Six places to nuke when you're serious
August 9, 2006 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Six places to nuke when you're serious
posted by lupus_yonderboy (75 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bet this guy's a real hit at cocktail parties.
posted by TheNakedPixel at 11:36 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll take the frivolity of these "glass parking lots," wherever they are, thanks.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 11:40 PM on August 9, 2006


What about Beijing, Shanghai Moscow, Dehli, Mumbai and Chennai?

Surely capital and very large cities of actual nuclear armed powers would be far more dangerous than Tehran.

People should think about these things through more thoroughly.
posted by sien at 11:47 PM on August 9, 2006


Welcome, Mr. Anissimov, to the FBI watch list. Would you like your file in classic brown tones or a fashionable green duotang?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:47 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


What if you weren't serious? If you were feeling jolly, for example, who should get nuked?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:54 PM on August 9, 2006


The way I figure
Nuke the moon

(with apologies to George Carlin)
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:55 PM on August 9, 2006


If I was feeling jolly, I'd pepper a smiley face onto the moon. That would be neat.
posted by wilful at 11:56 PM on August 9, 2006


I was with him up until he said

Many of the intelligent people reading this post will agree with me without hesitation.

If your essay doesn't say it well enough, you might want to consider a re-write.
posted by lekvar at 11:57 PM on August 9, 2006


I don't buy any of the geological ones. Too hard to do it right; you wouldn't be able to get it to work on the first try.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:03 AM on August 10, 2006


Mr. Roboto: Everything works on the first try when you're serious.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:05 AM on August 10, 2006


Everyone knows that you don't nuke the moon, you write your name on it with a laser.
posted by scodger at 12:08 AM on August 10, 2006


chair...
posted by sourbrew at 12:34 AM on August 10, 2006


#7: wherever assholes talking about nuking stuff and making humourless lists are.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 12:35 AM on August 10, 2006


damn it was just cha


posted by sourbrew at 12:36 AM on August 10, 2006


" if other Muslim countries like Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey got involved, the West would be dealing with a force at least an order of magnitude more powerful than Hitler was"

What a foookin' idiot. Germany had this thing called a military-industrial complex, an über-professional officer and NCO corps, and significant advantages in technology, equipment, doctrine, and training.

Not to mention spiffy uniforms.

All the muslim armies would be looking real stupid when we flip the IFFs over and cause their (our) war materiel to become inoperative.

If it really came down to a 'totalkrieg' WW3, the muslim world would be find themselves self-interned in their own cities in short order (not to mention rounded up stateside like the Japanese-Americans were).

This line though:

"and Iranian troops would likely be dispatched to Israel under half an hour after the event"

does illuminate why the neocons had a hard-on to oust Saddam: the Iranians have gotta go through us now to get to our Israeli pals.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:47 AM on August 10, 2006


My plan is to lasso the sun and rope Earth into a fatal orbit!

Many of the intelligent people reading this post will agree with me without hesitation. narf!
posted by carsonb at 12:54 AM on August 10, 2006


Someone's been listening to a little too much of the Moz.
posted by shoepal at 1:12 AM on August 10, 2006


sourbrew: "Later, the "C" is destroyed by the Tick as part of a partially successful mission to return the moon to the way it used to be.However, in a running gag, and an uncommon demonstration of continuity for a cartoon, the "HA" remains inscribed on the moon throughout the rest of the episodes of the series."

Back to topic - I beleive that this subject is no different (though well less presented) than a couple of chapters in Douglas Coupland's book "Life After God", in which he writes about the "inevitable" nuclear attack that quite a few people, myself included, grew up under in the 1980's (scroll down to "The Dead Speak"). "I was in the mall when it happened..." and he goes on to write about what the last few seconds of life would be like. The article could've been prefaced with something a little more introspective and/or personal, and it wouldn't come off as being so much of another voice in the wilderness. I remember having read an article on the Chumbawamba site in regards to a potential terrorist strike, and how devastating it'd be if they'd actually have the wherewithall to hit an nuclear reactor. Any one. The fallout would devastate the surrounding area and everything within the prevailing winds for decades to come. After all, it isn't about the whole 'flash' thing, it's the cumulative effect that's deadly. Though the 'plosion looks so good for the cameras.
Ha. Ha.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:13 AM on August 10, 2006


I don't buy any of the geological ones. Too hard to do it right; you wouldn't be able to get it to work on the first try.
--mr_roboto

"Let's get some trustworthy nitwits to simultaneously hijack a handful of jets with boxcutters (intelligent people can see where I'm going with this) and fly them with little flight training past the scrambled US military jets and plop two of them smack dab in the perfect spots of the Twins to cause chain reactions from metal-moltening heat so that said buildings implode themselves better than professional demolition crews. Widespread pandemonium ensues pushing the world toward WWIII, which we all know is the real desirous dirty deed we are pushing for."

"Osama, you been smokin' too much of the wacky weed again."

Conversation heard near an air-conditioned desert brothel.

/tin-foil hat cracker jack commentary.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 1:25 AM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


can't remember what story it was from (i wanna say earth by david brin?) but in it there was a doomsday device that consisted of orbiting nukes that, when detonated at the poles, would tilt the earth off its axis... i remember thinking that was pretty admirable in its own geniously evil creative way :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 3:12 AM on August 10, 2006


Carsonb gets a brownie point for the Pinky & The Brain reference.

What are we going to do tomorrow, Brain?

The same thing we do every day, Pinky: try to take over the world by exploding a 20-megaton nuclear device in the Yellowstone Caldera in order to activate multiple super-volcanoes that will induce the equivalent of nuclear winter around the world! Seriously!
posted by slimepuppy at 3:13 AM on August 10, 2006


And since we're talking WMD theory here, my favorite is kinetic harpoons.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:17 AM on August 10, 2006


I wonder what kinds of interesting repercussions would result if Jerusalem got nuked -- and nobody took credit for it.
posted by pax digita at 3:23 AM on August 10, 2006


Could we blame bevets?
posted by biffa at 3:31 AM on August 10, 2006


AI is dangerous? The guy's a loon.
posted by spazzm at 4:09 AM on August 10, 2006


" if other Muslim countries like Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey got involved, the West would be dealing with a force at least an order of magnitude more powerful than Hitler was"

Let me second the idiocy of the this statement. He never had me convinced, but when I read that, I flipped the switch to "whacko."
posted by Atreides at 4:33 AM on August 10, 2006


Why does he think Turkey would get involved on the behalf of Iran, rather then the west? Stupid.
posted by delmoi at 4:39 AM on August 10, 2006


The rods from god/ project thor/kinetic harpoon idea is just stupid. It would cost millions and millions of dollars just to put a single rod into orbit. And although you'd have a huge amount of energy when it hit, it there is no guarantee that will 'explode' or do anything other then just get buried in a deep hole.
posted by delmoi at 4:48 AM on August 10, 2006


I remember on 9/11 thinking it was sci-fi, no one would ever believe flying a plane into the Twin Towers would cause it to collapse.
posted by stbalbach at 5:14 AM on August 10, 2006


Six places to nuke when you're serious

What? No Amish Popcorn Factory?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:20 AM on August 10, 2006


He left out Muncie.
Please?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on August 10, 2006


And although you'd have a huge amount of energy when it hit, it there is no guarantee that will 'explode' or do anything other then just get buried in a deep hole.

Since energy cannot be destroyed, only turned into other forms of energy, that hole would have to be very deep indeed. Where else would all that kinetic energy go?
posted by spazzm at 5:48 AM on August 10, 2006


I was just thinking about this this morning. Weird. I was thinking Jerusalem would be at the top of the Islamofascists' list.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:15 AM on August 10, 2006


Since energy cannot be destroyed, only turned into other forms of energy, that hole would have to be very deep indeed. Where else would all that kinetic energy go?

You answered your own question.
posted by delmoi at 6:19 AM on August 10, 2006


Uh-huh.
posted by spazzm at 6:31 AM on August 10, 2006


Well duh, you'ld nuke the shield generator, then send fighters into the equitorial trench to drop a torpedo down an exhaust shaft. Come on people, do I have to draw you a picture?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:31 AM on August 10, 2006


You forgot Poland.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:40 AM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


AI is dangerous? The guy's a loon.

Well... he's a singulitarian and transhumanist. He's a very smart guy who is consistent within the framework of his beliefs.

(personally, I'm a singuskeptic, but the mind-bending debates that crowd gets into make for excellent reading.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:42 AM on August 10, 2006


You can tell he's not serious when he leaves out. . . Texas. . .
posted by mk1gti at 6:43 AM on August 10, 2006


With the right tech, living conditions of persistent darkness is not difficult at all. I’m not talking tech from hundreds of years into the future, but only a couple decades. When you can be on the surface and everyone else is forced underground, it isn’t hard to start establishing global superiority. And if you establish it really well, it can be preserved indefinitely - in the case of dictators taking advantage of extreme life extension, thousands of years. This sounds like science fiction, but the possibility is very real. Many of the intelligent people reading this post will agree with me without hesitation.

Can anyone please explain exactly what the hell he is talking about? Too many comic books, kid...
posted by prostyle at 6:53 AM on August 10, 2006


I was just thinking about this this morning. Weird. I was thinking Jerusalem would be at the top of the Islamofascists' list.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:15 AM EST on August 10 [+] [!]


That's a whole lot of stupid packed into a short comment.
posted by empath at 6:57 AM on August 10, 2006


He's a very smart guy who is consistent within the framework of his beliefs.

That doesn't help much if his beliefs are loony.
And I see no evidence of him being 'very smart'.
posted by spazzm at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2006


This is just silly. He doesn't explain why he chooses these targets over others and the geological ones aren't thought through (hint, you'd have to bury the nuke foir these to work).

And once any city in the US gets nuked, it's over for pretty much all of the middle east, and probably also anyone else who isn't a firm ally. The US has over 10,000 warheads that are on average 250 kilotons each.

Anyone interested in a serious analysis of this topic should look for a early to mid 1980 public DoD assessment that includes cites, number of deaths, fires, nuclear winter, etc. for every major city in the world. It's exhaustive and unimaginably horrifying.

This site is nonsense.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:26 AM on August 10, 2006



With the right tech, living conditions of persistent darkness is not difficult at all. I’m not talking tech from hundreds of years into the future, but only a couple decades. When you can be on the surface and everyone else is forced underground, it isn’t hard to start establishing global superiority. And if you establish it really well, it can be preserved indefinitely - in the case of dictators taking advantage of extreme life extension, thousands of years. This sounds like science fiction, but the possibility is very real. Many of the intelligent people reading this post will agree with me without hesitation.


There is help.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:29 AM on August 10, 2006


he missed a couple

1 mecca ... that's pretty obvious

2 a nuke hundreds of miles above the east coast ... the electro-magnetic pulse fries every piece of electronic equipment and makes modern life impossible for awhile in many states
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2006


can't remember what story it was from (i wanna say earth by david brin?)

Wasn't Earth the one where they created a black hole in a lab and it got loose and was threatening to eat the Earth's core, and also some stuff about the Maori?

Because if that's Earth, now I want to know what book you're talking about, with the poles etc. Pretty neat.

On topic, I think pretty much every problem we have these days arises from people being consistent within the framework of their beliefs. Nobody seems able or willing to preach outside the choir. Or to even step outside their choir to listen to what the others are saying.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2006


Six candy bars to eat when you're serious
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:41 AM on August 10, 2006


I wonder what kinds of interesting repercussions would result if Jerusalem got nuked -- and nobody took credit for it.

There was an interesting Sheri Tepper novel in which aliens attempt to "clean up" the Earth. One of their more creative acts is the removal of Jerusalem with a statement along the lines of, "If you can't share it, you don't get to play with it.."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2006


Well... he's a singulitarian and transhumanist. He's a very smart guy who is consistent within the framework of his beliefs.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:42 AM EST on August 10 [+] [!]


He isn't smart. There's an arrogant little dig on the front page about "poorly educated fiction authors" doing the same speculation he does.

It seems like this is a guy who's seen soo many movies and so many books about the subject that he's convinced himself that the singularity and transhumanism or whatever are inevitable. I lump in Ray Kurzweil in that group. It seems like all they do is talk about the subject with other people who are into it.

On preview, what Dominant Gorilla said.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2006


If you were feeling jolly, for example, who should get nuked?

Oh, oh, the Dutch!

Please, please, let's nuke the Dutch!
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:46 AM on August 10, 2006


I thought it was interesting. It's just one guy's opinion - don't take it like he's the world's authority on mayhem.

Anyway, the key thing is there's not a damn thing we can do about any of it. So, whatever.
posted by fungible at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2006


Anyway, the key thing is there's not a damn thing we can do about any of it. So, whatever.

Sure there is. Just tell a good joke before they press the button and it'll no longer be serious!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2006


What, no Bestoria?
posted by Captaintripps at 8:00 AM on August 10, 2006


I was just thinking about this this morning. Weird. I was thinking Jerusalem would be at the top of the Islamofascists' list.

That's a whole lot of stupid packed into a short comment.
Yep. Ignorant may be the better word. But whatever it is, it's quite an accomplishment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:01 AM on August 10, 2006


With the right tech, living conditions of persistent darkness is not difficult at all. I’m not talking tech from hundreds of years into the future, but only a couple decades. When you can be on the surface and everyone else is forced underground, it isn’t hard to start establishing global superiority. And if you establish it really well, it can be preserved indefinitely - in the case of dictators taking advantage of extreme life extension, thousands of years.

Strangelove:
Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plantlife. Animals could be bred and slaughtered...

Turgidson:
I think we should look at this from the military point of view. I mean, supposing the Russkies stashes away some big bomb, see. When they come out in a hundred years they could take over...
posted by PlusDistance at 8:04 AM on August 10, 2006


Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plantlife. Animals could be bred and slaughtered...

That's all well and good, until you realize that in his scenario everyone else is underground. This is why statements like "When you can be on the surface and everyone else is forced underground, it isn't hard to start establishing global superiority" are absolutely inane. It's like Atlas Shrugged with nukes - who is going to run these reactors, these greenhouses and these animal farms? Nobody, because you're a genetically engineered dictator and the only one free to roam the surface... what are you going to do, embody a post-apocalyptic Thoreau, living on the lake of fire with your thousand year self now that all the stupid little proles are forced underground? Stupid.
posted by prostyle at 8:23 AM on August 10, 2006


MetaFilter: Many of the intelligent people reading this post will agree with me without hesitation.
posted by Zozo at 8:38 AM on August 10, 2006


"2 a nuke hundreds of miles above the east coast ... the electro-magnetic pulse fries every piece of electronic equipment and makes modern life impossible for awhile in many states"

Thank you. I was wondering where the high-atmosphere EMP was on his list.
posted by Eideteker at 8:49 AM on August 10, 2006


CynicalKnight writes "If you were feeling jolly, for example, who should get nuked?

"Oh, oh, the Dutch!

"Please, please, let's nuke the Dutch!"


What.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2006


What.

No, seriously, it'll be awesome. And I swear it won't hurt a bit.

Just to be a good sport, I'll go first.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:19 AM on August 10, 2006


countries like Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey got involved, the West would be dealing with a force at least an order of magnitude more powerful than Hitler was

In hell, I read that to Hitler during the brief pauses between his endless beatings. He sort of chuckled before blood ran down his little mustache. So I think he agrees.

All the muslim armies would be looking real stupid when we flip the IFFs over and cause their (our) war materiel to become inoperative.

Even Hitler doesnt know what that means. Iff? Identify friend or foe? Isn't all their shit old russian crap anyway?
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2006


6 Places to Nuke when you're Drunk:

6) Sealand. Fuck those guys.
5) One of those atolls they used to nuke back in the day - hah!
4) Burningman, man. Burningman! It'll be AWESOME!
3) How do you even know the nukes work? Try pressing
posted by freebird at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I’d agree with the bit about not having to be psychotic to do this. Which is really the worrying bit. Anyone who would actively (and sucessfully) work towards this level of destruction would have to be possessed of a stable intellect. Some rational people commit suicide or go on killing sprees, it’s a matter of displacement. Something this big though would take a Bond villian level of work, and no one is going to get that kind of cooperation from anyone with any kind of savvy much less a mass of people without it being leak-o-rama. So most of the nuts like this get shunted into government work where their ambition is put on display. It’s really a quite effective way of neutralizing them.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2006


sien writes "Surely capital and very large cities of actual nuclear armed powers would be far more dangerous than Tehran.

"People should think about these things through more thoroughly."


It would be a bit of a boring list though don't you think? Like someone listing their 20 favourite songs and including all the songs from the white album individually[1].

delmoi writes "And although you'd have a huge amount of energy when it hit, it there is no guarantee that will 'explode' or do anything other then just get buried in a deep hole."

Where do you think all that earth that used to be where the hole is now is going to go? What temperature do you suppose it'll be at?

[1] Yes, all 30 tracks.
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2006


I lump in Ray Kurzweil in that group. It seems like all they do is talk about the subject with other people who are into it.

That's unfair. From ^:
Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition system, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first electronic musical instrument capable of recreating the sound of a grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition system.
Sure, the guy has his singularity hobby horse. But he's more than earned his riding time.

Of course, when the darkness spreads across the planet, his army of fanatical blind followers will be in the perfect position to take over.
posted by Sparx at 2:45 PM on August 10, 2006


goodnewsfortheinsane, I took it as a reference to this.

But since I work for a Dutch-owned company, I'm not entirely against the idea.
posted by Cyrano at 3:40 PM on August 10, 2006


Yeah I got that, I'm just being wilfully obtuse. (In fact, I saw that film in a tent together with close to a thousand Dutch, but I digress.)

So, um, okay, I'll just crawl back into my, uh, shell.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll just say that the guy clearly thinks 1 megaton bombs are several hundred times as destructive as they are known to be, if he thinks planting one, even optimally, in Yellowstone is going to do anything spectacular. Some geysers might burp a little, and there'd be an additional groundshock on that day due to the explosion, in a place that has hundreds of minor groundshocks a day. Otherwise, nada, I bet.

A supervolcano is hard to start on any human schedule, and impossible to stop once it accumulates the necessary force itself.
posted by paulsc at 5:34 PM on August 10, 2006


Yeah, what paulsc said.

This has come up before on MeFi. There's a huge gulf between even the most powerful nuclear weapons—even the combined force of all existing nuclear weapons—and geological events. Sure, perhaps someday we might understand a complex system like the geology of Yellowstone well enough that we'd be able to place a 10MT bomb just exactly right such that it creates a chain of events that leads to the explosion of the supervolcano. And, perhaps, such a futuristic analysis would find just such a weak spot to conveniently be where a nuke could feasibly be placed. So maybe, just maybe, when that unlikely future day comes, we can worry.

Right now, supposing such a thing is possible or these energies are comparable is just stupid.

People vastly overestimate the destructive capability of nuclear weapons when they put them in the realm of geologic releases of energy. One way to get a reality check on this would be to look at how the Chinese proposed to use nukes in the early Three Gorges proposals in the fifties and sixties—look at how many they would have needed, and how little effect they would have had compared to fantastical thoughts of blowing mountains out of the way.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:04 PM on August 10, 2006


So, um, okay, I'll just crawl back into my, uh, shell.

*tips hat*

Well done, Sir.
posted by Cyrano at 8:54 PM on August 10, 2006


God, what a facinating article.
posted by squidfartz at 10:02 PM on August 10, 2006


there was a doomsday device that consisted of orbiting nukes that, when detonated at the poles, would tilt the earth off its axis...

Isn't that Damnation Alley, or at least the movie thereof? Starring the Landmaster, and also George Peppard and that guy, always wore a shirt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2006


It occurs to me that if you have a nuke...you are serious.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:25 AM on August 11, 2006


If you'd like some fascinating reading, check this out: http://www.blackvault.com/documents/ADA359603.pdf

It is a Cold War report from MIT detailing how Russia could use many small nuclear weapons pinpointed at key economic targets (e.g. refineries) to send the US back to the Stone Age.
posted by supremefiction at 10:13 AM on August 11, 2006


Underground Nuclear Explosion youtube
The approximately 80-kiloton LONG SHOT device, buried 2300 feet underground, was detonated on October 29, 1965. As part of the Vela Uniform Program, LONG SHOT’s primary purpose was to find ways to detect nuclear explosions underground using ground-based seismic instruments.
posted by prostyle at 10:36 AM on August 11, 2006


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