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0558: "1000 Times"

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:02 am UTC
by GuitarFreak
Image
Alt text: And 0.002 dollars will NEVER equal 0.002 cents.

That alt text is awesome :D I lol'd harder at that than the comic.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:03 am UTC
by Socks
Hahaha, I love the reference to Verizon's math fail :P

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:03 am UTC
by Sheeplauncher
yea that alt text made me almost spit out my drink just remembering no one being able to do math at Verizon. Quite a good one.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by phlip
xkcd wrote:And 0.002 dollars will NEVER equal 0.002 cents.

But they're the same if you look at them on paper-wise...

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by BlastOButter42
How is that dishonest? Do you really think most people don't realize that a million is 1/1000 of a billion?

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by Sirobin
That's so very, very creepy...but hilarious.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:05 am UTC
by lu6cifer
somehow, I knew he'd reference the verizon math thing in his alt-text

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:05 am UTC
by irishnut
BlastOButter42 wrote:How is that dishonest? Do you really think most people don't realize that a million is 1/1000 of a billion?


i wish i had your optimism...

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:06 am UTC
by phlip
BlastOButter42 wrote:How is that dishonest? Do you really think most people don't realize that a million is 1/1000 of a billion?

For the same reason shops sell stuff at $19.95 instead of $20.

Because $165M looks like a significant proportion of $170G at first glance, which is all many people have, of a headline.

Sure, if you actually think about it at all, you'll realise it's less than a thousandth, but advertising for instance has long shown that many people don't need to actually think about stuff to form an opinion...

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:06 am UTC
by Flewellyn
BlastOButter42 wrote:How is that dishonest? Do you really think most people don't realize that a million is 1/1000 of a billion?


In the US? I would wager a large number of people don't know.

Regardless, the scale involved is much easier to see if you use the same units.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:09 am UTC
by bsoric
--

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:10 am UTC
by dennisw
phlip wrote:
xkcd wrote:And 0.002 dollars will NEVER equal 0.002 cents.

But they're the same if you look at them on paper-wise...

Please explain (because they're not).

bsoric wrote:I'm not sure if this is a US vs. the rest of the world thing, but isn't a billion 1 million million?

In the US, a billion is a thousand million (which is a thousand thousand).

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:11 am UTC
by phlip
bsoric wrote:I'm not sure if this is a US vs. the rest of the world thing, but isn't a billion 1 million million?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales

Personally I prefer the long scale, if only because it means you can use the word "milliard", which is such an awesome word. "Myriad", too, is a number that doesn't get enough play for its cool name.

dennisw wrote:Please explain (because they're not).

It's my favourite quote from the Verizon math clip.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:13 am UTC
by Nasaniaru
This just makes me think what I've been thinking for the past year or two, "People are Stupid."
Men in Black was right now that I think about it.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals"

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:13 am UTC
by scyang
hear, hear.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:13 am UTC
by bsoric
--

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:15 am UTC
by Jedifreak
Perhaps we should send this to every news company. Added bonus: If thy start whining about it on the air, XKCD is going to get millions of new readers.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:16 am UTC
by dennisw
phlip wrote:
dennisw wrote:Please explain (because they're not).

It's my favourite quote from the Verizon math clip.

Ahhh, while I got the reference in the comic's title text immediately, it's been quite a while since I listened to the recording.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:17 am UTC
by '; DROP DATABASE;--
The dishonest part isn't "people think a billion = a million", it's "people see 165 and 170 and think 'oh, good' before/without noticing the different units."

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:17 am UTC
by gomerwerle
I found this comic true in the sense that the media doesn't fairly portray the scale of 1 million dollars to 1 billion. However, just because the bonuses were a small percentile of the bailout funds does not make this a small matter. The bonuses, while legal, were greedy in nature and undeserved. I'm not trying to imply the creator supports the bonuses, but let us not defend the AIG executives whilst we mock the media. (And the media do deserve to be mocked, don't ge me wrong.)

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:22 am UTC
by dennisw
phlip wrote:
bsoric wrote:I'm not sure if this is a US vs. the rest of the world thing, but isn't a billion 1 million million?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales

Personally I prefer the long scale, if only because it means you can use the word "milliard", which is such an awesome word. "Myriad", too, is a number that doesn't get enough play for its cool name.

I really like "billiard" - it's a number that represents whatever amount you can hustle. <snicker> So it'd be $165 Billiard.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:26 am UTC
by atomfullerene
Rather unsurprisingly, I was just thinking about this very topic. And as the above poster said, the fact that the bonuses are a small fraction of the total money involved doesn't mean they aren't a foolish waste of money. But...they don't account for the vast majority of money being spent, and it would be bad to ignore what might be going on with the rest because we only think about the bonuses.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:27 am UTC
by tudzax1
0.002 dollars? Didn't know what that was supposed to mean until I read all the Verizon comments. I just thought you were putting your 1/10th of two cents worth in.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:27 am UTC
by toysbfun
There's still the issue of, "If you ran your company into the ground and now require a bailout to avoid crashing the world economy, you do not deserve any sort of bonus."

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:29 am UTC
by coredumperror
Nasaniaru wrote:"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals"


Just quoting this for truth. It's my favorite film line of all time because it's so very, sadly true.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:31 am UTC
by achan1058
toysbfun wrote:There's still the issue of, "If you ran your company into the ground and now require a bailout to avoid crashing the world economy, you do not deserve any sort of bonus."
This line is gold. I agree 100%, especially when a 165M bonus is still a very large sum of money. I would be very, very happy if I have 1/100 of it. Of course, another issue is how many people are the bonuses being paid to?

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:34 am UTC
by Storm
O yay a "get out my head Randall" comic! I just watched the math fail today and was thinking of this in context of the media. On the other hand 165 million is still 165 million.
Edit: get out of my head achan1058

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:36 am UTC
by onepopcornman
A good point to note.

Median Personal Income in US: 23,535 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States)
Bonus Packages: 165,000,000

Agreed. What makes these bonuses so galling is how incredibly undeserved they are.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:37 am UTC
by Blurgle
ARGH today's comic is so incredibly, stupidly wrong. Does the writer have Asperger's or is he just that tuned out?

Most people very well understand that the bonuses are not the whole of the bailout. This everyone understands. What they do not understand is why these greedy, selfish IDIOTS are getting even a penny in bonuses. They didn't even earn their wages! Accepting one thin dime of bonus would be dishonest for executives who ruined an economy because of their own personal selfish greed.

They should be forced to give back their salaries AND their bonuses for the past ten years for what they have done. If they don't have the money? Throw them in the crappiest, poorest jail in the country and let them eat maggot-ridden gruel for the rest of their lives.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:37 am UTC
by cpp789
My English teacher was trying to explain this to us, saying "That's only 1/1000 of the money they were given. It's as if I gave you 100 dollars and then got angry at you for dropping a penny!" (He still has some issues in math)

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:40 am UTC
by Steve the Pocket
toysbfun wrote:There's still the issue of, "If you ran your company into the ground and now require a bailout to avoid crashing the world economy, you do not deserve any sort of bonus."

Yeah... As much as the media needs to be ripped a new one for their style of reporting sometimes, I'm having a hard time justifying using this as the example. For this reason plus what BlastOButter said. It's not that people don't realize the scale; it's that once you get into the realm of any number that has "-illion" in it, the first impression people get is it's a huge fucking number, which in this case is really all anyone needs to know,

You know what? No. Just no. I know this has become an ironic catchphrase here, but NOT COOL, NOT FUNNY, NOT A GOOD COMIC. What's next, a comic making fun of MSNBC for making a big deal about Bayer selling drugs tainted with HIV, saying that only one in however-many doses contained the virus? Again: NOT COOL, NOT FUNNY, NOT A GOOD COMIC, and NOT A SMART CARTOONIST.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:43 am UTC
by Verad
atomfullerene wrote:Rather unsurprisingly, I was just thinking about this very topic. And as the above poster said, the fact that the bonuses are a small fraction of the total money involved doesn't mean they aren't a foolish waste of money. But...they don't account for the vast majority of money being spent, and it would be bad to ignore what might be going on with the rest because we only think about the bonuses.


This is the core of what the comic is getting at [IMHO]. What the media is doing is throwing up a headline that gets people riled up over one thing (the bonuses), rather than the bigger picture (the bailout itself). It is a dishonest slight of hand that gets people to look in the wrong direction.

Of course, there's still the issue of "Why should a company that failed in a more epic manner than any company in history be allowed to continue operation?"

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:45 am UTC
by icenine
I'm even more annoyed that they paid big money to the people who left anyway.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:48 am UTC
by e1000
achan1058 wrote:
toysbfun wrote:There's still the issue of, "If you ran your company into the ground and now require a bailout to avoid crashing the world economy, you do not deserve any sort of bonus."
This line is gold. I agree 100%, especially when a 165M bonus is still a very large sum of money. I would be very, very happy if I have 1/100 of it. Of course, another issue is how many people are the bonuses being paid to?



If you ran your company into the ground, is that justification to withhold payment from what employees you have left? Banking employees usually get marginal pay throughout the year, but stick around for the big bonuses at the end of the year. If we don't allow these bonuses to get paid, AIG may lose most of its productive employees.

The loss of AIG's most productive employees may, or may not be a bad thing; I'd rather have seen the whole thing fail from the get-go than the government intervene, but now its a "you bought it, don't break it" kinda deal. They need to just let the thing go and cross their fingers, rather than purposefully attempting to cripple the company.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:52 am UTC
by aleflamedyud
I swear to God I saw a network that actually showed the numbers as $170 billion and $165 billion. SHIT.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:03 am UTC
by TheHand
Gah... yeah. Not good to think about indeed, what with what's been in the news lately.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:04 am UTC
by Roivas
I was going to mention that we're more upset that these higher ups get government money [IE yours, mine, everyone's] for making bad business decisions. Then they take said money and instead of shoring up their business they give themselves a pay raise.

I think if we started taxing stupidity we'd eliminate the need for any other tax.

The company I work for froze wages for everyone for the entire year. The price of anything save gas [and I don't own a car] is going up. Fuck these rich bastards who are closing their wallets after dipping into ours.



Still the webcomic was pretty funny, goddamn media.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:10 am UTC
by nweis
On the subject of Verizon's math...

http://xkcd.com/verizon/

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:13 am UTC
by H2SO4
What we could do to avoid this problem is to not have use the words "million" or "billion" or "trillion", but instead say $170,000,000,000 as "one-hundred-and-seventy zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero dollars." Or at least have it displaced in numerical form (170,000,000,000 instead of "170 billion").

And I also like how people wave off all the earmarks going towards worthless things because "It's less than 2% of the total spending money." Who cares how much it is? It's still there! And 2% of a billion dollars--er, sorry--$1,000,000,000 is still $20,000,000. That's more than most Americans will make in their lifetime. Now multiply that by 170. That's some money that doesn't need to be spent. I read somewhere that for every $1,000,000,000 spent by government, that's about $8 out of YOUR pocket. Now, let's see...$410,000,000,000 Omnibus plus....$787,000,000,000 Stimulus....Carry the one...$9,576 in his first three months of YOUR money that he has spent! That can get you a new car! Pay for your own health insurance that he's so keen on you getting! A lot of groceries!

Pretty much, I think that debt to counteract debt is NOT the solution. You know more than the government when it comes to spending your money.

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."
-- Voltaire

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:16 am UTC
by Amarsir
I'm happy if they just put them side by side with the correct terms. Too many won't even mention both in the same story.

And I think visually it shows better this way. But auditorily you can get people to recognize Billion vs Million. Where if you say "One hundred sixty-five millon" and "one hundred seventy thousand million", you go from people being confused to outright giving up. "Thousand million" is just such an awkward phrase to someone who's already lost.

To her credit, I heard Patty Ann Browne on FoxNews read it as "billion with a 'B'" which I think is the best way to emphasize.