Debunking Some Satire To Destroy The World

There is quite a lot of information readily available on the internet about dominating the earth. (Which is a lie because it’s all just Sam Hughes being quoted in various articles.)

I released a satirical post on destroying cities not too long ago which turned out to be too serious-sounding and was a massive failure, but also actually a success because people liked it.

The ideas I went through were jokes, such as setting off an unreasonable amount of explosives near a bunch of magma to create an artificial lahar in an area well-accustomed to lahars. Not only would there be national coverage of the massive explosion in the middle of nowhere that caused nothing, but even if a lahar started (if we were skilled geologists and explosives experts), the designated area also had an early warning system and also existed within the realms of reality, laws, order, etc., which are those things that stop Tom and Jerry stuff from being reenacted in real life. .

I also suggested sprinkling radioactive dust around to kill a bunch of people, but my method was not only a logistics problem of discreetly surprise attacking tons of people at once but also the problem of obtaining buttloads of radioactive material. I also seriously doubt that many people would inhale a flour cloud if it fell on them.

If you’re a government hell-bent on holding half a hemisphere hostage then you don’t need the dodgy Acme-verified solutions, you just need to make the damn cobalt bomb and start making threats. The flour bomb was originally supposed to be a mini-cobalt bomb but had to be cut down to fit the expenses and salary of a middle-class worker.

And, to seal up the article in the stupidest this-is-a-giveaway-that-this-is-satire way possible, I suggested basically making a big cylinder in the floor and using it as a musket to fire junk into space to trap humanity. Unfortunately, the Earth is rather big so that doesn’t actually work. Just keep buying your palm oil products and we’ll get there eventually, except the litter will be on the ground level.

However, some people were convinced I had scammed them of their world domination rights, and rightfully so! I had committed the highest form of treason: Making a misleading/confusing header.

So I’m back, and after going out of my way to tell you that yes, that previous post on destroying the world was a joke, I will redeem myself and tell you a legitimate method of dominating the world.

How To (Really) Dominate the World

World Domination: Destroy or own a good portion of the earth. There are no specifics and anything goes, let’s get started.

We’ll be assuming a couple of things here.

Assumption 1: I want to not die in the process.
Assumption 2: I want to not be arrested.
Assumption 3: I want to become the most powerful existence on the planet.

The best way to own the world is to have it in the palm of your hand, therefore I really only need a couple of things.

  1. A survival backpack filled with food, water, tools, game consoles, tons of sunscreen, solar panels, etc.
  2. Experience breathing in places with thin air.
  3. A Katamari.

As a Katamari grows, a side effect is that its user will grow to match the size of the ball, meaning that as long as I bring plenty of rations, I don’t need that much stuff as long as I increase the size of the Katamari fast enough.

In the early stages, the Katamari will be fairly easy to build in secret.

After I reach a substantial size I will need to prepare for larger attacks from humanity, so I will need to strategically aim for large areas filled to the brim with stuff to increase my size before fighter jets, tanks, and missiles can stop me.

This will be important, as I will become bigger and bigger, reducing my mobility (think of how a fly sees us as super slow.) My best starting point would obviously be a junkyard near a big city so that I can start adding skyscrapers to my Katamari ASAP.

After a couple of skyscrapers, I will be big enough to be basically invincible. So the current plan is as such:

  1. Build the Katamari secretly in a junkyard near a neighborhood or something.
  2. Roll up the junkyard and the small buildings and then attack a city and become invincible from humanity.
  3. Set up my living quarters, settle down, and start making demands.

After this, I can stop growth and start making my demands to world leaders. At this point, life will be pretty boring and I will just stand there with my Katamari and watch humanity whizz by me like a Civ game on steroids until I eventually get nuked a couple of times and die or get bored and roll up the rest of the world and start anew.

Either way, once you’re the supreme lord that’s about it. If you want to play the pacifist you can bask in the sun’s radiation until you get skin cancer and die. Or you can choke and die. Or you can gain so much mass the planet and moon collapse on you and turn you into a planet.

Current Problems: World domination seems kind of boring and noone has a magical Katamari they want to lend me.

Evil Not-so-Genius Ideas

Destroying humanity is a dream scenario for evil geniuses, but the world is pretty destructive already and a single individual or group of dedicated people would have to work extremely hard.

Unstoppability: How hard it is for external forces to stop the destruction. Speed and other factors (like the need to have a big machine constantly running) are evaluated. Extra style points if the method can be used to hold the world hostage.

Cities are great targets for mass destruction because they have lots of people, property, and are a mess to clean up. Highways, buildings, and the lives of people can total up to cost billions of dollars in repair. However, our noobish planning will probably only do a couple of million dollars of damage, tops.

Plan A: Artificial Lahars With Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is in Washington and is one of the highest-risk volcanoes we have. It spans 368.15 square miles and the peak is at 14,410 ft.

Even if there is not an eruption, there is a risk for lahars1, which are violent streams of volcanic mudflow and debris. Picture wet concrete cascading down a valley towards a city and you’re basically there.

Mount Rainier is one of the highest risk volcanoes in the world, and the USGS (United States Geological Survey) made this great graphic that was probably not intended for evil scheming.

Mount Rainier, Washington simplified hazards map showing potential impact area for ground-based hazards during a volcanic event.

Then, looking at Google Earth, we can see that the nearest cities are Tacoma and Lakewood.

The method of transport will be the Puyallup River, which was also formed by lahars some 5,600 years ago. The valley has about 150,000 people in danger of lahars already.

The problem is that most of the lahars from Mount Rainier are not actually caused by eruptions but by water and ice interacting with magma, causing rapid movement of water, which swells into a lahar.

In order to create a lahar, we need to attack this area:

Mining away tons of rock and dirt isn’t really that cool or evil so explosive charges set along both parts of the fork could release enough lava. An ANFO weighing 2,000 pounds could be made for about $1,500 (estimated from the Lowe’s catalog).

Since my free speech is being detained by law, I cannot go into depth on bombs, but there are plenty of guides on creating and detonating explosives. Though, the most destructive of all is the DCAM explosive.

Plan B: Tiny Cobalt Bombs

“We have the feeling that when this time comes to science, God with His white beard will come down to earth swinging a bunch of keys, and will say to humanity, the way they say at 5 o’clock at the saloon: ‘Closing time, gentlemen!'” – The Journal of the Goncourt Brothers; April 7, 1869.

Cobalt-60 is a particularly nasty element synthesized by humans. It emits gamma rays and is the byproduct of nuclear reactors. It also has a half-life of 5.27 years, making it an extremely hard substance to get rid of.

A ‘traditional’ cobalt bomb is a nuclear weapon packed with cobalt-59 (which is a single neutron away from its deadly cousin). Once the nuclear weapon explodes, the neutrons from the nuclear reaction turn the cobalt-59 into cobalt-60, spewing out a cloud of radioactive death into the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, cobalt doesn’t really explode and we don’t have access to nukes so we need the cobalt-60 to be in the bomb before exploding it. In addition, spreading out explosives in a dense, urban city is extremely hard to do.

At this point, we hit the largest bump. A massive bomb is unfeasible and planting explosives aren’t easy, either. Assuming a very cheap price, each bomb costs $100 for solid cobalt-60 and another $200 for the actual bomb.

Deployment would be possible with cars, suitcases, etc.; all of the usual terrorist stuff.

If the radiation in the city gets to 8 sV, a person walking outside could get cancer or permanent damage to their lungs in less than an hour.

After talking with some smart college students, a cheaper plan was created:

Image result for bag of flour

Flour bombs.

If the Cobalt-60 can be safely ground into fine dust and mixed into ziplock bags filled with a powdery substance like flour (of course, flour isn’t exactly the best powdery substance because it turns to mush in water), it can be dropped off buildings onto busy streets. Drones carrying the packages could be parked on various buildings to simultaneously drop all of the bombs after all of the bombs are planted.

Plan C: Space Littering

Space litter is a large problem. Space litter is composed of defunct satellites, rocket pieces, and the other random human junk we throw up there.

Scientists are scared that space junk will halt space exploration efforts by coating Earth in an impenetrable shield of junk orbiting faster than a bullet.

Robots have been proposed to collect space junk, but if we hit the point of no return before then it’ll be impossible to send anything out of Earth for possibly the next century.

Things That Will Cease To Exist If We Are Trapped By Junk:

  • Anything reliant on satellites, like GPS, Earth monitoring devices, etc.

In order to trap humanity on Earth and stagnate all space endeavors, we need to shoot stuff out of Earth at about 10 km/s.

But that isn’t the whole story, we also need to deal with air resistance, turbulent winds, and to avoid detection by authorities.

But first, we need a launcher.

Railguns Won’t Work

Railguns are electromagnetic weapons that accelerate shit at immense speeds.

A railgun is made of three parts:

  • The power supply
  • The two rails
  • The armature

A railgun is basically a large circuit. Electricity from the power supply runs up the positive rail and travels back down the negative rail, creating a magnetic field where the electricity is.

The magnetic force travels around the rails in a counterclockwise circle around the positive rail and a clockwise circle around the negative rail.

The force exerted on the projectile is called Lorentz force, which can be given by F = qE + qv × B2.

The armature is the thing that connects the circuit by bridging the two rails. The armature can be a conductive coating on the projectile or plasma.

In order to calculate the force for a railgun, you can use F = (i)(l)(b)3.

A railgun also must be able to support the massive amount of electricity required without melting the rails, having the rails split apart from the electromagnetic force. Most railguns can only fire once or twice before breaking down. The armature must also be capable of moving extremely fast without breaking under the force.

The Expensive Shopping List:

  • A bunch of capacitors that won’t explode
  • A pair of large superconductor rails
  • A bunch of support for the rails so that they don’t fly off.
  • A metal armature
  • A way to draw megajoules of electricity from the power grid
  • Some trash to shoot into LEO

After constructing your super-expensive railgun with a group of talented scientists and engineers, you’ll need to fire the junk so that it ends up flying parallel to Earth’s surface instead of crashing back down. This means that there’ll also be a massive projectile traveling across the horizon if the railgun doesn’t melt, explode, or break in some way or other.

Not only do you need megajoules of energy, but you’ll also need to outdo the Naval Surface Warfare Center by at least threefold.

Thus, a railgun is not the best way to go. (And no, coilguns aren’t even on the table anymore).

A Low-Tech Solution

Since railguns are dicks, we’ll need to find a better way to reach LEO.

Luckily, we have this awesome new revised plan:

All we need to do is construct a gigantic pipe in the ground, fill it with gas, pack it with tons of junk, and light it up, creating a large crater and sending tons of shit into space in a firey ball.

Depending on the lack of skill, a gigantic spray gun may accidentally arise instead, splattering molten metal shrapnel over a large area rather than making a bunch of trash reach LEO.


Dear Noobs: If you didn’t realize, this post was satirical

Resources
https://www.futurity.org/lava-water-volcanoes-explosions-1928772/
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_rainier/hazard_summary.html
https://science.howstuffworks.com/rail-gun1.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt-60

The Grand Inkitt Scam

New writers are desperate.

They work hard on their ginormous manuscripts and usually end up having it rot into oblivion when zero A-list publishers pick it up. Luckily for them, a great company in Berlin is dubbing itself, “The world’s first reader-powered publisher”, or something like that.

Meet Inkitt, a humble company that totally doesn’t exaggerate itself when it’s really just a shitty version of Wattpad.

So, being a novice writer myself, I tried posting my own story to see if I could score a publishing deal and suddenly make millions.

Turns out, my story wasn’t formatted correctly (among other things), and it got taken down. There goes my millions.

Luckily for me, the people at Inkitt sent this email to explain everything.

Inkitt is a big ol’ scam wonderful opportunity for people!

And I’ll tell you why.

The People Running it Don’t Even Exist:

Ali Albazaz is the founder and CEO of Inkitt. He studied computer science and doesn’t have any publishing experience. Also, his stories are… well… you can read them yourself.

Update: As it turns out, Ali recently deleted all of his stories. (One day after the time of writing.) Luckily, I already read all of the fucking chapters of The Lost Howl and I fully regret it.

The co-founder, Linda Gavin, studied design. She’s a web designer who draws logos and icons for stuff. But no actual publishing experience here, either. Her background is also a bit more mysterious because no amount of searching would give me anything else.

I tried to read a few chapters, but it was even less comprehensible than Ali’s.

Publishing, Yay!

“Who are we or any editor in the world to judge whether your book is worth publishing?” – Inkitt Website – 2018

From this quote, I don’t think they grasp the idea that editors edit stuff and that publishing stuff is a business that requires agents striking deals over mugs of steaming coffee at 1 AM in the morning.

Not doing anything is not actually publishing. Just saying. But these guys are pros, they probably do all that behind-the-scenes, right?

Goodie for them, the readers do all the work. Their “advanced algorithms” will detect stories that get liked or viewed. They’ll even ring you up a publishing deal by pitching the book to Random House or some other good publisher to score you a deal!

Inkitt’s Super-Genius Advanced Algorithm

Even though the founders have no idea what they are doing, they have a super-awesome method of figuring out which books to offer publishing deals.

They use deep learning algorithms.

Screenshot_20180507-080504.jpg

That’s right, they start out with zero data, and then some data, and then they train their algorithm on that data. And then the algorithm studies more data as it continues learning from nothing into something.

This is 100% farce because the super-good AI they tout couldn’t have sprouted out of nothing. In fact, I don’t even think their algorithm even exists.

The problem is that the Inkitt algorithm would need big data from their own users to figure out what books people read more on their platform. (That’s what they say their algorithm analyzes).

Also, the publishing page on their site clearly shows their method of publishing!

  1. They design a cover for your book and edit the manuscript. (Let’s ignore the fact that authors commission their own artists.)
  2. Pitch your book to A-list publishers.
  3. Even if the big awesome publishers deny your story, don’t worry! Inkitt will publish it for you if that happens! (Wow, they are so nice!)

According to the site, their first published work is the Sky Riders series by some gal named Erin Swan.

I tried looking on Amazon. Nothing. It hasn’t been published.

My Google search brought up nothing, except the Inkitt page and some news about the book releasing sometime “soon.”

If a publisher like HarperCollins does pick up the book, Inkitt takes 15%, the same percentage most reputable agents put up. It’s great news that a mysterious company that doesn’t understand how publishing works is willing to charge you the same rate as a decent agent!

So what if Inkitt did publish it themselves? You get 50% of their earnings on the book. That’s better than anything you’ll get from any publishers. Something even more amazing is that they don’t even put your book up for sale, like in the case of Erin Swan.

If worst comes to worst you could put your work on Amazon yourself and earn 70%.

Do I Keep My Rights?

Let’s say you win a contest and get Inkitt’s publishing deal (the great 50% of $0 one) and a custom mug and notepad, now you’re worried about your rights being violated. Inkitt claims you keep all of your rights.

But you know how Inkitt put up your story on Amazon? And how publishers need the English-language right to publish a book in the English language?

Inspecting the Fine Print:
Inkitt can own your stuff if you are “Specially Promoted.”

I have a pretty good idea that you are “specially promoted” when they throw your book on Amazon, quickly giving themselves the rights to your work.

Fanfiction Contests

I don’t think they understand copyright.

(Rare footage of Inkitt HQ’s planning session provided by an anonymous skilled photographer sneaking into the chaos with an iPhone.)

Unmasking the Real Scam

So a couple of months before I wrote this post, a guy named James Beamon investigated the “Collected Data” bar in the Inkitt analytic’s page (which has been removed along with its contests and literally everything else over the course of two months.)

He contacted support to figure out exactly how the “chapter reads” were related to the collected data bar.

They ended up going on a game of ping-pong where the support eventually said that chapter reads don’t directly fill the bar, reader data does.

Thus, another ping-pong ball was added and they began playing an even more confusing game of ping-pong.

Apparently, this was about “reader engagement,” and not about “how the readers read the book with how it is paced.” But don’t worry, James continued pushing past this confusing mesh of words and began checking off possibilities in his head as they began to be eliminated.

The bar was not “directly” influenced by chapter reads or how fast or slow a person reads a book.

And then James had a soylent green moment.

Now, James hit a wall because the discussion was going into “proprietary information,” but his theory makes sense.

The thing is, when you sign into Inkitt with your Facebook or Google account, they can request your data. And depending on what information you give when you click “Yes, I Accept,” you could be giving away lots of information to e-marketers or ad companies.

If you don’t mind giving away information (or have a lot of aliases,) then none of this should matter as it’s a matter of choice.

Whether or not you choose to participate in becoming a product out of your own personal information is up to your own discretion (to a certain point in certain areas, thanks NSA!)

But even if you’re fine with your personal information being sold, you should still be aware of Inkitt’s many faults that don’t make it worth it to click that big blue sign-up button in the first place.

Summary

Just save yourself the trouble. Seriously.

There was talk about Tor Books striking a deal with Inkitt over Erin Swan’s series, which is awesome.

It’s also great how her entire series is still published by Inkitt and hosted on their site for free! (I’m assuming that the professionally-published version will be cleanly edited and revised.)

That information came out in 2017. And recently Tor Books opened up about their deal!

The book was supposed to release Summer 2017. Now it’s gonna release in Autumn 2019. (The delay was due to internal conflicts. Whatever that means.)

Erin Swan is none the wiser about Inkitt’s practices, but at least she’s one of the many victims who is actually getting published. Good for her.

Your scam is bad

References:
wrrrdnrrrdgrrrl.com/2016/05/23/inkitt-scam-spam-no-thank-you-maam/
https://www.inkitt.com/terms
https://www.bustle.com/articles/158340-book-selected-by-computer-algorithm-to-be-published-by-inkitt-and-tor
The Dark Side of Inkitt
https://fictigristle.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/are-inkitt-bestsellers-really-selling/