Friday, February 5, 2010

The Printed Word (FPOTW)

Newspapers have been the mass media for a few hundred years. In this day and age of instant CNN coverage, web pages and blogs, people have predicted the end of the newspaper.
However, the printed word still has great power. Power to change things for the better, or to act as fuel for destruction and death.
Lets examine the Fermi of the newspaper.

---- Start Fermi Problem ----

How many newspapers are printed each day in the United States?

Estimate how many trees are used to make the paper, per day.

Estimate how much ink is used in printing these papers each day.

Make the same estimates for the world each day, each year.

A few years back, 12 (I believe) caricatures of Mohammad were printed in various newspapers around the world.

Einstein != Mohammad of course, and I do not risk a Fatwa for posting a caricature of Einstein that is for sure.

Estimate how much ink was used to print these caricatures.

How many people died as a result of the protest riots? (Time to practice your google-fu)

Compare the volume of blood of the dead to the volume of ink used to print the caricatures.

---- End Fermi Problem ----

I guess the power of caricature is greater than that of the printed word.

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