Donner Party October 10, 2013 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Could I get a fuller explanation of the deletion reason for the cannibalism AskMe?

This question does not seem to be chatfilter, and while it IS hypothetical, it has a seemingly concrete answer. This doesn't seem to be a "would you rather fight a horse-sized duck" type of question, in other words, but one where you could work out an answer, the poster just didn't have all of the inputs or math ability to do so.

The deletion reason was: This post was deleted for the following reason: Nope. -- jessamyn

Not a huge deal, just would like to understand the reasoning more.
posted by Chrysostom to Etiquette/Policy at 8:28 AM (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

It was basically a totally made up "just wondering" question where the criteria made it much more about tehloki's restrictions than any actual science or math problem. The fact that it was just going to devolve into idle bullshitting about zombies and cannibalism and a lot of non-answers to the question was just a tangential concern. tehloki is a long time user and the deletion reason was brief because I was pretty sure he would get my meaning. He posted it to food & drink. Come ON.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2013 [24 favorites]


"I'm just curious" = pretty big giveaway
posted by boo_radley at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


It was unanswerable because it begged the question it was asking. If everyone became strictly cannibals, the people in power would breed feeder stock as if they were cows, much like they do now to feast on our money and productivity. They wouldn't just eat everyone until there was no food left. Duh.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:38 AM on October 10, 2013 [22 favorites]


Deletion aside, now I'm just depressed that I can't figure out the math to do this. I'm almost certain I could have in high school (at least if you allow us to ignore population growth). Sigh...
posted by Wretch729 at 8:40 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


He posted it to food & drink. Come ON.

I mean, obviously it belonged in human relations! Duh.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2013 [29 favorites]


I ended up figuring it out. There's two different pretty easy solutions, based on whether you start from the standpoint that 50 people could eat a 51st person and survive on that for a day, or that it would take a person 50 days to eat another person. In the first scenario the equation for the human population is 7,000,000,000 * (50/51)^x = 1, so you are left with 1144 days till population of 1. From the latter standpoint, x = log_base_2(7,000,000,000) * 50, so you end up with a little under 4.5 years until population of 1. The different answers arise from the fact that in the latter scenario, the people being eaten spend a lot longer being dead and thus not eating anybody, I think the first scenario is actually the shortest time until population = 1. The longest possible time would come from two people killing everybody else in the world and surviving for about 3 billion days, then one of them eating each other. Thanks to user suedehead for some good insights into this scenario sent via PM.
posted by tehloki at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2013 [34 favorites]


Glad that was settled.

Where are we going for lunch?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


There were some objections to the answer on IRC like It's Raining Florence Henderson's, but I think I have them covered. Since everybody in this scenario is an identical 100000 calorie human being, you can assume they're all the same age, so nobody's dying of old age before we reach population 1. If somebody dies in an accident or because of illness, they would just be eaten instead of killing a living person. To eliminate the factor of reproduction, assume all the men eat the women before touching another man.
posted by tehloki at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2013


Before somebody says "but why the women first? do you hate women?" a single man left alive would be able to impregnate all the women in the world, and we can't have that messing up our data.
posted by tehloki at 8:55 AM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


This really does belong in metatalk I guess. Jessamyn you're doing a great job keep up the good work.
posted by tehloki at 8:57 AM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


a single man left alive would be able to impregnate all the women in the world

FINALLY confirmation of what I have long suspected to be a common male delusion!
posted by elizardbits at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2013 [47 favorites]


There's like fifty bazillion sperms in a single ejaculation
posted by tehloki at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2013


I would imagine that a lot of people would rather starve or commit suicide than eat other people. And then they'd maybe or maybe not get eaten.

Also, you've got to think about babies. Delicious tender juicy babies.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Babies don't have 100000 calories man. The earth in this scenario is made up entirely of healthy 150lb adults.
posted by tehloki at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I now envision a single enormous man, like the Colossus of Rhodes, standing bestride all the women in the world who are simultaneously ovulating and impregnating them all with one mighty thrust.

lol irl
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Babies don't have 100000 calories man. The earth in this scenario is made up entirely of healthy 150lb adults.

Wouldn't they start gaining weight as they ate more?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2013


Nope, they're all on a perfectly-calibrated 2000-calorie-a-day maintenance diet to match exactly their basal metabolism when you factor in the work of killing and butchering all those humans.

I thought this THROUGH man
posted by tehloki at 9:05 AM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Babies don't have 100000 calories man. The earth in this scenario is made up entirely of healthy 150lb adults.

Admit it. You're high as fuck right now on your sofa with a bag of chips and a tub of ice cream.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:06 AM on October 10, 2013 [28 favorites]


Tehloki should try What If. Not a physics question I know, but worth a shot.
posted by TedW at 9:06 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jessamyn you're doing a great job keep up the good work.

Thanks. If people don't have more questions about the original MeTa question, I'll be happy to close this, because "Idle bullshitting about tehloki's cannibal scenario" is actually not what MeTa is for. MeFi Chat is open for business.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


« Older Happy birthday Matt!   |   My "actually..." sense is tingling! Newer »

This thread is closed to new comments.