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The Plowshares Program
Dreamed 2017/11/12 by Wayan
I'm reading Soonish, half science reporting, half futurist guesswork, with a dash of mockery. Maybe not enough mockery. For example:
- Nanobots? The authors dismiss the risks of gray goo on the first page, and then enthuse about all the nano-fun to come--smart furniture, smart stoves, smart clothes. I want dumb stuff you can rely on to stay put. Well, I also want to strap the authors down and make them watch the right horror movies. Hackable houses, power tools, clothes? Idiots.
- Space access? An elevator, railguns to space, reusable rockets. None will be cheap; the Cold Equations don't allow it. The price to space may drop to $1000/kg or even $500, but not $1, not $10, not even $100. Oh well! Speaking of shortcuts to space, there was a Canadian named Bull who really built a space gun... for Saddam Hussein, the only guy who'd fund him. Mossad assassinated him. Such a peaceful world.
- Asteroid mining? The authors admit it's more about living in space really, not so much about sending metal back to Earth. Regular shipments from space are like dropping warheads daily. Slip and you burn a city! We'd all be vulnerable to incompetents, terrorists, and, of course, incompetent terrorists.
No shortage of those.
I'm in a nuclear test site, underground, on an endless spiral stair round a sealed central column two meters wide--the borehole and cladding, I assume. We're not testing a warhead; this device is designed for fracking or excavation. Part of the Plowshares Program! But didn't that end with the Cold War? Guess not.
The countdown's just minutes from zero.
A woman in a lab coat and I are both down here late--really should be up top by now. She finished her last-minute work, and we run up the stairs. Exhausting, endless... we were deep.
A barrier comes down, sealing off the stair above us! Aaaack! Luckily she knows the code, or hacks it, and after a minute's delay, she gets us through.
Four minutes to go.
Keep climbing--sweating, heart pounding. Make it up to the surface.
Sand, but not desert--a long ocean beach facing north. We need to get as far as possible in case the seal doesn't fully hold. I think it won't--we were down there checking, and it looked bad.
The wind's from the east, so I grab her hand and yell "run!" and head upwind of the potential radioactive plume...
At least it's flat. Run run run run...
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Anxious climb & run: every few weeks, I get an attack of low fever, chills, sweat, tachycardia and adrenaline rushes. After this dream I woke feverish. I think the attack started in my sleep, and the dream's trying to explain my relentlessly pounding heart; what better way than to force a sustained climb and run?
- Fear in endless corridor, delayed by security barrier: just before sleep, I started Dream On by Kerstin Gier, a story with a dream-corridor full of doors to others' dreams. A monster chases Liv down that corridor; she makes it to her own door, but it's slow to open. Tight security has risks!
- Radioactive cloud from botched underground test: real. Soonish described an underground test during the Plowshares Program (a Cold War plan for 'peaceful' use of nukes): a radioactive cloud burst out and the VIPs (who'd come to see how safe & clean A-bombs could be) all had to flee. Sure highlights the Oops Factor in high tech.
- ACTION: uh... "Don't trust experts"? Wait, did I ever? They've done so well...
LISTS AND LINKS:
underground dreams -
spirals & helixes -
digital dream art -
a 2nd fleeing/countdown nightmare:
Bike from an A-Bomb -
a 2nd tachycardia/running dream:
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