Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mass Games Human Computer

  [vote for,

North Korean Mass Games are impressive, but can get a bit boring to watch after a while, which is a shame considering all the effort and months of preparation that go into them.

So why not make better use of those hundreds of thousands of performers trained to the highest standards of discipline and do something really cool with them? I suggest "re-enacting" a giant human desktop computer.

For instance, performers could stand in a square grid at a separation of 50 cm. Each performer can now stretch out their arm(s) and place their hand(s) on the shoulders of three other performers (front, left, and right). Then you let each performer memorise a carefully rehearsed set of instructions (eg. IF the person behind you places both hands on your shoulders AND the person to your left places one hand on your shoulder THEN place your left hand on the left shoulder of the person in front, ...) As you can already see, each performer can now act as a logic gate.

100,000 performers standing in a 300x300 grid would act as the CPU. Similar grids would fulfill the function of RAM, motherboard ,and graphics card (each grid is dressed in a different colour for the visual effect). For the monitor you could simply utilise the usual brigade of 60,000 schoolchildren sitting on the spectator benches, each of whom can hold up a red, green or blue card (yielding a quite decent resolution of 200x300 pixels).

Ok, this computer won't be able to compete with the latest quad core machine. But it would probably allow Kim Jong-il to play Tetris or Pacman (at least the easy levels). Without having to worry about the all too common power outages that plague the country! Plus, he would be actually be interacting with his beloved people, rather than just passively watching. Think of the publicity.

kinemojo, Aug 30 2007

Mass Games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Games
[kinemojo, Aug 30 2007]

(?) A picture illustrating the scale of the event http://www.flickr.c...s/gazjoe/487764996/
[kinemojo, Aug 31 2007]


       This is fricking genius. I wonder how many people you would need to re-enact some of the first computers and experiments, I'm guessing under a thousand.   

       Actually, this could be used to create a quantum-style (or similar) computer with more than 2 states.
marklar, Aug 30 2007

       I once daydreamed this as a healthy, outdoor way of teaching children what goes on inside computers. [+]
pertinax, Aug 30 2007

       For the monitor pixels, you could provide each child with a ball or tetrahedron, with red, green, blue and black sides. Or maybe just a different child for each color, and provide them with colored umbrellas.   

       The monitor scanning would have to be some sort of chant or count, with each child watching for their on/off signal. It could be done. [+]
baconbrain, Aug 30 2007

       Very cool.   

       I'd never heard of Korean Mass Games before now. Thanks.   

       If you're going to completely abuse state power, persecute and starve millions, and hold people in thrall to your personal deification, I guess you might as well be half-baked about it. (I like the idea, but not the North Korean connection. This is like proposing new improved gas ovens for the Holocaust.)
DrCurry, Aug 30 2007

       It is all too easy to be culturally biased, chauvinistic about what we consider socially acceptable.   

       That being said, it is extraordinary to me to realize that there really are people who consider that type of a social system beautiful, with its extreme dehumanizing controls to ensure a semblence of imposed order. I wonder if it is reasonable to call an entire nation insane, because that is the word I am tempted to use.   

       Now, all that having been said, it doesn't mean this isn't a terrific half-baked idea. But unfortunately I have to withhold my bun for the sickness I feel inside for an oppressed people.
globaltourniquet, Aug 30 2007

       Yeah, but does it run linux?
wuss, Aug 30 2007

       i just lost three hours of my life to understanding the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader. i will never be the same. <puts on poofy mu-mu and walks away smiling and waving flag>   

       as to your idea... yeah, sure. synchronized swimming, except above water and with thousands of people displaying GNP spreadhsheets. actually, the Beloved, Great, Awesome Leader should have thought of this by now. he could be running Windows XP on the backs of the so-called republic if he'd just been on the ball. now i'm not so sure he *is* such a great leader. : (
k_sra, Aug 30 2007

       Good anno by [drCurry]
zeno, Aug 31 2007


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