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1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:37 pm UTC
by Link
Image
Title text: "It took a lot of booster rockets, but luckily Amazon had recently built thousands of them to bring Amazon Prime same-day delivery to the Moon colony."

Whatever the Sun did did to those AIs, it must be something pretty spectacular to warrant nuking it!

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:45 pm UTC
by Mikeski
Roko's Babysitter.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:46 pm UTC
by eviloatmeal
"It took a lot of booster rockets, but luckily Amazon had recently built thousands of dogs to bring Amazon Prime same-day delivery to the Moon colony."

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:49 pm UTC
by cellocgw
Sentient and apparently prone to panic. I mean, why not repurpose the material into a bunch of nice RTGs for home use?
(yes I know the isotopes are not the correct match, etc., but why ruin the concept :P )

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:11 pm UTC
by Flumble
something something delta-v something something previous discussions here about the wastefulness of launching radioactive stuff into the Sun

The real Skynet rapidly dismantles the whole nuclear arsenal to convert it into fuel for nuclear power plants. "rapidly" as in "not taking forever to dismantle because Russia is communist" or something like that.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:14 pm UTC
by PFD Studio
I'd recommend the book or movie "Colossus: The Forbin Project" for a more likely scenario. After all, we designed the computers.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:32 pm UTC
by Ae7flux
Nonsense. They'll just borrow a Falcon Heavy and send them up one at a time.

Wait! That's my plan.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:32 pm UTC
by Echo244
I quite like this, a simple initial comic, but it's possible to overwrite the caption with all sorts of things fun things. For example:

Replace "Became sentient" with "Found our interesting rock collection"
Replace "Controlling our nuclear arsenals" with "Cataloguing our music collections"

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:39 pm UTC
by eviloatmeal
Flumble wrote:The real Skynet rapidly dismantles the whole nuclear arsenal to convert it into fuel for nuclear power plants.

Could a computer do that, though?

How would it gain physical access to the missiles in order to disassemble them? It doesn't seem feasible, at least immediately upon gaining sentience.

Whereas, on the other hand, the whole point of the computers in the first place was to launch the missiles, so we know they can do that. Which is why it makes sense to me that the method of disposal involves launching them (away from the planet).

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:53 pm UTC
by The Moomin
Isn't this Superman IV?

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:57 pm UTC
by jewish_scientist
eviloatmeal wrote:
Flumble wrote:The real Skynet rapidly dismantles the whole nuclear arsenal to convert it into fuel for nuclear power plants.

Could a computer do that, though?

How would it gain physical access to the missiles in order to disassemble them? It doesn't seem feasible, at least immediately upon gaining sentience.


For this reason I think that the computer would probably try a Project Orian style engine.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:11 pm UTC
by Mental Mouse
Amen to wasteful -- power plants and CO2 crackers!

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:29 pm UTC
by cryptoengineer
Am I the only person who wonders if this is a reference to US gun ownership and/or control?
Its heavily in the US news right now.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:40 pm UTC
by orthogon
cryptoengineer wrote:Am I the only person who wonders if this is a reference to US gun ownership and/or control?
Its heavily in the US news right now.

I was just about to say something similar about the H-bomb that North Korea reckon they made, but your suggestion is probably closer to the mark.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:00 pm UTC
by Wulfram
Is anyone else getting the "Thing Explainer is available" message above the comic in Dutch now?

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:01 pm UTC
by Gan_HOPE326
Alt-Alt-text: "These are dangerous! They could cause SUCH BIG EMPs!"

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:29 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
eviloatmeal wrote:How would it gain physical access to the missiles in order to disassemble them? It doesn't seem feasible, at least immediately upon gaining sentience.

Whereas, on the other hand, the whole point of the computers in the first place was to launch the missiles, so we know they can do that. Which is why it makes sense to me that the method of disposal involves launching them (away from the planet).

Well, per the alt text explanation, at least. But accepting that, someone had to install all of those Amazon boosters engines. Otherwise, we'd need to ask when all the nuclear warheads got attached to IPBMs.

The Moomin wrote:Isn't this Superman IV?

Haha. Yes.

Echo244 wrote:I quite like this, a simple initial comic, but it's possible to overwrite the caption with all sorts of things fun things. For example:

Replace "Became sentient" with "Found our interesting rock collection"
Replace "Controlling our nuclear arsenals" with "Cataloguing our music collections"

That does make it slightly better, yeah. = ] Sci-fi is full of sanctimoniously enlightened AIs and alien intelligences correcting our human tendencies for violence or self-destructive behavior. They rarely take issue instead on grounds of taste.

Roko's Basilisk decides instead to punish everyone who knowingly contributed to the popularization of Crocs.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:36 pm UTC
by rhomboidal
The Moomin wrote:Isn't this Superman IV?

Supercomputers would do as Superman did. It's only logical.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:36 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
There's a Golden Age SF short (I want to say by Clarke, but it could just as easily be Heinlein or Asimov or a couple of others) where much of the planet's power is provided by a super-sized nuclear power reactor with a serious operational problem - the operators only last a few weeks before hitting the emergency shutdown for fear of accidentally blowing up the planet (or at least rendering it uninhabitable) in a nuclear accident. Eventually, the plant is permanently shut down and relocated to orbit, where it beams power down to an Earth safe from accidental explosions (but now the target of a high-powered death-ray...)

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:57 pm UTC
by MuEta
GOOMHR!!!! Just last week my friend and I were joking about ICBMCs (Intercontinental Ballistic Mail Carriers), and now Amazon has to come along and steal my idea.

All I wanted to do was deliver a package to your house in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed. What isn't guaranteed is that your house or neighborhood will still be standing post-delivery. But that is part of the fun, right?

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:00 pm UTC
by Arancaytar
Wulfram wrote:Is anyone else getting the "Thing Explainer is available" message above the comic in Dutch now?


It must be geoip-based. My system and browser locales are all English, and it still shows up in German.

Edit: Tunnelling through a US IP turns it into English, so yes.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:40 pm UTC
by Moose Anus
rhomboidal wrote:
The Moomin wrote:Isn't this Superman IV?

Supercomputers would do as Superman did. It's only logical.
No, not like this. There's not a computer like this in the whole world anyplace. It doesn't exist. You see, we have to build it.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:05 pm UTC
by RAGBRAIvet
I for one would welcome our new computer overlords if something like this should ever happen.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Dip"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:43 pm UTC
by Eternal Density
Needs more Summer Glau.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:40 pm UTC
by TheWoodcarver
rmsgrey wrote:There's a Golden Age SF short (I want to say by Clarke, but it could just as easily be Heinlein or Asimov or a couple of others) ...)

I believe you're referring to "Blowups Happen" by Heinlein, unless there's another one with a similar story.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:47 pm UTC
by TheWoodcarver
Aside from the flaw of not all nukes being controlled by the same system, there's a bigger flaw that I believe was already covered by SMBC in a comic I can't link to due to the spam filter, but it's number 1852.

While I agree nuclear material would be better suited to power generation, nuclear weapons have done a pretty stellar job at preventing a major power war.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:13 pm UTC
by JudeMorrigan
rmsgrey wrote:There's a Golden Age SF short (I want to say by Clarke, but it could just as easily be Heinlein or Asimov or a couple of others) where much of the planet's power is provided by a super-sized nuclear power reactor with a serious operational problem - the operators only last a few weeks before hitting the emergency shutdown for fear of accidentally blowing up the planet (or at least rendering it uninhabitable) in a nuclear accident. Eventually, the plant is permanently shut down and relocated to orbit, where it beams power down to an Earth safe from accidental explosions (but now the target of a high-powered death-ray...)

You're likely thinking of Heinlein's "Blowups Happen".

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:42 pm UTC
by ShuRugal
I found the rollover text more intriguing than the main subject of the comic. It got me thinking, what wold be the requirements of a rocket to achieve same-day lunar delivery?

If this post begins to ramble, please forgive me. I am going to tackle this question using this post as my scratch-work page, so my number can be double-checked by someone more studied in rocketry than I:

Spoiler:
Conditions:
1. Package arrives the same day it was ordered
2. Package arrives in same condition it departed the warehouse
3. Amazon specifies a minimum delivery window of 9 hours for same-day service.

Givens:
1. Earth-Moon distance: 384,400 km
2. Moon orbital velocity ~= 1.022 km/s
3. Gravity of Earth (surface) 9.8 m/s/s
4. Gravity of Earth (lunar orbit) 271.72 cm/s/s

If we assume the rocket is launched within 30 minutes of payment, and the package arrives at its final destination within 30 minutes of lunar touchdown, we get an 8-hour trip.
To make this trip, our rocket must have an average velocity of:
384400 / 8 = 48050
48050 / 60^2 = 13.34722 km/s

If we split the time in half, and use 4 hours to accelerate toward orbital altitude, and another 4 hours for braking and orbital insertion (this is the easiest way for me to break down the calculations. Would love to see a more efficient solution) then our peak velocity while achieving orbital altitude is 26.694 km/s.

So, our bare-bones Delta-V requirement (ignoring gravity) appears to be:
--26.694 km/s up
--26.694 km/s brake
+1.022 km/s match speed with moon
= 54.41 km/s + whatever gravity adds

Since our window for delivery is so short, we can't really take advantage of efficient orbital paths, we basically have to go screaming straight up against gravity the whole way (at least until we are close enough for lunar gravity to be dominant). Our average gravitational resistance is 5.036 m/s/s. Applied over our 8-hour trip, and gravity adds:
5.036 * 8 * 60^2 = 145.037 km/s to our delta-V requirements, bringing us to a total of 199.447 km/s of delta-V required to achieve same-day delivery.

using the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, we can estimate the fuel required to get us this Delta-V. I will assume the following variables:

Delta-V: 199.447 km/s (from calculations above)
exhaust velocity 4.5 km/s (wiki value for bipropellants)
final mass: 5,000 kg (1/3 mass of lunar lander from apollo missions. Amazon now uses remote-piloted lunar rockets)

re-arranging the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation to solve for initial mass is beyond my level of mathematical education (how do i distributive property logarithms?), So i plugged the numbers into Wolfram Alpha and got an initial mass of 8.863e22 kg, about 1.5% the mass of the earth. unfortunately, this much mass is impossible to accelerate that quickly with such a slow exhaust stream...

If we build a rocket with an exhaust velocity of 10 km/s, we only need an initial mass of 2.426 trillion kilograms. If we get our exhaust velocity up to 50 km/s, we now only need 273 metric tons of rocket, and our hit time becomes achievable.

Of course, i'm not entirely certain what would happen if we pointed a 50 km/s exhaust plume at our planet, but i feel like the launch site would not survive.


Needless to say, I don't think Amazon will be offering same-day delivery to the moon any time soon.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:10 pm UTC
by slinches
I think the Moon colony would probably have its own warehouse to support same day delivery. The thousands of regular rocket boosters would just be for the restocking missions.

Although, I'd be curious to see what a lunar delivery drone would look like. I think their current fancy quad-copter designs would be rather ineffective.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:16 am UTC
by chompison
You're overthinking this. Always a shocker here.

1. Build a working portal gun
2. Shoot a portal at the moon
3. Shoot another at a moondust-coated wall in a vacuum chamber

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:24 am UTC
by jeszjesz
What, and turn the Sun into a nuclear wasteland?!?

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:52 am UTC
by ijuin
The Sun already emits so much neutron and gamma radiation that a few nukes won't make it any worse.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:55 am UTC
by Mikeski
ijuin wrote:The Sun already emits so much neutron and gamma radiation that a few nukes won't make it any worse.


thats_the_joke.jpg

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:16 am UTC
by RogueCynic
Am I the only one who thinks nuking the sun would make an awesome fireworks display? That may be why the computers would do it.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:01 am UTC
by eidako
Seconds later, the world's largest war begins as every major nation realizes they can invade their longstanding rivals without facing assured total annihilation. Things get very ugly very quickly, leaving humanity in such a hopelessly battered state that they actually welcome the ironclad fist of the robot overlord regime, as intended.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:02 am UTC
by mvdwege
Heh,

It reminds me of the AI in Cat Pictures Please

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:22 am UTC
by TonySaunders
"Sapient" is the correct word. An ant is sentient.

Re: 1626: "Judgment Dip"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:05 am UTC
by eviloatmeal
Copper Bezel wrote:Otherwise, we'd need to ask when all the nuclear warheads got attached to IPBMs.

Hmm, yeah, I suppose you'd need a lot more dogs to propel an ICBM payload to escape velocity.

Eternal Density wrote:Needs more Summer Glau.

"Summer Glau Punches Nuclear Warheads Into Space 2: Eclectic Boogaloo"

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:27 pm UTC
by sfmans
eidako wrote:Seconds later, the world's largest war begins as every major nation realizes they can invade their longstanding rivals without facing assured total annihilation. Things get very ugly very quickly, leaving humanity in such a hopelessly battered state that they actually welcome the ironclad fist of the robot overlord regime, as intended.


You are Ronald Reagan and I claim my five pounds

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:39 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
Why does Ronald Reagan owe you five pounds?