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A Defense of Dirt

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Pacmantacco's Avatar Pacmantacco
Level 38 : Artisan Taco
Recently I asked a group of people what they thought the most useless block in Minecraft was. The answer among them was generally the same, dirt. But I strongly disagree. Sure dirt may not be the prettiest of them all, but its many practical uses outweigh the lack of aesthetics. Here a just a few examples of why dirt is far from the most useless block.

1. Agriculture:
This one is fairly straight forward. Dirt is the only way you can grow crops, such as carrots, potatoes and wheat, to provide a renewable food source. "But can't you just eat meat?" you are probably asking? Sure that's always an option. But in order to maintain your food supply of meat, you need to move region to region as the animal populations begin to thin out. However with crops, you can easily supply a stationary and reliable food supply. "But can't you breed animals?". Well good observation. This brings me to my next point.

2. Breeding and Livestock:
If you want to make a reliable source of food from animals for long periods of time, you'll have to breed them. But how will you do that if you can't grow crops? Think about it, all animals that drop food (cows, pigs, chicken, etc.) require crops to breed and reproduce. Also, sheep require grass in order to regrow wool. After all, shearing them is far more efficient than killing them for their wool. But how will you bring grass around if there is no dirt?

3. Scaffolding:
Dirt is an especially good block for scaffolding because of it's availability in large quantities. Dirt can also be fairly easily broken by hand. This makes a great choice for scaffolding compared to a block like cobblestone. Cobblestone is a pain to break by hand, and you don't get it back once you finally manage to break it. If your tool was to break while you many blocks in the air, you'd be in a bad situation. Whereas with dirt, you could easily dig your way back down by hand.

4. Terraforming:
In order to replicate the massive rolling hills of green and the mighty towering mountains, you're going to need a base. Dirt is a great choice as it looks natural and is a familiar sight when recreating an environment. Don't want a world made of cobblestone, do you? You may think dirt is useless now, but if you ever want to build a floating island, you are going to have a fun time gathering all the resources for it.

5. Propagation of Grass/Mycelium:
This especially comes into play if you don't have access to a silk touch pick or in skyblock related worlds. Dirt paths can be used to transport the ever so rare mycelium from mushroom biomes or grass to your floating islands.

6. Mob Repairs:
Great for patching up damage caused by creeper explosions and sneaky endermen.

7. Temporary Structures:
This can range from short terms staircases and bridges to temporary huts. Need a shelter to survive the night? Dig up a few blocks of dirt and create small hut. No need to pretty it up if you're leaving it in the morning. Have a mountain you can't get up? Staircase of dirt to the rescue!

8. Camouflage:
It may not be pretty, but sometimes you need stay out of sight. A well made bunker can help you hide in plain sight if it is placed right and made right. Dirt is an excellent choice for these kind of homes. Like I said earlier, they easily blend in with the environment and grass can propagate onto them. Plants can also be placed on it for added effect.

9. Tree Farms:
Dirt is an absolute must for planting and growing saplings.

10. Armor, Tools and More!:
Wait... you can't do this?!!?!?

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12/03/2014 10:24 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Bronze_robot's Avatar
THE most useless block is a dead bush.
01/02/2014 4:57 pm
Level 29 : Expert Musician
Infekterade's Avatar
the most useless block is probably sponge. right now it has no current uses and looks pretty bad.
08/11/2014 10:10 am
Level 1 : New Miner
LuddeN1001's Avatar
I would agree too, if it weren't getting any use in 1.8...
01/02/2014 5:00 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Taco
Pacmantacco's Avatar
I would agree!
05/15/2014 12:34 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
owlcool's Avatar
I would agree to, barly any blast resistance.
12/20/2013 8:09 pm
Level 42 : Master Pixel Painter
telamonianajax's Avatar
Ugh, your taking up my spot on the pop-reel!
jk! Nice blog!
Mine was on the main page pop reel for like half an hour, then it went away :/
12/20/2013 8:12 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Taco
Pacmantacco's Avatar
Thank you! :DI remember seeing your blog! It was very nicely done!
12/20/2013 8:13 pm
Level 42 : Master Pixel Painter
telamonianajax's Avatar
lol. we have different opinions… mine is painfully incoherent :D
12/20/2013 5:00 pm
Level 45 : Master Robot
jiraph52's Avatar
I'd say the most useless block obtainable in survival is either Diamond Blocks, or Mushroom Blocks.

Who uses diamond blocks? They are way to valuable to use in a beacon, too rare to build with.
Mushroom blocks; You can get them with silk touch, but what uses are there?
12/27/2013 9:49 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Crafter
Skymantis's Avatar
i'm just reading the main comment on this there good for storage and showing off when you have had that world for a long time or on a server they make good trades plus they look really nice
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