Sometime this past week, humanity fell over a mathematical precipice by watching Psy's "Gangnam Style" music video (embedded below) for the two billionth time. It's the most watched clip on YouTube ever.
How much time is that? Well, providing that everyone had the materials, equipment, and skills necessary, that's enough man hours to build three Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers. The Economist explains using the combined watch time of "Gangnam Style" as a unit of measurement:
At 4:12 minutes, that equates to more than 140m hours, or more than 16,000 years. What other achievements were forgone in the time spent watching a sideways shuffle and air lasso? It took 50m man-hours to complete the “supercarrier” USS Gerald Ford last year. Had people not been watching PSY—the South Korean pop star who released the song in July 2012—they could have constructed three such ships. Alternatively they could have built more than four Great Pyramids of Giza, or another Wikipedia, or six Burj Khalifas in Dubai (the world’s tallest building). The song’s nearest rival is Justin Bieber’s “Baby”, at a paltry one billion views.
-via Marginal Revolution