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<   No. 2107   2008-11-02   >

Comic #2107

1 Monty: You're insane, you know. One brain in a jar can't conquer the world.
2 Hitler's Brain: Taken them to die computer room!
2 Erwin: Jawohl!
3 {they walk to another room, where rows of brains in jars sit on shelves}
3 Monty: Computer room?
4 Haken: Hundreds of clones of die Führer, calculating exactly that. How to conquer die world!
4 Monty: I... guess they don't get out much then?

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In the 1930s, the word "computer" referred to a person who was employed to perform mathematical calculations. Literally, "one who computes". Of course, this is where we got the modern meaning from, since electronic computers have pretty much totally replaced computing as a human occupation.

A "computer room" used refer to a room of people, sitting at desks, and engaged in arithmetic and more complex mathematical problem-solving. Such efforts were necessary for many tasks such as calculating artillery and rocketry trajectories, astronomical orbits, tables of logarithms and trigonometric functions for use by other mathematicians in these pre-calculator days, and statistics and formulae for various science experiments and theories.

When you realise that (electronic) computers as we know them today didn't exist until after World War II, it's astonishing the amount of advanced science and technology that humanity managed to figure out with nothing more than a few human brains, sheets of paper, and pencils.

On another topic, I said back in strip #1580 that one of my goals with Irregular Webcomic! was to reach the number of strips that Bill Watterson reached with Calvin and Hobbes. As of today, I'm two-thirds of the way there.

2020-10-04 Rerun commentary: After getting a brain in a jar Lego piece in some set or other that I'd bought, I decided I needed more of them, and bought a whole bunch of them off BrickLink. I think I have around 20 of them. So I had to find a use for them.

Although honestly "just because" is probably good enough reason to have that many.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
More comics I host: The Prisoner of Monty Hall | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
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