The most disturbing homework problem ever.

  • Thread starter enigma
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  • #1
enigma
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Here it is. For some reason, it disturbs me a bit.

It has just been announced that a 100km diameter asteroid has been discovered. A careful analysis of its orbit reveals that it will strike the Earth in 300 years, destroying all life on the planet. Assuming the total monetary value of the entire human race at that time to be about a quadrillion dollars ($1 x 10 15), at 10% discount rate, how much should you be willing to spend today to prevent this catastrophe?

Emphasis mine.

Ugh. I don't feel so good putting a monetary value on the existence of life as we know it...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
enigma
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LOL

*drumroll please*

$382
 
  • #3
jono
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Where do you go to get a discount card for that?!
 
  • #4
zoobyshoe
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What class is this? This has got to be a philosophy class, right?
 
  • #5
Artman
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You could put as an answer the amount you are spending on your education.

Being in the Aerospace Engineering field, you may be the one who helps develop the method to divert or destroy the asteroid.
 
  • #6
enigma
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
What class is this? This has got to be a philosophy class, right?

Intro to Space System Design

The lecture was on performing costing analyses.
 
  • #7
FZ+
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Maybe it's a psych test to weed out maniacs from the space program?

(Into high level government offices where they belong? :wink:)
 
  • #8
Mr. Robin Parsons
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In three hundred years, only a quadrillion?? huh?? what?? who did the math?
 
  • #9
Integral0
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naw you see, its priceless . . . we all get the one way ticket to the end of the Earth . . . front row seats anyone?
 
  • #10
MasterKung
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so after laughing at the problem for a quite a while i began to wonder...whats the answer? how do you solve this problem, i mean obviously you should spend whatever it takes THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE IS ON THE LINE but what does the instructor for this class expect.
i mean really, if one day I am in charge of the world and an asteriod is going to destroy the Earth i want to know how much money I am going to have left over for the after-party
 
  • #11
Bystander
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What is this thread doing in Gen. Disc. rather than Gen. Eng.? Cost analysis is very much a part of engineering; what fraction of resources to spend today on something that's 300 years away vs. the immediate demands on those resources could stand a little more serious discusssion.
 
  • #12
ThOrNe
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i'd be willing to spend whatever change i have in my pocket...considering i don't pass a needy bum on the way to the donation box. lol
 
  • #13
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by ThOrNe
i'd be willing to spend whatever change i have in my pocket...considering i don't pass a needy bum on the way to the donation box. lol
So I'll accept cheques, cash, money orders, whatever manner you can find to send it to this "needy bum"...
 

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