Saturday, June 23, 2007


TECHNOCALYPS: The fusion of utopian dreams and apocalyptic fears of the millennium [Michael Grosso]

Well, I’m not the only one to ponder these grim musings, as I wouldn’t be able to so easily fill them out with web bits, and the one for today was Dead Hand.

From wikipedia…


Dead Hand (aka perimetr[1]) was a Cold War era nuclear control system used by the USSR.[2] It is an example of fail-deadly deterrance, whereby an overwhelming response is automatically triggered if the USSR's leadership were to be killed in a decapitation strike.


Related is the Dead Man Switch, often found on trains. The engineer has to keep a positive pressure on the control, and if he lets go, the engine shuts down. I used to operate stand up forklifts that were like this. The forklift moved when you pressed down on the power pedal, and as soon as you stepped off, it stopped immediately. It was a remarkable tool to operate in the narrow three tiered storage aisles plucking pallets heavy with…souvenirs… This was at the Magic Kingdom’s warehouse, where I worked one summer, and then some. If by mischance I fell off the forklift it would stop on it’s own.

“On it’s own” is kinda the key to all this.

I see a relation with the Dead Hand and the Singularity. Here’s a description of the Singularity from somewhere (one can find sources easy…just google a distinctive phrase).


The Technological Singularity is the hypothesized creation, usually via AI or brain-computer interfaces, of smarter-than-human entities who rapidly accelerate technological progress beyond the capability of human beings to participate meaningfully in said progress.

A long time ago I tried to explain all this by comparing it to something chemistry student’s study…a super saturated solution, or even the boiling of water. Dissolving a solid in liquid has a limit, and when the saturation point is reached the solid precipitates to the bottom. Solids can be made to precipatate with temp changes, or adding another chemical. Water heats up until it reaches it’s boiling point, and then there’s all those bubbles.

Global Warming, it’s thought, may progress in a hidden fashion, the ocean absorbing more and more heat, and then reach a point where a “cascade” of events happen. Boiling bubbles in water is a cascade, as is the solid that percipitates out of solution. Letmego find cascade…

Cascade chemistry

"Cascade reactions, also known as domino reactions, are multibond-forming processes in which the first reaction creates the functionality/geometry necessary for the second reaction to proceed, and so on.

Falling dominos. I think that’s been use by the politicians for their metaphors!!

A movie quote:

. . .across the count of time. . .

. . .down the long haul,
into history back.

I sees the end what were the start.

It's Pox-Eclipse, full of pain!

And out of it were birthed
crackling dust and fearsome time.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome


Coming home Finding Nemo was on, the only movie that can make me laugh at the travails of memory loss.

A movie quote:

"Swim Down"

Finding Nemo

Now Alias is on...

Tree in the Door
June 23, 2007

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