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.

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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.

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An average lemon seed is approximately an oblate spheroid with dimensions of around 10Γ—5.5Γ—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.

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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.

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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.

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Also, 3 trillion seconds ago was not long after cats first evolved on planet Earth.

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@InvaderXan and jeff bezos is already a tenth of the way there :blobcatglaredrink:

@InvaderXan I read this post in your thread first and I was like "Whoa - what kind of lemon tree does InvaderXan have in their backyard?" 😜

@tsturm Heh. Even with a whole lemon forest, this would still be quite a feat!


@InvaderXan TIL:
- a trillion is a whole damn lot even compared to a billion
- molecular astrophysics is a major in its own right and also your scientific background
- you use a LOT of lemons

@anarchiv Limes are great. I love all citrus fruit, with the possible exception of grapefruit.

@InvaderXan fair. I prefer them over lemons in cooking. but all citrus fruit has its virtues.

foods β€’ citrus fruit 

@anarchiv It depends on the cooking IMO. Mexican food definitely needs limes, and Thai food needs makrut limes. But lemon tastes better with black pepper. And lemon poppyseed drizzle cake is something I love making when I feel indulgent! I've cooked with orange before too though. Also yuzu, in Japanese cooking.

foods β€’ citrus fruit 

@InvaderXan oh god yes yuzu is sooo good

foods β€’ citrus fruit 

@anarchiv I miss it. There were so many kinds of citrus on sale in Japan which I'd never even heard of before I went there. Things like shikwasa and hyuganatsu...

@InvaderXan @anarchiv

Also the center of our galaxy looks like a lemon seed and now I'll never un-see that. [salutes]

that explains your cool knowledge about radiation and supernovas and such.
speaking of which: when will you continue your scifi story?

@StroomAfwaarts Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the story. I'll continue it soon πŸ™‚

btw, already a billion dollars is a sign that you failed at being human
the choice between giving away everything above, let's say, ten million, and euthanasia would be a good remedy for this

@StroomAfwaarts Yeah, my opinion is very solidly that everyone should have a simple policy – if you are a billionaire, we'll tax you until you aren't, and spend the money on communities and helping society's most vulnerable.

@InvaderXan @StroomAfwaarts

I think laws should be passed based upon relative income, and not simple fixed numbers.

A company should not be able to operate where it has X times more wealth than the law making body it is operating in.

What value should that "X" be? For virtually any value you pick, there are companies over it.

@StroomAfwaarts @InvaderXan

Gladiator contests but only for the ultra-rich and you don't get paid or freed if you live. You just get a sandwich and some Band-Aids.

@InvaderXan cant remember who posted this earlier today, but it really shows how absurd things are

@gaige Oh damn. It really is true what they say, all the people defending billionaires don't realise that they should, by all rights, relate more to the rest of us!

@gaige @InvaderXan y'all will not believe how long i've had that open and still haven't finished scrolling thru


2 Trillion colonist dollars on military equipment is how we proved (the only proof you need that) Trump plotted to assassinate Soleimani; it was, indeed, murder for hire.

@indie All that spending on military equipment was literally how this murder was accomplished. I presume all they needed to do was check the receipts.

@InvaderXan i once gave a talk, and put this on a side,
and without exaggeration, i think this is the best slide i've written in my life

@meena I love little tiny facts like this!

Also bees. I love bees too πŸπŸ’š

@InvaderXan Casually mentions "I studied molecular astrophysics" in a sentence...

@InvaderXan This tells us more about what kind of person you are than anything else you might choose to say, lol

@InvaderXan Anything people frequently, effortlessly and casually throw into a conversation probably is descriptive of their fundamental nature, so long as they're not looking to deceive.

@thor I'm not entirely sure what point you're trying to make...

@thor @InvaderXan

I don't even remember what I studied in college. Something about leg muscles and oil painting a tin can. The rest is all a big blank. 🎨

@amylsacks @thor I could elaborate more on why I remember it so well, but apparently that would tell people too much about what kind of person I am...

@InvaderXan @thor

Don't mind the peanut gallery. This is Fedi so no such thing as TMI. ;)

@amylsacks @thor In that case, let’s just say that working for years on a single subject, earning a PhD, and working professionally at it makes it something you won’t soon forget. Saying only that I β€œstudied” it was an attempt at modesty.

@InvaderXan ^^^ this right here

it is absolutely ABSURD that a person is allowed to amass such wealth. such a system that not only allows but, ENCOURAGES the amassment of such wealth is a broken one. this is not efficient in any means, this is greed.

@InvaderXan It's way easier to acquire $1t today than it was in 1900 thanks to inflation. I wonder what historical figures could be members of the four comma club if their wealth was adjusted for inflation.

@portpupper It seems like there hasn't ever been an individual who was effectively a trillionaire after adjusting for inflation. Though apparently there have been families who would qualify.

Though even owning a billion is obscene IMO.

@InvaderXan This is an old video, but it does a really good job of showing just how far off people's perceptions about wealth and income inequality can be from the reality:

@InvaderXan You just reminded me of something that happened on March 28 in some parts of Spain (my neighborhood included). It was Amancio Ortega's birthday, and people sang Happy Birthday to him from their balconies, thanking him for all the money he has donated for fighting covid in Spain. This is what many people think of billionaires. They think they worked hard, they are generous enough to give us a 0.0000001% of their wealth and that there should be more of them! I was really sad that day.

@InvaderXan Jeff Bezos could pay every Amazon employee a decent salary, AND healthcare, out of his pocket money and not even feel it.

@irina @InvaderXan

I think at some point we've gotta' face it: they enjoy people suffering and dying because of them. When you've already experienced every other thrill you could buy with unlimited resources, that's pretty much all that's left.


A society that contains billionaires is one that is broken at its most basic level, economically speaking.

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