to Date Loss on computers.
novell netware data recovery software