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Re: How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse



On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 07:40:50AM -0700, Mirimir wrote:
> On 07/27/2018 06:04 AM, John Newman wrote:
> > On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 10:58:31PM -0400, Steve Kinney wrote:
> 
> <SNIP>
> 
> >> I like Douglas Rushkoff, or his work at least:  I make a point of
> >> reading everything of his I can get my hands on.  He seems to have
> >> mastered the art of presenting information in a context that never quite
> >> crosses the line to offend Liberal and Oligarch sensibilities, but the
> >> data itself tends to convey an inherently radical message to anyone with
> >> more than half a brain & clue.  He has often been been the first to
> >> bring the most useful and interesting "new stuff" to (nearly) mass
> >> market audiences.  Students of propaganda should not miss the Rushkoff
> >> canon.
> > 
> > I think Kurzweil and most of the other "futurists" out there are
> > really just shity wannabe sci-fi writers. Cory Doctorow excluded
> > perhaps, he can actually write at least, and hasn't staked his name
> > and career on predictions of some sort of technological ex machina
> > that will save humanity from its own over-indulgence and inability
> > to think in the long term.
> 
> Cory Doctorow is cool, and all, but his fiction is ~lame. I like the
> ideology pretty much, but the writing just doesn't grab me. But then,
> I'm rather into action porn, so hey.

LOL! I've never read any of his novels, just a few short stories, a long
time ago. I can't remember what I thought of them particularly (which is
a bad sign I guess). But I know a lot of people dig it, and I think its
at least real literature, not "futurist" daydreaming. 

I think we are on the cusp of an existential crisis, and the world is
about to burn down around us ... :)  Literally, even.

> 
> Anyway, I'm reminded of Old Bill Burroughs' stuff about the rich
> planning to escape Earth on nuclear-pulse-driven ships. He didn't flesh
> it out, but it basically involved planetary-scale destruction.

Neal Stephenson used a nuclear-pulse ship, based on a lot of real
research that went into Project Orion, in Anathem. It's a cool idea, and
it's something humanity could more or less do right now - if the people
with the money had any interest in such things. I really like Anathem,
probably read it 3 or 4 times.. one of my favorite NS books.

> Now of course, the g-forces involved would have killed everyone in the
> ships. But consider Vinge's ships, combining bobble tech with nuclear
> pulse propulsion. Bobbles, for those who don't know Vinge's stuff, are
> spherical stasis fields. Inside the bobble, time stops for some set
> external time. So from the outside, bobbles are perfect spherical
> mirrors. To everything, including acceleration. And you can have a
> complex structure, with configurations of bobbles nested within bobbles.
> So basically, the ship periodically drops a nuclear device, bobbles and
> rides the shock wave, and then de-bobbles and repeats. And there's no
> limit to the size of the nuclear devices. Could be the entire planet :(

I need to read some Vernor - I don't know his stuff at all, but actually
own a couple paperbacks (unread, obviously). Too many fucking books, too
little time.

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