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What if ... ?

What if … ?

It’s always fun to wonder what if …?

So here are some big What Ifs…? for the Digital Future.

It’s just the sort of thing to keep people awake at night, isn’t it? When will we reach the point that there are more dead people than living on Facebook?

Cripes! But believe it or not, a blogger called Mike Krumboltz wrote on the What If website and it was given a deal of media coverage, including a full Yahoo report.

In Either 2065 Or 2130

The premiss is that ‘based on the site’s growth rate, and the age breakdown of their users over time, there are probably 10 to 20 million people who created Facebook profiles who have since died.’

It gets better. ‘About 290,000 US Facebook users will die (or have died) in 2013. The worldwide total for 2013 is probably several million. In just seven years, this death rate will double, and in seven more years it will double again.’

The question is, according to the blog: will Facebook add more young users ‘to outrun this tide of death for a while? If so, the dead will not outnumber the living till 2130. But if the young abandon Facebook (which is surely possible if not probably in the face of new inventions), it’ll happen as soon as 2065.

I wont be around then, but many of you will be.

What If … Archives

The What If archives are a veritable goldmine of clever little, partly scientifically-based hypothetical scenarios which all in their own ways pass comment on the way we live now.

What if there was a robot apocalyse, how long would long would humanity last?

What if a glass of water was, all of a sudden, literally half empty?

Is there enough energy to move the entire current human population off-planet?

What would happen if everyone on earth stood as close to each other as they could and jumped, everyone landing on the ground at the same instant?

What if everyone actually had only one soul mate, a random person somewhere in the world?

If you went outside and lay down on your back with your mouth open, how long would you have to wait until a bird pooped in it?

What if a rainstorm dropped all of its water in a single giant drop?

If cows could photosynthesize, how much less food would they need?

If one randomly chosen extra person were to die each second somewhere on Earth, what impact would it have on the world population?

How many unique English tweets are possible? How long would it take for the population of the world to read them all out loud?

If you call a random phone number and say “God bless you”, what are the chances that the person who answers just sneezed?

If you had a printed version of the whole of (say, the English) Wikipedia, how many printers would you need in order to keep up with the changes made to the live version?

Also quite scary, especially for us who live on the east coast is: What If the world’s ice caps melted overnight….

MBF Blogs’ Own What Ifs ….

If Twitter Ruled the World, What Would Its Policies Be? 19 August 2013

What If the Cloud Was a Country, How Green Would It Be? 20 February 2013

What If Facebook Was a Country and Other Ideas, 3 April 2012

Image: Christophe Dioux