774 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Last time this happened at my job, we were glad our servers were running Windows 10, which forced a shutdown for mandatory updates...
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  • 6,601
363 votes
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How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

The, perhaps boring and uncreative, answer might be to cut the external internet connection to the datacenter. Even if the datacenter is internally shielded, it needs its internet connections in order ...
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  • 3,596
216 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

We are talking about sysadmins and an event endangering uptime? Just call them and send them in. Nothing can stop a sysadmin when their uptime is endangered: https://xkcd.com/705/ Another option is ...
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  • 2,371
160 votes

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults -- leaving only those under the age of 18?

My line of thinking is this: If you want to kill everyone over 18, it should ideally be linked to something that only those older than 18 are able to do. Computers are getting smaller, and wearables ...
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140 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Problem is, most mobile devices these days are quite competent computers. The moment the first frustrated millennial opens up his Facebook app to complain about the lack of a nearby Starbucks on a 50 ...
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  • 5,270
131 votes
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How to survive the heat death of the universe?

Get out I mean, literally. As in "get out of the universe". The heat death of our universe is by definition not a survivable event. That's the bad news. The good news is that it takes a very, ...
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129 votes
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The land grows evil and corrupted ... but why?

The volcanic gasses that fill the valleys near the Kikhpinych volcanos kill anything that stays in it for too long and poisons everything else that venture into it. Larger creatures like humans are ...
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103 votes
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Why don't future civilizations develop their A.I. to integrate with biology so they can make a sustainable world?

I work in the AI field. The fictional shows are not realistic, the authors do that for the sake of creating a powerful enemy that seems unstoppable, so the puny humans can be heroic in the eyes of the ...
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  • 29.8k
98 votes

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

No. By definition the heat death is the state where you could no longer do anything. Any actions you do before it only makes it come sooner. Best strategy: Sit still, do absolutely nothing. (I kinda ...
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98 votes

The land grows evil and corrupted ... but why?

An invasive species would meet all of your requirements, but for a true corruption I would go for an invasive zombie fungus. Meet Ophiocordyceps unilateralis a tropical fungus whose spores infect ...
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  • 24.1k
91 votes

What could humans do to render the earth uninhabitable?

Start by getting all those useful fossil fuels out of the earth to deny them to future generations. Turn one half into non-biodegradable polymers and contaminate oceans with them to damage the food ...
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91 votes
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How to take down the internet?

The distributed nature of the internet makes it really impossible to destroy all of it, and all the information on it, without destroying every computer as well, which you seem to be excluding. To ...
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87 votes
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Would a trench filled with mercury stop zombies in their tracks?

You would need roughly 62500 cubic metres of mercury. One cubic metre of mercury is 13,534 kilograms. So you would need to mine 845,875 tons of mercury. In cinnabar there is 12% percent of mercury. So ...
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83 votes

Architecture of the perfect zombie apocalypse refuge

This is my solution, right here: Preferably in a rainy area of the country, like Seattle. But even somewhere like California, that actually receives enough rainwater to resupply itself but throws it ...
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  • 991
81 votes

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults -- leaving only those under the age of 18?

There's no clear dividing line between a person aged 17 and one aged 18. However, before puberty, the human body has significant differences in the release of hormones. The primary hormone which ...
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  • 2,100
78 votes

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

Hard physics answer I think the question is fundamentally ill-posed. As long as there are humans alive somewhere, the universe is millions to the power of millions of years away from the "heat death" ...
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75 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Facebook already solved this by accident. Surprisingly few people noticed anything when this happened last month already. Basically, Facebook algorithms do not send a post to everyone's friend of a ...
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71 votes

What should three men and three women do if everyone else is dead?

Everybody mentions sex and inbreeding, but first these astronauts have to land without assistance, and recover from months in zero-g. Bone loss and muscle atrophy, as well as the impact on your sense ...
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  • 811
71 votes
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How to be hidden from world for a year

If you're a billionaire and already under the focus of the TLA Agencies, best how to disappear for a year is... not to disappear. If you'd suddenly disappear from today to tomorrow a dozen of alerts ...
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70 votes

How to take down the internet?

It is not possible, because the Internet is not a thing - it is a relationship. For example, imagine 20 people in a book club. The book club is not a thing that can be pointed at, it is the ...
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69 votes

Why would the tribes choose herding instead of agriculture in the Great Plains?

Sedentary Lifestyles aren't Necessarily Easier The problem with being a sedentary farmer is that once you get your seeds in the ground you now have a long standing commitment to care for that plot of ...
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  • 20.8k
65 votes

The Benign Apocalypse

Time viewing The easy-to-build device allows anyone to view any point in the past "live" - that is, as if watching a video recording. Imagine the ability to look back on the ancient civilizations and ...
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  • 12.1k
65 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

We'll just have to turn Cthulu's newfound strength into a weakness, using one of the oldest computer-enemy tropes known to man: the virus. Since we can't hack into the datacenter directly to deposit ...
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65 votes

The Earth is teleported into interstellar space for 5 minutes. What happens?

Absolutely nothing happens except that it's night for about 5 minutes everywhere on Earth. It would take several days for the tides to even out. It would take several months for the foodweb to ...
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  • 5,361
64 votes

Why would the military use tanks in a zombie apocalypse?

It's the mounting platform for your flail. If you pull the tank battalion's mine flail (video) out of the back of the motor pool and put it onto the tank, you can shred your way through lots and lots (...
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  • 27.4k
63 votes

Why would The Machines not hunt humanity?

Because their programming doesn't allow them. The most likely way for a realistic AI to become "hostile" to mankind is because it learned something in a way we didn't intent to. As an ...
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  • 40.3k
61 votes
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What would happen if magnets stopped working?

We all die. Slow painful deaths. if Magnetic fields quit working, the biggest problem is the one the Earth is producing to protect us from a bunch of solar radiation. Remember the borealis? That ...
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  • 48.7k
59 votes
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Architecture of the perfect zombie apocalypse refuge

Well as I see it you have two potential options. Buy a Caribbean island and relax away the zombie apocalypse on the beach with rum and grass skirts. Build a massive fortress. While option 1 is far ...
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  • 32.6k
57 votes

The Benign Apocalypse

Wireheads*. The aliens understand perfectly well that any organism responds positively to pleasure. So they (or their robots) give each person a device which directly, and intensely, stimulates the ...
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