Thursday, November 10, 2016
Safeguard ABM Monolith
If you've never seen this thing before you will be astonished.
Was only in business a short time before Congress realised the ABM strategy was to fire missiles at incoming missiles. People tried to explain to politicians that stopping a nuke with a huge fireball was better than allowing it to continue to it's target ... the only part they heard was "huge fireball."
Really colossal pyramids of the Cold War. Massive megalithic structures with enough concrete to shield it even against near-misses. Experts believed these structures might survive with crews even if one megaton weapons went off less than 500 feet overhead or within a 1/4 mile of a ground burst on the lip of the crater.
My stepfather was telling me once that his company AT&T had access and maintenance tunnels running from one of these pyramids to it's companions even as far as fifty miles away. The level of sophistication was amazing for the era, with L-4 coaxial carrying signals over wide area networks that ran on a protocol called X.25 before TCP-IP was even created. Even back in those days when optical fibre was really expensive tech they were almost completely optically isolated. They did not have web browsers back then but they did have the concept of "screens" of text which described input and interaction that were sent as binary blocks of data in response to a specific "request." The natural evolution of Mozilla from these early experiments was probably an organic process in response to the secret "web" of users who had access to these networks. We will never know how much of the internet came from the technology required to survive nuclear war but it is fair to say that it is the hidden substructure of the paradigms we take for granted now.