Thursday, January 04, 2007


LANL Caught in the Vice of History

The following comment from Pliny, the Elder (a.k.a.--you guessed it!--Anonymous) is so damn scary, I just had to give it its own post. After reading it, I felt a constriction in my chest; you will, too, I bet. ... Unless you are floating atop some corporation (limited liability or not).
--Pat, the Dog


In the final days of the American Empire, fear was everywhere to be seen. More people were incarcerated in American jails than in any other country on Earth. Government and corporate spying on citizens was all-pervasive, whether legal or not. The ends always seemed to justify the means. Extra-legal 'preventive actions' were a necessity for the common good. It was all so obvious. Why couldn't the few un-patriotic American see that this was all a necessity? But, in truth, these were the actions of a sick society, choking on the paranoia that frequently results when a population is consumed by the ever-present fear that, somehow, in some major way, "The End is Near."

Citizens can always sense this. It's like a virus that quickly spreads among a population. The Greeks experienced it. The Romans felt it, too. And now, like all other great societies, moral corruption had eaten through to the core of the American psyche. The public had a growing sense of it. And in this type of milieu, it was only natural for a majority of the citizens to attempt one last chance to "get what's due me" before the growing dry rot brought down everything.

Captains of industry pilfered unbelievable treasures from their corporate shareholders and employees. The cult of celebrity trumped artistry. Belief trumped science. It was the best of times for a chosen few, but the worst of times for many. Easy riches were there for the taking if you could only lower your standards. And for most people, they could, as time was clearly running out.

-- "History of America", Pliny the Elder, 2050 --

Anonymous sent me this:


Big RRW news for the National Labs is about to break. Whoever wins, it's important to realize that Congress has been saying that funding for RRW is probably going to come out of existing lab budgets. The most likely pot of money to be raided would be Stockpile Stewardship. Also, the RRW effort may end up being more of an engineering project, rather than a science project.

I'll go out on a limb and project that LANL wins the design competition, but only because I'm partial. If LANL does win, it could end up have a big effect on the culture at this lab.


Federal officials select design of new H-bomb - Jan 2, Inside Bay Area News

Top Pentagon and Energy Department officials have chosen the first new, nuclear-weapon design for development since the end of the Cold War. While details await an announcement as early as this week, the new warhead must live up to a whopping sales pitch.

As early as this week, the weapons council is expected to announce its selection of the first reliable replacement warhead, designated "RRW-1."

Unless Congress says otherwise, the lab with the winning design can expect potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in future work, engineering the computerized design into a prototype over the next three or four years, then refining the warhead for mass production. The first warhead is slated for manufacture in 2012.


I wonder what Pliny, the Elder will say about this piece of ... folly ... in 2050 A.D..

I will work for a charge code until I can retire.
In the year 2007, a big bru-ha-ha emerged among the televised talking heads who incessantly chattered from the Famous Dead Men palaces along the great Potomac River. Lytonius Brookus, a rotund, jolly-faced fellow, had come up with a most Grand Idea. It involved an ingenious scheme to bilk the good citizens of America out of many billions of dollars in return for something called the Robust Replaceable Warped-Head. Lytonius promulgated the idea that the brain material that existed between the ears of most American citizens could turn to mush at any moment. The solution, he said, was to remove this brain material, haste forth, and replace it with new material constructed from sturdier stuff. This, he said, could be done in such a manner so as to extend the brain's lifetime to a much greater extent.

Fortunately, Lytonius was quickly viewed by his fellow citizens as a complete nut-case (i.e., Frutus Lupus). Most citizens where quite happy with their existing brain material, even if it did perform a bit more slowly with each year of advancing age. Besides, with powerful desktop computers now performing the majority of decision-making for most citizens, why even bother with such a dangerous upgrade? Nevertheless, when Lytonius attempted to demonstrate his Robust Replaceable Warped-Head idea in front of a large crowd of fellow Potomacians, it resulted in a most grotesque mess.

After his failed demonstration, Lytonius was forced to retreat to the Southern Lands of Florida and spent the rest of his life collecting large sums of navel lint from haggardly drunkards, which he then sold to unsuspecting tourists as premium-grade Woolly Mammoth wool.

-- "History of America", Pliny the Elder, 2050 --
Thanks, Pliny! Keep those contributions coming!

-Pat, the Canine Student of History (2007)
"Friday, June 01, 2007

LANL Caught in the Vice of History"

Your blog seems to be caught in the vise of the future.
Good eye, Frank! I wondered if anyone would notice this auspicious date: the end of the First Year of the New Contract on LANL.

I wonder if there are any students of history ... at LLNL!
Are you Livermore folks paying attention in class here at Living History at LANL 101?
Hello? ...

--Pat, the Prof
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