Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Did the MCU get the repercussions of "the snap" wrong?

I just binged The Falcon and the Winter Soldier after watching Wandavision (and watching Hawkeye as it comes out), and I have to say I'm disappointed by how the Disney+ Marvel shows have been handling "the snap." 

(SPOILER ALERT) If you haven't seen Infinity War or Endgame and don't want spoilers, stop here. Otherwise, if you like to talk about sci-fi "what ifs" like I do, read on.

If "the snap" were real and half of all people (and probably half of all animal life) disappeared and then reappeared five years later what do you think would happen?

Imagine half of all drivers, pilots, doctors, mothers, fathers, children, teachers, employers, employees, customers, consumers, politicians, home owners, business owners, guards, homeless people, billionaires and so on disappearing in an instant but leaving all their stuff and half of all other people behind. 

Imagine situations where there's only one of the person who disappears (single-parent households, for example). Imagine situations where there are two. In a quarter of cases both would disappear, in a quarter of cases none would disappear, and in half of all cases one would disappear. 

Now imagine the initial implications, and how society develops over time until all the people snapped away return five years later. 

Let's start with one example: pilots. When half of all single-pilot planes lose a pilot, that plane crashes killing or injuring all left onboard, as well as possibly people on the ground. Any car traveling at speed will behave like a plane with a single pilot. A pilot and a co-pilot means that 75% of those planes should land--provided they don't collide with a falling or already crashed plane, the pilot doesn't panic, and there are still enough people handling air-traffic control and not panicking themselves. If it's possible to rescue people on the ground, half of all the firefighters, ambulance drivers, EMTs, doctors and nurses will have been snapped away, and because of all the out of control cars and abandoned cars on the roads, it probably wouldn't even be possible for a rescuer to get to the victims or get the victims to the hospital on time. 

How many would permanently die or suffer permanent injuries just from the missing drivers and pilots alone? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Each of those deaths and injuries will have long-term repercussions. They can't be snapped back. And that's just drivers and pilots.

Now imagine the affect on families with young children. (I'm going to assume that pregnant women and their babies are treated as one person by the snap, because anything else is unthinkable.) 3/4 of all remaining children would have lost one parent, and at least 1/4 would be completely orphaned. What would be the affect of having 1/4 of the world's children orphaned? And if they were passengers in cars or buses when the driver was snapped away, how many would not only be orphaned but injured? And imagine all the parents returning after the snap to discover what had happened to their kids. Some would have grown up and be relatively okay, some would have died, some would have been permanently traumatized, some would have been injured, some, particularly those under ten, wouldn't even remember their own parents, some would return to find their kids with new parents, their spouses with new spouses...

I don't think the Disney+ Marvel shows got the implications of "the snap" right? Do you?

Leave a comment with your thoughts. I want to know what you think.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Book Depository's international free shipping is a lie

Ads from Book Depository claim "FREE DELIVERY" on all books mailed internationally--but it's not really free. 

Here's one example: Amazon says the retail cost of this book is $14.95, and the Amazon price is $13.46. If you spend $49 worth on qualifying products (including this and most other new books) at Amazon, shipping to Israel is FREE.

Meanwhile, Book Depository offers "FREE" shipping on the same book but sells it for 95 shekels, which is about $30. That's about $16.50 you pay for "FREE" shipping, or $15 above even the retail price. 

How is this sort of false advertising even legal?