For Cosma Shalizi, Daniel Davies etc

by Henry on March 26, 2006

Avram Grumer on power law extrapolations and the “Gillette Singularity”:

(Via “Making Light”:



lemuel pitkin 03.27.06 at 2:07 am

Apropos of nothing really, but I just finished Spin and it’s as good as everyone says.

I.e. really amazingly good.


joel turnipseed 03.27.06 at 4:39 am

Ah, let us not forget the old Onion piece that started this line of joking. That said: the Mach 3 is one kick-ass razor (note to Gilette marketing folks: I’m absolutely not going to try that abominable thing you call Fusion, or even think to attempt adding a battery to my Mach 3, which is, to my mind, the apotheosis of the shaving experience).


bad Jim 03.27.06 at 5:10 am

It’s still too early to tell if beards will be more common in the twenty-first century than they were in the twentieth, but they’re more fashionable now than they were a hundred years ago, at least for men.

Buicks used to sport a variable number of portholes, ostensibly for a supercharger. As best as I can recall, their number never exceeded four. As strange as it may seem, there are limits to what people can be sold. [One might approximate an infinitely-bladed razor with an emery board or a scouring stone.]

I’ve reverted to an electric razor to smooth my neck for occasions when I need to wear a tie.


aaron 03.27.06 at 5:57 am

Cool! Reproducing nanobot razors that cut hairs as they grow. Just 9 years away.


Uncle Kvetch 03.27.06 at 9:16 am

Ah, let us not forget the old Onion piece that started this line of joking.

I seem to remember a Saturday Night Live sketch that predates that Onion piece by about 20 years, based on the exact same joke. Can anyone corroborate?


eweininger 03.27.06 at 9:38 am

Uncle Kvetch is absolutely right. To the best I can recall, it was a faux advertisement, and began with a closeup of a three-bladed razor accompanied by some super-portentuous music. The punchline had John Belushi insinuating that if you believed this was real, you were basically a gullible dolt.

I don’t think it reflects badly on the era to point out that, in the late 70s, this was hilarious.


lemuel pitkin 03.27.06 at 11:51 am

Not to mention this classic Dave Barry column:

I bet an urgent memo has already gone out in Gillette’s marketing department. ”Hold some focus groups immediately!” it says. “Find out what number comes after four!”


Maynard Handley 03.27.06 at 8:20 pm

If something cannot go on forever it won’t.
What the graph clearly shows is that shaving as we know it will not exist in 2015. I take this to mean that biotechnology will have provided us with a virus that modifies our facial skin cells so that they no longer grow beard/moustache hair.

(Meanwhile in the real world, I would have to agree that Mach3 is a kick-ass razor, and that Quattro is actually step backwards. The extra size or something of the Quattro head means that it doesn’t handle small puckered areas like just above the lip at the right or left edges very well.)

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