Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Post apocalypse

See this post over on Carl's place. Powerful indeed.

I do a lot of driving around for work, and I sometimes take back roads. On one such trip, I found myself in the shadow of the Braidwood reactor. [please excuse the use of the greenpeace picture. in these terror minded times, it's somehow not surprising that they're the only ones willing to publish photos of nuclear reactors. they have maps, too! of course, now I'm drawing attention to it, so I'm a jerk too I guess.] Anyway, it is a fully functioning modern reactor, and even still the area around it is bleak looking. Even the architecture is ugly. I suppose there's NIMBY and then there's NIMBY.

Also, what happened at Three Mile Island.

Do we distrust nuclear power, or do we really distrust our fellow humans not to screw up? A common theme, and I've fallen for it too, is that when choosing a US President we ultimately go for the guy we trust the most with The Button. It comes up, more or less, every election. Similarly, the fear of flying. The conversation goes:

Guy1: Why are you afraid of flying? You've more statistical chance of getting killed on the drive to the airport!
Guy2: Because I'm not in control.
Guy1: You fly a 737-400 better than the pilot?
Guy2: [sputter] You know what I mean!

No, I don't. I have plenty of irrational fears. But they're irrational and I don't indulge them.

I've hijacked my own soapbox! All I set out to do was send a shout-out to Carl-O, and now I'm screaming about the weak minded. Which makes me a little weak minded too, doesn't it?

To summarize. Wasn't there a time when those men who harnessed powerful forces of nature were considered heroes? We looked in awe, not mistrust, of those braver than us?


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