Jay Lake tours a Titan missile silo

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27 Responses to “Jay Lake tours a Titan missile silo”

  1. Yamara says:

    I really don’t know which is more troubling.

    1) The attitude that nuclear annihilation is a thing of the past.

    2) Pyros making a rousing gendercidal manifesto… while in her/his weblink trying to sell me insurance.

    I will say that making the experiment to kill off all male humans would be safer and more recoverable than an old-fashioned WWIII.

    Either would break the insurance industry, though. You’ve been warned.

  2. Technical Writing Geek says:

    It’s OK, the Russians and Chinese are both getting more militaristic, so these missile silos won’t be lonely for much longer. I even wonder how many of us want humanity to survive such a conflict.

  3. gyusan says:

    I think military ruins are initially interesting, but eventually boring.

  4. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Pyros feels strongly about issues — spirals in, has a little trouble getting out again.

    DLR, if you think the evening news is leftist or liberal, I’d like to know how to tune into the broadcast channels coming from your home planet.

    Gaetano, you’ve been warned before about posting unrelated ads for your own site. You’re suspended for two weeks. If you want to post comments for their own sake, come back after 27 November. I’ve also removed the URLs from your previous comments.

  5. DLRGeek says:

    I think I’m in love with PYROS. :)

  6. Pyros says:

    1. @DLRGEEK

    >>”Currently, Power follows a masculine or male ethos. Domination, control, etc. We are inculcated with the idea that this is somehow necessary and it is consequently the only way we imagine or understand power. Europe is getting away from this a little while America is becoming further committed to it.”
    “Diplomacy doesn’t stop communist countries from developing first strike
    nuclear weapons behind the scenes. Ask your local UN weapons inspector”
    You are making two unsupported arguments by this statement: 1) diplomacy will always fail; and, 2) nuclear arms races are inevitable. So it’s just no use, eh? Knowing that the communists are going to develop NWs obliges us to do the same thing and vice verse? No way out? That’s a rather grim thought. Hmmm….Maybe. Kind of gets back to John Von Neuman’s game theory, right? Something tells me that if all of the human ingenuity and work that went in to making these missiles went bombs went in to thinking about creative ways that there construction might have been avoided I have a feeling that we could have figured it out. If, one the other hand, a serious effort had been made to devise a solution and it was determined that no solution was possible (imagining that such a thing could be provable) even I might have no moral qualms about applying for a job as a janitor in one of the bomb factories.
    I think that the avoidance of war should be made in to some kind of science, but I’ve never heard about this being done. People just assume that they know fundamental truths about human nature, but I question these assumptions. Remember that England and France, to take but one example, were at war for centuries. Three hundred years ago no one could have imagined that there could ever be an end to their continual warfare. Now it is almost just as difficult to seriously imagine that they will resume their wars any time soon. So is war inevitable?
    >>”I consider true democracy to be a manifestation of another kind of power arrangement which I would characterize as being less male-centric and more feminine in a way because it is ultimately about a conversation. The better the conversation, the better the democracy.”
    In a utopian society maybe, but in the real world, money and power talks.
    The little hippie gathering with flowers and rose pedals won’t get us
    anywhere, and will make us lose any respect as a nation we might have left.
    No thanks on the femininity. You can keep that for day care centers, it
    has no place in serious politics. All the freedom you enjoy wasn’t handed
    to us, it was literally fought over. In our early colonial pre-revolution
    society, the British would of been more than happy to listen to peaceful
    negotiations and arguments from the states, and hang everyone once the meetings
    were adjurned. I think balance is the key (Soft/Hard).
    If you’re talking about “the real world”, I would have to say that I couldn’t agree with you more. In the real world, people want power. Hey, I want power too! That’s the whole point of distributing power so that it is not concentrated in the hands of a few people (usually males). Maybe you aren’t aware of how emasculating this arrangement is, but I for one don’t think any amount of gun owning or SUV driving will adequately compensate. These things, BTW, are merely pornographic avatars of power in the sense that they are the illusion of power without any of its true substance. In a sea of emasculated men, obviously these fantasy power objects are necessary so men don’t go completely insane.
    >>”Of course war mongers always justify their violent fantasies by pretending that there is some threat which must be defended against. But then these threats suddenly vanish one day and they are never talked about again on the evening news when it is no longer convenient!”
    Which evening news, the typical leftist liberal media “news”?
    Yes, that news.
    >>”Ultimately I wonder whether we are eternally locked in to some kind of ancient ape pattern of thinking which obviates true progress. That is why I ask whether transcendence is possible.”
    You must not very fun at parties.
    Two words for you, DLRGEEK: DOUBLE REVERSAL
    @Kyle Armburster
    Wow… Pyros, are you, like… From the past or something? I’ve only ready about such gender-fixated lunacy. I kept thinking you were joking, but… Wow.
    How could someone not be from the past? I don’t understand your question I guess. BTW, I WAS joking (well, except for the part about the blowing out of brains and the incineration of children). That said, I’m not sure if you understood the thrust of my argument, so to speak.
    @BZISHI
    “Pyros, sometimes a thermonuclear weapon is just a thermonuclear weapon. It really isn’t necessary to assign it a gender.
    One of the things that I find so striking about people who fixate on assigning gender motivations for every object or action is how Aristotelian they go about it. It isn’t about defending their theory about gender motivations–it is more about assuming that their theory is correct and then taking it to the logical conclusion regardless of how silly the explanation sounds. Aristotle’s “Problems Connected with the Drinking of Wine and Drunkenness” is a good example of this. I suggest you read it to see how silly your statements might appear to others.”
    Your quote is from Sigmund Freud who happened to smoke cigars so of course he didn’t want anyone to think that he had a phallic sensation. But if you view this behavior through the lens of Freud’s own ideas you would have to conclude that maybe he did.
    Metaphorical language can be used sometimes to make a point and it isn’t meant to necessarily be taken literally. For me the issue is quite simple and frankly not something that can be assailed by argument. It boils down to this: males in the animal kingdom will assert dominance. Power is not willingly shared in most cases. To some degree, in my mind, these weapons, along with so much else, represent a manifestation of this basic male impulse. The question in my mind has to do with whether we are eternally constrained to a certain kind of primitive way of being and acting, or whether it can somehow be transcended. Maybe it can’t be transcended, and I’m willing to accept that, but I think we ought to give it at least one chance.
    @Yamara
    My website is not trying to sell you insurance. It’s information about insurance so you don’t get screwed. It is, of course, a failing concern if you that makes you feel any better. Anyway, how do you suppose it is yours to cast judgment? Is trying to help people save money on insurance evil in your view? And to address your last comment, nothing will ever make the insurance industry go away. Don’t even talk like that.

  7. Pyros says:

    Teresa Nielsen feels weakly about issues–spirals out, has a little trouble getting in again.

    Of course I feel strongly about issues. Should there be any other way to feel?

  8. Dave X says:

    @PYROS – I think Teresa was trying to say something nice about you. From your comments, it’s pretty clear you’re a passionate sort of person, but you DO get bogged down telling us about it in such detail.

  9. Pyros says:

    @Dave X

    (To your second point) Constitutional infirmities, what can I say.

    (TO your first) I know that what I wrote could be taken as being defensive, but I was my way of being playful.

  10. treq says:

    there’s a titan II missile silo in southern AZ that has been fully maintained and turned into a working museum, makes for an interesting and somewhat creepy visit:

    Titan Missile Museum

  11. TAR ART RAT says:

    When I first heard about this I thought it was the coolest thing ever, filling the imagined image of an underground system of rooms and tunnels with comic-book-grade diabolical schemes and primary colors, BUT if you look into fotos and whatnot, the reality of it seems so much more scary, grim and bird-poopy. Alas.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/10/titan_missile_base_for_sale

  12. Pyros says:

    Most implements of warfare are phallic projections proudly displayed, but not so with nuclear missles. The symbolic weight of their ability to bring death is so great that man’s genital ideation and impulse is for once overshadowed. These giant poisonous penises are not symbols of veriility but symbols of death and must therefore be hidden away in burial chambers underneath the earth.

    Fucking men and their fucking nuclear missles.

    Completely absurd that we wasted trillions of dollars on these goddamned things and now they are a roost for birds.

    Is transendence possible?

  13. Pyros says:

    These sepuchral remnants are silent witnesses to man’s vain penile obsession and to the violent rape–the repeated and unwelcome penetration–that has been perpetrated against humanity. We have all been so profoundly fucked by our so-called leaders who can’t seem to stop their impulse toward increasingly violent fantasies of domination and control. Instead of health care, instead of safety nets for the poor and disadvantaged, instead of beautiful and harmonious cities, we have these we have these empty silos.

    When they remove the missles, when they call off the Communism scare (espeically when Chinese slave labor is the very thing that now makes capitalism “work” (arbeit macht frei!)), or the terror scare, or whatever ridiculous thing they will next use to provide a rationale, we will not be offered either an explanation nor an apology, and this is classic rapist behavior.

    We stagger around like lost and confused victims only occasionally capable of making some half-backed, shrill and feckless protest. We foolishly and politely request of the rapists to stop raping us, relatively unaware of the fact that these futile and desperate pleadings are what give the rapists the greatest amount of pleasure in the first place.

    I say its time to fuck the makers of war. They have diseased minds. Further, it has become quite clear that the male ethos of power is defunct.

    I for one look forward to the day when power has a more maternal color–where it is distributed and shared, and things are talked about a little before we immediately resort to rape and the blowing out of brains, and the incineration of children.

  14. elNico says:

    #2+3, are you for real? Too much Ballard?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you wouldn’t want to launch a nuclear missile as you would a space shuttle. I’d take a bet the over/underground question might lead to many more plausible and practical reasons, admittedly less dramatic, though.

    And how many more Margaret Thatchers and Condoleezza Rices do we need to bury that naive assumption that women “just don’t do war”. Oh right, they’re forced to…I forgot.

  15. elNico says:

    We stagger around like lost and confused victims only occasionally capable of making some half-backed, shrill and feckless protest.

    Quite obviously…

  16. Pyros says:

    @Elnico

    “And how many more Margaret Thatchers and Condoleezza Rices do we need to bury that naive assumption that women “just don’t do war”. Oh right, they’re forced to…I forgot.”

    Men are capable of being good leaders and women are capable of being bad leaders. What I was referring to is something a little more subtle than you characteize.

    Currently, Power follows a masculine or male ethos. Domination, control, etc. We are inculcated with the idea that this is somehow necessary and it is consequently the only way we imagine or understand power. Europe is getting away from this a little while America is becoming further committed to it.

    I consider true democracy to be a manifestation of another kind of power arrangement which I would characterize as being less male-centric and more feminine in a way because it is ultimately about a conversation. The better the conversation, the better the democracy.

    I would simply ask that you not get hung up on metaphorical language meant to describe one set of symbols meant to describe another set or at least a set of abstract ideas. It’s not really about men vs. women exactly, and I would hope that the conversation would not become about this diversion or about the technical reasons why it is better to store such weapons under the ground as opposed to above it.

    I would prefer to talk about the trillions of dollars we chose to allocate to these programs. I would argue that we built these weapons at the expense of larger society just as we contine to prosecute the war in Iraq at a similar expense.

    Of course war mongers always justify their violent fantasies by pretending that there is some threat which must be defended against. But then these threats suddently vanish one day and they are never talked about again on the evning news when it is no longer convenient!

    Americans underwent decades of what amounted to government sponsored propaganda about Communism. We were made to think that the threat was so large that a massive nuclear weapons program was necessary. The Soviet’s accepted the pissing contest and as a result drove their country in to bankruptcy.

    I was just pointing out the absurdity of our having made such a big deal of Communism when that was the threat du jour and now it is no longer presented that way even though the Chinese are still Communists. To my mind it undermines the credibility of the threat makers. Of course we can’t villify the Chinese too much since they’re the ones who make American capitalism possible in the first place. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this irony so framed in the mainstream media.

    Ultimately I wonder whether we are eternally locked in to some kind of anciet ape pattern of thinking which obviates true progress. That is why I ask whether transendence is possible.

  17. Pyros says:

    @Elnico

    Are you going to offer reasoned argument or just silly taunts? Is it some kind of pissing contest you are after? Domination? Control? Violence?

  18. elNico says:

    Men are capable of being good leaders and women are capable of being bad leaders. What I was referring to is something a little more subtle than you characteize.

    Sorry, I guess I missed the subtlety here…

    Fucking men and their fucking nuclear missles.

    Look, I’m not trolling and no, I’m not after Domination/Control/Violence (???) when making a comment on BB…I just thought your first comments were ludicrous. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with the follow ups…

  19. DLRGeek says:

    >>”Currently, Power follows a masculine or male ethos. Domination, control, etc. We are inculcated with the idea that this is somehow necessary and it is consequently the only way we imagine or understand power. Europe is getting away from this a little while America is becoming further committed to it.”

    Diplomacy doesn’t stop communist countries from developing first strike
    nuclear weapons behind the scenes. Ask your local UN weapons inspector.

    >>”I consider true democracy to be a manifestation of another kind of power arrangement which I would characterize as being less male-centric and more feminine in a way because it is ultimately about a conversation. The better the conversation, the better the democracy.”

    In a utopian society maybe, but in the real world, money and power talks.
    The little hippie gathering with flowers and rose pedals won’t get us
    anywhere, and will make us lose any respect as a nation we might have left.
    No thanks on the femininity. You can keep that for day care centers, it
    has no place in serious politics. All the freedom you enjoy wasn’t handed
    to us, it was literally fought over. In our early colonial pre-revolution
    society, the British would of been more than happy to listen to peaceful
    negotiations and arguments from the states, and hang everyone once the meetings
    were adjurned. I think balance is the key (Soft/Hard).

    >>”I would simply ask that you not get hung up on metaphorical language meant to describe one set of symbols meant to describe another set or at least a set of abstract ideas. It’s not really about men vs. women exactly, and I would hope that the conversation would not become about this diversion or about the technical reasons why it is better to store such weapons under the ground as opposed to above it.”

    Underground weapons are strategically the better option. ;)

    >>”I would prefer to talk about the trillions of dollars we chose to allocate to these programs. I would argue that we built these weapons at the expense of larger society just as we contine to prosecute the war in Iraq at a similar expense.”

    Again, in the real world, real countries have real weapons. The glow-in-the-dark
    kind.

    >>”Of course war mongers always justify their violent fantasies by pretending that there is some threat which must be defended against. But then these threats suddently vanish one day and they are never talked about again on the evning news when it is no longer convenient!”

    Which evening news, the typical leftist liberal media “news”?

    >>”Americans underwent decades of what amounted to government sponsored propaganda about Communism. We were made to think that the threat was so large that a massive nuclear weapons program was necessary. The Soviet’s accepted the pissing contest and as a result drove their country in to bankruptcy.”

    Fiction can be fun. Bad economic policy, and state ownerhip is what killed Soviet Russia. Please keep your facts straight.

    >>”I was just pointing out the absurdity of our having made such a big deal of Communism when that was the threat du jour and now it is no longer presented that way even though the Chinese are still Communists. To my mind it undermines the credibility of the threat makers. Of course we can’t villify the Chinese too much since they’re the ones who make American capitalism possible in the first place. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this irony so framed in the mainstream media.”

    China doesn’t make American capitalism concept possible, it merely contributes.
    We were doing just fine before China decided to sell us low-quality, sweat-shop
    goods, and never buy any American products in return.

    >>”Ultimately I wonder whether we are eternally locked in to some kind of anciet ape pattern of thinking which obviates true progress. That is why I ask whether transendence is possible.”

    You must not very fun at parties.

  20. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Wow… Pyros, are you, like… From the past or something? I’ve only ready about such gender-fixated lunacy. I kept thinking you were joking, but… Wow.

  21. jjasper says:

    There’s something profoundly poetic about that image — the birds which fill the very cities these missiles were meant to destroy were now nesting in the abandoned cradle of nuclear fire. The wind was capricious as well, whipping and whining around the silos like the ghosts of lost missilemen still carrying their twin launch keys, reaching out across the span of two arms wondering if this time it was not a drill.

    Way to alliterate, Jay. A bit over the top on the intense packing of metaphor, but if anything should have a profound emotional impact, it’s a missile silo.

    It was if something large were weeping deep beneath the earth.

    Best line in the whole write-up.

  22. Gilbert Wham says:

    “Which evening news, the typical leftist liberal media “news”?”

    Where is this left-wing, liberal media news? I’d like to watch it sometime, see what it has to say…

  23. elNico says:

    Awwww, anyway…there was a link on the blog entry that is actually far more interresting…

    Frames and image maps…it wasn’t all bad! This is a fascinating low-tech tour…

  24. elNico says:

    And what sort of gender-related topic could be seriously discussed under “jay-lake-tours-a-tit.html” anyway…

  25. gaetanomarano says:

    about rockets…

    I’ve added FOUR updates to my Ares-1 article with some NEW calculations that (clearly) show WHY the new Ares-1 can’t fly:
    .
    .

  26. Dave X says:

    I don’t know… in some ways, the nuclear missile programs were really great. They’re a sort of big boondoggle for the government to pour money into– they might have provided a large number of jobs, technical innovation, and redistribution of wealth the govt’ obviously didn’t need to hold on to all that much… and the best thing was that ultimately, these were never even used. I mean, look at all the photos of rusting machinery and giant constructions… had to be great if you were working there, I’m guessing inside folks knew it was BS, and probably still do.

    The possible mistakes of it all scare the crap out of me, but I’m not going to act like this is anything but a pissing contest. I think we only escalate it as citizens by taking it all so seriously.

  27. bzishi says:

    Pyros, sometimes a thermonuclear weapon is just a thermonuclear weapon. It really isn’t necessary to assign it a gender.

    One of the things that I find so striking about people who fixate on assigning gender motivations for every object or action is how Aristotelian they go about it. It isn’t about defending their theory about gender motivations–it is more about assuming that their theory is correct and then taking it to the logical conclusion regardless of how silly the explanation sounds. Aristotle’s “Problems Connected with the Drinking of Wine and Drunkenness” is a good example of this. I suggest you read it to see how silly your statements might appear to others.

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