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World Annihilation - February 22, 2010
Rating: 4.9/5 (285 votes cast)
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Spiked Math Comic - World Annihilation



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51 Comments

That really does say something about how much the world really cares about the state of mathematics, doesn't it?

lol - this is a great strip

5 stars, my favorite yet....

LOVE the windows error with the LHC

Would've been funnier without the last ("meanwhile ...") bubble :)

However, think about it - if mathematicians were to proof contradicting axioms! That would not only destroy earth, but also the whole space-time-continuum ... (obscure thhgttg reference intended ^^)

Calling your reference obscure doesn't make it so. Few cultural works produced in the last 50 years have the breadth of influence that THHG has. It is referenced almost everywhere.

It's obscure, because it's pretty far fetched. Also mine and Douglas' conclusions differ ;)

Agree about the "meanwhile" bubble. Kinda wastes the joke.

yes exactly I agree very much, without the bubble at the end it would've been very funnier

Some people may not get the joke. It is necessary for those not scientifically minded. Or just dumb.

Those people don't deserve to get the joke.

Yeah, it kinda killed the theme.

Brilliant one! One of your best :)

Hahaha nice one

Well think about it, if a mathematician gets something wrong then physicists, engineers, and programmers may be left with errors which could destroy the world!

You are right, but computer will calculate again.

So no problems :D

But computers still operate on the GIGO principle: Garbage In, Garbage Out!

stumble upon this, and yea brilliant stuff. Browsed through some previous ones too.. this one's the best yet imo.

Awesome!!!

The novel Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross is set in a world where mathematicians _can_ accidentally destroy the world by summoning Lovecraftian horrors from other dimensions. Great fun.

Lovely. But it makes me think of this famous story:

There’s a famous story about Wolfgang Pauli, well-known to physicists, that may or may not be true. According to the tale, when Pauli died and went to heaven, he was one of the chosen few on that day who was given an audience with God.

Speaking in a voice remarkably like that of the late John Huston, God said, “Master Pauli, you may ask one question, but only one. What do you want to know?”

Pauli didn’t have to think about that. He immediately asked the question that he had struggled in vain to answer for many years: “Why 137?”

God smiled, picked up a piece of chalk, went to a blackboard, and began writing some very complex equations as he explained why alpha, the fine structure constant, had to be 1/137. Pauli listened for a while, then began shaking his head.

“No,” said Pauli, waving his hands, “Not even close. Why, that’s not even wrong!"

He then grabbed the chalk from God and began pointing out the mistakes that the Creator had made....

LOL who made that story?

If we knew that, it would not be an anonymous anecdote. However, the last response is perfectly in character.

haha how come the chemist is smoking?

Because they don't let him chew in the organic lab. He might spit in the pot...

I suppose someone could find a quick and easy way to factor large numbers, release the information onto the web, and watch as the RSA encrypting scheme falls apart, taking the economy down with it while making a few hackers very, very rich...

Cause of the non-smoking sign of course!

Little detail: should not "Fermat" be written with capital F ? :-)

Black holes totally go "Floooooop!"

I like this site, asks derivatives instead of silly captchas, when you are about to comment!

Just one derivative for now until I learn more perl :P. The spam was getting ridiculous, I've had to delete 500+ spam messages in less than a month.

The answer (2) has always been there for me. Perhaps my browser knows how to derive as well :)

ToDo-list is beautiful.

Haha, this was great (:

that's a shit joke.

It just shows what the world thinks about the world of mathematics - without realizing how mathematical theories are involved in almost everything that is manufactured.

- Engineer

Mathematics is the safest...

Well, since all those "achievments" of other scientists wouldn't have been accomplished without maths I guess math is the most dangerous one :p

Unfortunately chemists don't just go around mixing random shit together, biologists don't just "make diseases" for what I presume to be fun and particle accelerators WON'T DESTROY THE WORLD.

fermat's last theorem has not been sucessfuly proven, so this doesn't really make sense as a joke.

Dear Melville,

Yes it has. About a decade ago. Look it up.

Haha love it!

What if they find a fast method for factorizing numbers?

Why is the chemist smoking in the lab?:O

what about "Oh no! There's somehow an integer between 1 and 2 somehow!"

Physics is theoretical actually.

Math is too safe. Just don't develop carpal tunnel.

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