Here at Highpants we love creative accountancy as much as the next Darth Vader, but the kids with calculators at centives.net are setting a whole new standard. Calculating the cost to construct a Death Star those creative Centivites have given hope to every evil overlord around world.
While we may each someday wish to push around whole planets with our own personal Death Star the Centivites calculation is just for the basic raw material, steel. The cost to fit out the Death Star with your own personal spa or walk in everything will be extra on top.
If we have learned anything from the past when designing your Death Star, don’t leave open exhaust vents to the core. Especially don’t let the rebel forces get hold of the designs to exploit the one weakness your budget just couldn’t cover.
The starting point for this calculation logically has to be dimension. Thankfully the round nature of a Death Star reduces this down to simply diameter, which in this case is 140km. For simplicities sake the Centivites chose to scale up a modern equivalent, an aircraft carrier, to the required dimensions. Which produces the basic starting number, each Death Star theoretically requires 1,000,000,000,000,000 tons of steel. If you were to take over the entire worlds steel production it would take 833,315 years to produce enough steel for said Death Star.
Surprisingly enough there is actually ample steel in the Earth, mainly the core, to construct 2 billion Death Stars. It would mean extracting the Earth’s core of course, not a good idea. The cost of the steel, $852,000,000,000,000,000 – $852 Quadrillion – or roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP. Here at Highpants we have decided the only solution is to up the world’s population by 13,000, thereby upping the GDP by the required amount. We want our Death Star people.
While many may argue that the calculation is flawed, this is really only the basic raw material included in the calculation. Steel is a good starting point and should help to avoid sticker shock when you see the final price-tag of your Death Star. There are of course many other costs in the final bill; electronics, fit and fixture etc, the list goes on like Grand Designs in a war zone. The calculation is a few factors short of complete perhaps, but it has achieved exactly what the Centivites set out to achieve, making maths more interesting.
Centives.net is itself an interesting attempt to make numbers more appealing for a new generation. Describing themselves as “an economics blog run by students at Lehigh University that focuses on the fun and quirky side of economics. We stay away from the political and controversial not because it’s not important (it is!) but because there are much smarter minds than ours at work trying to figure it all out.”
With such legendary fun and interesting articles like “How Much Does The Bat Mobile Cost?” and “Monkey Economics” they certainly have found a nice twist on what had become a subject for a passionate few. Calculations have been done, figures have been checked and rechecked, we can now safely state that the Centivites are making crunching numbers cool once again.