Even the remotest possibility of someone becoming a trillionaire is offensive, and should disgust every last one of us. Particularly in a world where over half a billion people live in extreme poverty and survive on less than $1.90 a day.

That said, Bezos is still a long way off becoming a trillionaire, despite what some reporters may think. But the fact that anyone said this at all does highlight something – It shows that many of us don’t really comprehend how much one trillion is. And that’s through no fault of our own. Our brains just aren’t naturally equipped to handle such huge numbers.

Show thread

One million seconds ago, it was still the start of this month.

One billion seconds ago, it was the 1980s, and the first discussions about the World Wide Web were happening.

One trillion seconds ago, it was the palaeolithic era, around the time when the oldest known cave paintings were made.

Show thread

An average lemon seed is approximately an oblate spheroid with dimensions of around 10×5.5×5.5 mm. One seed has a volume of roughly 0.16 ml.

One million lemon seeds would fill half a bathtub.

One billion lemon seeds would take up almost as much space as two average city busses.

One trillion lemon seeds would fill the main concourse of New York Grand Central Station.

Show thread

I studied molecular astrophysics, so I have a lot of practice thinking in very large numbers and vast orders of magnitude, and these facts still astonish me when compared with everyday things.

Believe me when I say, a trillion is literally an astronomical number, and the prospect of a single human owning a trillion dollars is absurd. We should not live in a world where this is even remotely possible.

Show thread

So apparently, the 400 richest Americans have a combined wealth of around $3 trillion.

That's also over twice as much as would be needed to meet all the UN's Global Goals for sustainable development. For everyone, including the world's poorest.

0.00000005128% of the world's population could make literally everything better for all 7.8 billion of us. But they don't.

Show thread
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Assorted Paupers

Private instance, sign ups closed.