To destroy the Earth

Be privileged.

Be lucky. Be rich. Be powerful. Be good-looking. Be intelligent, smart and wise, but more importantly educated-- suggested fields of undergraduate study are biology, anthropology and politics. Contrary to popular suggestions, I do not advise you to drop out. Network. Be charismatic. Meet people. Know people. Remember names. Make contacts. Act. Do favours. Be or become powerful. Have parents who can help you with all of these things, who are lucky, rich, smart and powerful themselves. Be successful, by every definition of "successful". You don't need to be self-made. You can climb there over the stabbed backs of others, it doesn't matter. Just be made.

Almost all of this is dumb luck. You can read as many Successmanship books as you want and work every extra hour of every day you're given, and still not get any of the things listed in the above paragraph. Billions of people other than you already do. It's much easier to just be born on the top rung.

 

 

Be driven, in a way which is beyond the drive of every other human. This isn't about waiting around until somehow, for some reason, someone else destroys the Earth. This is about you travelling from where you are right now to a point in time when you have brought about the Earth's destruction. You want continuity of purpose between these two events. You want to set events in motion and then live to see their conclusion. The second part is because you need to be sure.

So you must need to destroy the Earth. Make that need into the foundation of everything you do, from getting up on any given morning to quitting for any given night. You will need to sustain this drive for a greater period of time than anybody has ever sustained anything. You need to be superhuman, not to say psychotic. You're embarking upon a journey into deep psychological time, across time scales against which the human psyche can certainly have no protective evolutionary adaptations. It is very probable that you will cease to be sane or even recognisably mentally human by the end of this process.

This, by the way, is not a deal-breaker. Remaining human is not part of the mission statement. As long as there is some kind of continuity of you from here to there, it doesn't matter how many loop-the-loops that continuous thread of you-ness makes. It's still you. Every particle of your body changes every seven years, what does it matter if every particle of your psyche does the same?

 

 

The first thing you actually need to do, once iron-willed and hyper-rich, is to dramatically increase your lifespan. Well, let's just call it "become immortal".

Modern biology is an amazingly young science and has come an extraordinary distance in a small amount of time. Immortality in some form or another is fairly likely to be invented some time before the end of the current iteration of intelligent humans, but

  • that's not a guarantee
  • it doesn't mean it's going to happen in your lifetime, and
  • it doesn't mean that you, personally, will have access to it.

So you need to make sure of these things.

You don't have to be the person who makes the crucial discoveries. In fact, it seems unlikely that any single person or even laboratory will be able to take credit for the collection of breakthrough procedures which eventually add up to eternal youth. But you need to be as close to the discovery as possible, to maximise the chance that you are among those who benefit from it. The effective way to do this is to fund the science. Be a smart investor. You studied biology; this should help you understand the basic principles of the scientific field, as well as the grotesque structure of biological science as a real practice in the real world. This in turn will mean you can know your way around a laboratory, know how to recognise a good scientist and promising research, and know the difference between a good investment and a bad one.

Immortality takes a variety of different forms, but in practical terms none of them amount to invincibility. No procedure which halts or reverses the process of ageing can protect you from, say, polio, or a truck. Most people manage to live their entire lives without experiencing either of these things, but that is because their lives are short. Your life is now unbounded in length and as time goes to infinity, incredibly rare events occur infinitely many times, sometimes twice in one day.

There are, however, other things which can protect you from polio and trucks, such as vaccination and vigilance. Now you that are immortal, you need to radically modify your lifestyle for extreme caution. Watch everything you eat, distrust everybody you meet. Fly everywhere, avoid motor vehicles at all costs. If you must travel, travel in motorcades; better, become reclusive and arrange to never need to leave your home at all. Be cautious around bacteria, bone-in meat, hard surfaces, swimming pools, open fires. Do you see what the President of the United States is surrounded with, every day of his life? That's a good start. But he only needs to survive to the end of office. You need to survive for millions of years.

Yes, that's right. Millions. Probably tens of. We're talking about destroying the whole planet Earth. We're talking about pursuing a chain of events, of continuous and focused purpose, forward through geological epochs plural to a moment when, due to human activity, the whole Earth no longer exists.

Write "10,000,000 years" on a poster in big red paint, stick it to your wall and meditate in front of it for a while. It's tired and played-out to compare the complete span of human existence with geological or astronomical time periods, but the reason for these comparisons to be played out is that they are necessary, and important to set context, and extremely effective. The written history of the human race begins approximately five thousand years before the present day. Meanwhile, we're contemplating a future that is a minimum of two thousand times that length - a period of time in which all currently extant human history is an anomalous blip, the barely-audible "One, two, three, four--" of the drummer counting everybody else in before the record even starts.

Or maybe after ten million years you'll only be halfway there. Who knows?

 

 

Extreme caution and longevity alone aren't going to be enough to preserve you for that amount of time. No matter what happens, a single copy of you is insufficient. You also need redundancy, which means backups and duplicates.

Backing a human mind up into a machine is a procedure subject to the most astounding, extraordinary and genuine ethical objections, even if the law hasn't caught up, and even if it's not possible to activate the uploaded mind or download it back into an organic body. By the way, both of those other things need to be possible as well-- executing uploaded minds in virtuality, and slotting uploaded mind-states back into humans. Although these tasks are intimidating, again, remember that these are the very early days of biology, and by this point you should have bought yourself at least a few centuries of buffer time.

You will also want to look into cloning, if you want your new body to look anything like your old one. But equally, you could just pay someone an absurd amount of money to brain-die so that you can copy yourself over the top. We're looking a long way into the future here, and assuming a high level of financial impunity.

Developing this technology alone is not the end of the story. Make sure the technology can never be forgotten. At a bare minimum, engrave this knowledge into indestructible tungsten tablets and commit it to memory. Establish redundancy. Be plural. Have multiple selves. Establish self-healing human networks which replenish the world with new selves when old selves are gone. Make copies of everything. You need to make the technology of immortality immortal itself. You need to find the formula for immortality of information.

 

 

So now you're as close to unkillable as unkillable gets. By this time the year is 2{0|1}XX and human civilisation - not the human race as a species, but intelligent, civilised humans with universities and cheeseburgers - is in critical danger of folding up, relinquishing mastery of the planet Earth to whoever's next.

(Realistically, the next people to inherit Earth after humans won't be bears, ravens, rats or roaches. They'll just be humans again, intelligent humans who dropped briefly into ancient barbarism and then bounced back. They may even still be genetically Homo sapiens sapiens. Still, you're a singular will spread across clones and machine storage, desperately reliant upon technology to propagate yourself. A crash of that kind isn't something you can easily survive, and even if it was, it's a time-consuming setback which you want to avoid.)

So the next thing you need to do is avert anthropogenic disaster. Solve all of the problems. Human life is fragile and you need it in your toolkit. Before this is over you will need to save the world from itself a whole bunch of times.

It's more or less inescapable that you will need to conquer and subdue the world as part of this objective. Make something good out of it. Develop a sustainable steady-state society with guaranteed long-term stability, a society which can handle minor perturbations introduced by the actions of individuals. This society is going to serve as a template.

 

 

Unify the world behind you. Make it so you are inextricable and indistinguishable from humanity itself. Make it so that humanity's will is now your will. What you want, all humans want. What all humans do, they do for you.

At first glance, there seems to be an easy way to do this: simply exterminate all other humans and replace them with copies of yourself. However, I suggest caution. You are only one person, no matter how many times you duplicate yourself. One human intellect is finite and there are far too many thoughts for you to think all of them - a quantity far beyond "astronomically large" and into what I would call "combinatorically large". Googols upwards. If you model this set-of-all-possible-thoughts as a space, and your mental life as a nominally random walk through that space, it is almost certain that there are thoughts, important thoughts, which you will never have.

Even if you live for an infinite amount of future time, you will never spontaneously author the works of William Shakespeare, nor will you rediscover the theories of Albert Einstein. Just because you have an arbitrary amount of time to study doesn't mean that you will eventually discover everything you need to discover. And you need to discover. Make no mistake, new science and technology are required. You are not the correct person for every single task that needs performing, or for every scientific deduction which needs to be made. Especially not now that all of the low-hanging fruit has been easily claimed. You, alone, no matter how many people you are, cannot destroy the Earth. You need help. You need a whole planet of people with wildly diverse experiences and perspectives, constantly stirring that stew and adding the right ingredients until the really smart stuff bubbles up to the top of this bad metaphor.

Managing total control of the world while leaving people their capacity for independent thought is difficult. Nevertheless, do not murder everybody.

 

 

So now you're on the figurative starting blocks. Your eternal unified kingdom has been established; your immortality has been cemented; the industrial power of all human civilisation is at your command; and when I use the pronoun "you" I refer simultaneously to the original single human being you were and the entire human race which you now represent/lead/are.

Now stop for a moment to reflect. The misanthropic principle states that no life form can ever be perfectly adapted to its environment, and that all life, no matter where it exists, must face some kind of adversity. Take a look at the universe in which you live and try to imagine a harsher universe. Try to imagine a universe which was more obviously explicitly designed to prevent all possibility of intelligent life arising.

Contemplate the human race's continuing utter loneliness in the universe and the continuing total absence of evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life, even after centuries of intermittent searching. Make no mistake, it is statistically impossible for ETI to not be out there, but the gulf separating each individual blip is just too large to overcome.

Finally, accept a large fact: You, personally, were lucky enough to have been born right at the apex of your particular ecology. You were privileged. But the human race is not privileged. You, collectively, exist at the bare minimum threshold of competence to construct a civilisation. Liftoff happened for you - as it must do for all intelligent species - at the very earliest time when it became theoretically possible. It turns out that this didn't include any kind of tolerance for varying temperatures, radiation, or long-term shortages of air, water or food, let alone for forming huge, stable, sustainable societies.

It is conceivable that there are species born to spaceflight. Humans aren't one of them. Humans aren't fit to survive off Earth. Honestly, you're barely fit to survive on Earth. To get into space is incredible for you. To actually make a home anywhere other than the place where you evolved is absurd. All else being equal, there is a nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine in a million chance that the human race will never, in any realistic, meaningful way, leave home.

However, this is what you now need to do.

Colonise the solar system. I don't mean scientific research outposts, I mean bustling, sustainable world cities with populations of millions. Start easy, with Antarctica and the Sahara Desert. These deserts are easy targets because you don't have to worry about air... just water, food, electricity, waste, shelter, heat and cold. Prove that you can do that, then expand to the Moon. You'll need scientists and the modern equivalent of tens of trillions of US dollars-- which you should be able to obtain very easily, because you own the world. Refine spaceflight to the point of second nature. Hammer on the basics of rocketry until it's nearly impossible for you to ever get them wrong. Hit Mars.

Capture asteroids and mechanise asteroid mining. Squeeze water out of rocks. Develop advanced materials, recycling, matter processing and reconstitution, habitats. There are two other incredibly important technology families which you must also pioneer while you're doing this. One is adapting worlds to humans (terraforming), the other is adapting humans to worlds (genetic engineering). All of the rest of this depends on them.

Develop dirigible space stations to float on gas giants. Live on Callisto, Vesta, Mimas, Ganymede, Europa, Triton, Titan, Mercury, Venus and Io. Wreck their existing "ecosystems" if you have to. That's fine.

Increase the population of the solar system to its maximum carrying capacity, somewhere around Kardashev level I.5. A particular day will come when more humans live off Earth than on it. Celebrate this milestone. Very few species can do what you have just done. Interplanetary travel is what separates the adults from the children.

At this point the year is still four digits, or at most five. The continuing existence of the human species is quite improbable at this time scale unless you've solved almost all problems of societal and environmental sustainability. Congratulations. You are a self-made species.

You aren't ready to destroy the Earth yet. You are still at most one thousandth of the way there.

 

 

I told you that in a universe this hostile interplanetary colonisation is among the hardest things that any sapient species can accomplish. Accomplishing it puts you into the top percentile of the top percentile of the top percentile. And you've done that now.

So, when I tell you that, even by the standards of species who made it this far, interstellar travel is really, really, really hard, I hope you believe it. Your star is separated from the nearest next star by a mind-boggling gulf of distance and time. And furthermore, arguably the harshest truth in all of science is this: Einstein was right. FTL isn't possible. You can't go faster than light. You just can't.

Some would quit at this point.

Take an asteroid and excavate its interior. Assemble a group of people who can live inside it with you, sustainably, for thousands of years. Beg, borrow or steal all the delta-v you can muster, and send the asteroid to Proxima Centauri.

Send more to other star systems. Build variations, so that your ships are not all vulnerable to the same fatal flaw which kills them a century into the journey. Some of your starships should be conventional, not asteroids, but one way or another you need the radiation shielding, and in my opinion a big pre-existing rock is a fine way to get that.

Once you're established at Tau Ceti and Sirius and Barnard's Star, once you have terraformed the worlds orbiting those stars and built full-fledged sustainable civilisations at each one, capture more asteroids and repeat the process, spreading ships across the entire Milky Way galaxy. This will take you approximately ten million years, perhaps a hundred times as long depending on how fast your starships travel, how frequently they break down, how competent your planetary-scale environmental engineering is and how resilient your constructed stepping-stone societies are. It depends whether you can maintain your willpower and your control over your manifold, hive-minded self.

Sniff the black hole at Sagittarius, and map the Zone of Avoidance. Go all the way around the galaxy and come back.

 

 

And then what?

Return to a planet Earth which is empty and sterile, all skeleton cities and recovering whale populations. It is uninhabitable, now, to baseline humans. It is trivially terraformable, but there are a hundred other bodies in the same star system alone where you could live equally happily. You are a gigantic pan-galactic metaspecies now; your energy requirements are approaching Kardashev III. What is one planet?

Realise that you don't need the Earth anymore.

A dirty secret: at the time I'm writing this it is not possible, even in theory, for human beings to destroy the Earth. I do not have a plan for you because the technology is science fiction, and not even hard science fiction. There is no road map. And even if there were, the investment of time required is impossible. Human beings, as you currently exist, are physically incapable of dedicating that large a block of time to a single task. You think too fast. Your objectives are too near-term.

But I sent you on a round trip around the galaxy. By the time you return home, enough time may have passed that the Sun has changed stage, but you, human civilisation, must have changed stage. There is no way to travel so far, and populate so many worlds, without changing. My hope is that by the time you return home you are something else, something directly descended from humans but radically different both in psychology and in technological power, something capable of thinking at different time scales, capable of modifying star systems wholesale to suit your needs. And my hope is that, through all of this, you've retained the drive you were born with.

I wave my hands, and a miracle happens. It's far enough into the totally unpredictable future, now, that you can completely destroy a rocky planet. You can do anything you want.

 

 

Because what's the alternative?

Live on a single rock. Extract all its resources. Use it up. Never leave. Die there.

Geological time passes. The continents churn, until all the physical evidence of your existence is underground magma, unreachable even to hypothetical future palaeontologists descended from bears or ravens.

Astronomical time passes. All life expires. The Sun goes dark. Entropy wins. The Earth freezes into a solid black marble and revolves in absolute silence, dead, for a trillion trillion trillion years.

 

 

Human civilisation is pitifully insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. But this fact is not immutable.

Prove something. Destroy the Earth.

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Discussion (24)

2015-10-04 15:39:54 by qntm:

I wrote the first version of "How to destroy the Earth" on 3 April 2003. I reckoned it was worth revisiting.

This essay has been churning since about February but it took me some time to figure out the final section.

2015-10-04 16:52:35 by Jernik:

Well, I guess it's time to get started.

2015-10-04 18:26:22 by danarmak:

Why is is so hard to destroy the Earth for a space traveling civilization? Just collide it with enough planet(oid)s to deorbit it into the Sun.

How to move big rocks into Earth's path? Same way you'd send them to other stars, presumably. Or run a bunch of rocket engines off the atmosphere of a gas giant for a million years to move the gas giant (Niven, *A World Out Of Time*).

2015-10-04 21:58:40 by DanielLC:

I feel like destroying the earth is a lot easier than you're making it out to be. First, you need to design ultra high temperature solar panels and some kind of energy-powered rocket. I think shining a laser at it to vaporize the back will work well. Now you can set up a base on Mercury, and start building these solar panels. I don't mean for you to leave them on Mercury. They should be designed for *much* higher temperatures. Mercury is just convenient because it doesn't have much gravity and it's close to the sun, so you can get a close orbit from there. These solar power plants can then beam the energy back to mercury, which you can use to continue the process. Thanks to exponential growth, soon enough you'll have a Dyson sphere.

Once you have limitless amounts of energy, the only question is what to do with it. Interstellar travel is no longer all that difficult, so you should probably do that, but that's not a step in destroying Earth. You need to colonize the solar system until every available surface is used for people. Then keep going. Build space stations. Don't worry about things like air. You figured out how to upload people back when you achieved immortality. Just build computers. Keep going until there are no resources left. Congratulations; Earth is gone.

2015-10-04 22:22:44 by danarmak:

If you can build a giant solar-powered laser on Mercury, then you should shine it at a mirror and on the far side of the Earth, boiling its crust and deorbiting it reactively.

2015-10-04 22:23:51 by danarmak:

Or, you know, just build a giant space lens and boil the Earth directly.

2015-10-05 09:30:54 by Rory Cedwin:

I read htdte back in 200x. Enjoyed it immensely for its freshness and entertainment value.

So it was unavoidable that I'd think back to it as I read this "new version" and the contrast revealed something in the piece that felt impressive to me, I-don't-know-what. Your maturation as a writer, maybe.

2015-10-05 10:37:18 by jonas:

> Start easy, with Antarctica and the Sahara Desert.

On the scale of progress outlined in this article, how difficult would it be to colonize the bottom of the oceans on Earth, say a kilometer below the surface?

2015-10-05 16:22:45 by Drake:

This was an amazing read, to the point that I actually got chills by the end. Amazing stuff, Sam. Most better than your previous, already-great post about Geocide

2015-10-05 19:02:03 by billyswong:

For those few who said destroy earth is easy, read the old post please... http://qntm.org/destroy

Destroy earth is hard.

2015-10-05 20:00:18 by Salmon4:

jonas, it's probably harder than colonizing another planet. At about 1,500 psi at 1km underwater, you not only have to travel there (which is relatively easy) but you have to stay there and develop habitats which can withstand that pressure on every aspect. The closest comparison which I can make would be to that of the ISS. It's not too far away, somewhat difficult to get supplies to, and difficult to work around.

Heck, it's even harder to work 1k underwater than on the ISS because, in space, you can at least wear a semi-maneuverable suit to work on equipment. If you attempted that underwater, you'd be crushed.

Disregarding the pressure, however, I feel that a large settlement 1k underwater would be very feasible with current technology.

2015-10-06 02:06:19 by Anasp:

While I suspect that somewhere in the direction of a type-II civilization would be able to destroy the planet Earth with concerted effort, I appreciate that this essay takes it a great deal further and discusses how to destroy Earth as a concept, such that both the Earth and the process of destroying it no longer even mean anything.

2015-10-07 00:53:13 by itaibn:

Sam, I think you're making this a lot more challenging than it needs to be by demanding that one person will single-handedly play such a large role in destroying the Earth. You have already stated "You, alone, ...cannot destroy the Earth", but I don't think you're taking the idea nearly far enough. You have admitted yourself that this plan requires psychological parameters beyond the range of humans, as well an immense amount of luck. This task simply cannot be done by one person.

It certainly doesn't help that you demand that the person live to see the Earth destroyed. You say this is to be sure, but there are so many uncertainties in this plan that demanding certainty here is ridiculous. You cannot destroy the Earth with certainty, so your task becomes to increase the chance that the Earth is destroyed by as much as you can. Increasing the chance is your only goal, you cannot afford frivolities such as seeing through the plan to completion with your own eyes, or even dying with the knowledge of whether you'll succeed or fail.

So how can a person, perhaps just an ordinary person, increase the chance that the Earth is destroyed by as much as possible? Well, for now, the main obstacle is that you're the only person who wants it to. Other people have no interest in destroying the Earth, and many even want to preserve it. Your main task should be to change the balance, and convince as many people as possible to want to destroy the Earth. The exact plan for doing this should depend on your skillset, but here are some strategies to consider:

Become charismatic. Speak a lot, and learn to get people to listen. Write a lot, maybe get a blog. You want to get an audience that listens to everything you have to say.

Make preliminary plans. The point is not that you'll find a viable plan right away, but that you'll create a springboard for other people to make better ones. Make them interesting. Make sure that as many people as possible are discussing and thinking about destroying the Earth.

Romanticize the notion. Make the idea of destroying the Earth seem noble, or exciting, or challenging, something to be done by a select elite, something for people to prove their worth. Tie it in with other great accomplishments, make it part of a grand history.

Then, when you raise the call to arms, you can be certain that people will listen.

2015-10-08 17:39:25 by billyswong:

itaibn, are you reciting what Sam's doing in this post? So meta.

2015-10-12 12:40:30 by Silfreon8:

Fucking epic.

I recommend reading "How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars" at WaitButWhy.com if you haven't already.

2015-10-29 18:08:23 by Labrynian Rebel:

Man, this makes me nostalgic for the first time I found this site over a decade ago.

2015-11-30 05:12:11 by Alfred Schickentanz:

This is how i see the future

Homo Immortalis Omnipotent

Living in “Infinite Space-Time”! No more “human created secondhand God’s”!

The function assigned to GOD is now available through understanding
the Universe we are part of. We will be the Engineers of our own body chemistry, in the Infinity of Space-Time we can live forever.

Biotechnology will control the “aging process” (we don’t wear out, but are DNA programmed to age), and “involuntary death” will not exist any more.

Science, Gene Engineering, Nano Technology, Epigenesis, Astrophysics
etc. and Extra Terrestrial Migration will allow for “Goal Oriented Evolution”, leading to HOMO IMMORTALIS OMNIPOTENT.

The fact that you are reading this is a good sign.

Many people know that we all have to die, so anything that may undermine that believe will be avoided.

If this would be information confirming that there is life after death, which is something many of us deem possible, we would be more inclined to believe it. The reason is, that once we have formed a believe and have been influenced accordingly, we are more reluctant to reevaluate our acceptance of it.

Since I grew up in a katholik environment I was sure that by following the rules, I would go to heaven and presumable not be dead.

I am now over seventy years old and have lived and loved on five Continents. With the information and experiences I have been exposed to, I have come to the conclusion, that science will make it possible that we can keep on living here, instead of dying and going to heaven.

You may be inclined to believe in some form of life in heaven, because that is the opinion of confirmed authorities. I can assure you, that looking for information based on up to date science, leading to youthfulness and the avoidance of death, will not do any harm, but may give you more time to do so.

You probably ask, what is this about?

It is like a quantum leap. A move to a new state of being. In the material world it would be like the jump from the atom to a mineral. Or from a multicellular organism to a cerebral animal. Or from a culture that depends on an “idealized self projected image (God)”, to provide protection and escape from annihilation , to a society that uses science and technology to solve the problems of sickness and death.

The tools that propelled us from primates to “Homo sapiens sapiens”, will now be developed, so we will evolve to Homo Immortalis Omnipotent.

Of course there will be opposition from institutions that now have the monopoly on “Life after death”. They should not worry, because our need for entertainment will always exist. Even sincere moral and religious disapproval should not divert us from taking this next step in evolution.

Just like the hydrogen atom did not know that it would become the planet we now live on, even though it already contained the basic code leading to the status quo. We will realize that the abilities that we have assigned to our God’s, are now for us to acquire.

The only limit is our imagination! Freedom from death now!

2016-02-15 20:10:24 by Greg Maxwell:

We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard

2016-03-08 12:06:44 by Daniel:

He's saying that "if you want to destroy the earth, you may want to get off it (with the rest of humanity) first"

2016-05-21 08:19:31 by tarrybear:

But what if we are merely constrained holographs of an immortal cosmic force with illusions of substantive content composed of both the physical and the intellectual? Destroying the earth could then be deemed irrelevant, a delusional exercise in phantasmal dexterity.

2016-05-28 15:37:19 by Eragon:

I love how this turned from "Destroy the earth" to "Become supreme ruler of the galaxy!" It really is an inspirational thing to read this. The last three lines especially are great because it puts everything into perspective and give a real reason to do something. It even gives us a goal!

Sam, You are an amazing author and I really think you could and should write a series of books on this particular topic. At least you should write a series like you did with the Ed stories and Ra because I think we all would love to read a story about someone who one day read this and took it all to heart. I want to see someone go on this journey, gain the drive, and really put effort into destroying the earth. Completely removing it from this universe may not be where the story gets to or ends but I think it's a good place to aim and find a way towards.

As always, I love all of your work and hope to see even more awesomeness.

Thank you, Sam. Keep being amazing!

2016-12-31 05:48:27 by JK:

Someone on reddit linked "I don't know, Timmy..." and prompted a reread of this.

Only now, though, have I realized why the URL is "destro":

You already wanted to understand how to destroy the earth - but now, you [k]no[w] [wh]y.

2016-12-31 14:59:10 by qntm:

It's more because both the title and the URL have been shortened slightly from the original.

2017-01-28 23:34:52 by Redsplinter:

I was not disappointed.