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<   No. 1186   2006-04-26   >

Comic #1186

1 Sales Guy: {holding a razor} This razor is a new quantum leap ahead of any previously existing razors!
2 Spanners: Didn't they reach a plateau when they developed fractal razor technology?...
3 Spanners: Which allows an infinite regression of ever-sharper self-similar blades on a finite cartridge?
4 Sales Guy: This one follows that with a conventional blade - so it has infinity plus one blades!

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Remember when razors had one blade?

Then someone introduced the concept of the twin-blade razor. Wow.

Then there was the Gillette Mach3, which upped the ante to three blades.

So of course Schick had to release the Quattro, with four blades.

The latest move in this escalating war of Mutually Assured Smoothness is Gillette's Fusion razor, which comes with five, count them, five blades on the main razor head, plus an extra single blade on the rear of the head to trim those bits where five consecutive blades might just be slightly overkill and actually make the job harder.

We can all see where this is going. As manufacturing techniques get more sophisticated and nanotechnology brings with it the miracles of consumer products built on ever-smaller scales, we will eventually witness the ultimate in shaving technology, the fractal razor blade, which, as Spanners says, packs an infinite number of blades on to a finite razor head.

And what makes you think the razor companies will stop there??

2015-09-04 Rerun commentary: As explained... um... in the future, a "quantum leap" is, if you consider the technical meaning of the word "quantum", a really tiny difference. Of course our razor huckster here knows naught of that and merely uses the words as marketing spiel.

On this topic of razors with increasing numbers of blades, there is a famous article from The Onion (strong language warning), which was satirical and humorous at the time it was published, but actually prognosticated a year and a half before the event that someone would actually produce a razor with five blades.

My prediction in this comic is just a little bit more long term.

Reader Daniel points out:

Are you sure? Perhaps the razor huckster knows exactly what it means.

After all, adding one more blade when you already have an infinite number is a relative increase of 1/infinity. Can you get a difference much tinier than that?
He has a good point. It sounds just like an advertising guy to say something just technically true enough to stand up in court against a false advertising claim, but so that it sounds much more impressive than it really is.

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