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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Doomsday Device 
19th-Sep-2007 11:49 am
I thought this idea was safely buried after Dr. Srangelove. It popped up in an episode of Eureka called "Dr. Nobel" in the form of an old computer that could destroy the planet. And, as I have learned since, the USSR evidently took the idea seriously.

But now we have two other problems. Problem 1: Computers are inherently buggy. You know, all computers have bugs. Each new version of every operating system comes with a learning curve and software becomes obsolete on all platforms. This won't be the exception to the rule. Problem 2: we now have people irrational enough to explode dirty bombs on Russian territory and cut a phone line just so they can defeat the infidels. This wasn't the scenario the creators of the device had in mind, but it mimics the one they planned for: nukes in Russia and a phone problem. And then we have problems.

And how would I suggest, ever so gently, to a government worried about its world standing that they respond to this problem?

I'm not sure I'm the right guy to talk, but if I had the chance, I'd say, "Just how comforting do you expect any exercise of this to be?
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