All the Money in the World

To open a fresh blog season — and to put astronomical textbook costs into context– I thought it would be fun to scrutinize ALL the money in the world. Or at least sharing the work of someone else who did. Randall Munroe, author of popular webcomic XKCD, has embarked upon two fascinating examinations of this concept. In the first, which you can click here to access, he compares the scale of a staggering variety of expenditures in a highly visual and intuitive manner. Included in the packed infographic: side-by-side comparison of the marginal cost to launch the space shuttle, the net worth of professional rappers, the net worth of JK Rowling, and the net worth of JK Rowling had she become a professional rapper (a projected figure). In a second analysis of “all the money in the world,” Randall uses his physics background to consider the aftermath of what would happen if all the money in the world were somehow collected into a pile.

This figure only depicts cash... coinage is another story altogether.
credit: Randall Munroe, XKCD What-If

Hint: it’s likely a fatal situation.

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