Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Links

  • The above is from the National Transportation Fuels Model at Sandia Labs.  It models the processing and distribution system for oil and petroleum products with a view to predicting what would happen in the event of damage to or attacks on the system.
  • It turns out that US cyber-spying is every bit as wide-ranging as Chinese cyber-hacking of US firms.
  • Indeed, the US now pretty much has the legal framework of an authoritarian regime, even if it's a good way from using it to the max.
  • A time lapse visualization of every nuclear explosion since 1945.  Starts off slow but becomes strangely hypnotic as it gathers speed.
  • An interesting analysis of what would happen to a particular US city (Pittsburgh) in the event of an extended power outage affecting the entire city.  Things would start to go south pretty badly after the first few days.


Michael R said...

Nuclear tests.

You look and wonder what they were thinking. It's amazing we're still alive.

Stephen B. said...

Funny you should say that Michael. Following Stuart's link, I eventually found this one:

Stuki said...

Hard to say what "using [legal framework of an authoritarian regime] to the max" would mean, but there is little reason to believe those with access to "use" it, are somehow composed of individuals notable for their restraint.

Every regime with access to large sized jackboots, also have access to highly developed means of propaganda and indoctrination. As long as people can be led to believe that those ruling them are somehow "different this time" (from rulers supposedly scarier in other times and places), it is cheaper to rely on the two latter means of making them behave in a way deemed appropriate.

But if you look at how people straying even a bit off their assigned, well indoctrinated, reservation are treated in the US today, there is precious little to be complacent about. If you're not being dragged off to Gitmo, aren't having your children kidnapped, or aren't forced to go against your beliefs and principles by armed thugs, it's only because you show no interest in doing anything that appears meaningfully threatening to The Party.

WRT nuclear explosions; while they undoubtedly suck to bee caught too close to; as this video demonstrates, they're hardly the inevitable harbingers of immediate Armageddon popular imagination make them out to be. People are generally fairly resilient, and live on a large planet. They, at least some of them/us, can cope with, and find ways to thrive in the presence of, all kinds of newly introduced stresses.

Michael R said...

Dispatches from Planet WTF:

Stuart Staniford said...


Wow - I didn't know it was that close. Those guys are heroes for sure.