Despite all the obvious problems with the world, and they are many and severe, for most, the world goes on, much as it always has.
What pink elephants? There are no pink elephants here! When was the last time you even *saw* a pink elephant? Why are you worried about pink elephants, you freak….
I must even admit to never having seen a rapefugee, raghead terrorist, raghead terririst atrocity, or, going back in time here in the UK, an IRA terrorist atrocity, or their aftermath, first hand and in person…
This, of course, does not mean that none of these things ever happened, it’s just the gobally connected media thing, and that is a sword that cuts both ways.
Despite not seeing any of this stuff here, globally connected media means I can link up with a terr’rist group and radicalise myself as easily as I could link up to an anime cosplay group and convince myself that I was just one amongst many of similar ilk, not the only freak in the village / county.
It’s not just us little people that are psychologically primed to over react in this way, the martians have landed radio play broadcast in the states decades ago proves the susceptibility, I have witnessed (personally) people in positions of power and influence suddenly start reacting as though a situation or threat was up close and personal, the moment the comms came through…
There are *very* few good hard SF writers that *properly* take into account the effect of light speed propagation delays in their writing, depending on orbits the delays to Jupiter are between 33 and 53 minutes, a global thermonuclear exchange could conceivably start and end before the residents in a Jupiter orbital colony even knew anything was wrong, and this is ONE WAY comms, double it for two way, an Alpha- Centauri colony you’re talking 5 years.
This is what we are used to, for most of human history news travelled as fast as a horse, slower, much slower, at sea…. the journey time from London to New York could be cut by two days just by getting a train to Plymouth or Falmouth and sailing for there instead.
Trump alluded to this in a recent speech, he was talking about security and hacking, Patton would send and recieve written orders via courier, more secure than via the internet, was the point Trump was trying to make.
Being “on the ground” meant something when you had communication delays, but nowadays in the 21st century, data links in a submarine cable UK – NZ you’re talking 0.07 second, less than human motor reaction time to blink an eyelid.
It fucks us up.
We are not used to it.
The world economy is now built on infrastructure where in High Frequency Trading (HFT) moving 250 miles closer to another computer, even at lightspeed propagation, makes enough of a difference you can complete a whole transaction before the other guy even knows there is a transaction available.
The infamous dead tesla driver whose autopilot did not “see” a semi tractor and trailer, lifetimes worth of CPU cycles passed in which the autopilot did nothing at all.
Faith and dependency in the systems has risen to such an extent, people mock the now deceased tesla driver, while living in blissful ignorance of the very similar MHz systems making decisions 24/7 that actually do have life or death consequences.
Please tell me why the guy who died in the tesla is an asshole, but anyone who buys a high end can or motorcycle in 2016 is not? When the high end car or motorcycle is “drive by wire”.
By “drive by wire” I mean there is no physical cable connecting the throttle to the carburretor or injection pump, the throttle is an electronic device connected by electrical wires that do not even send analogue DC voltages, but digital data signals, to the ECU, which in turn talks to the throttle body digitally and electronically.
NOTHING but programming to stop it going to WOT in 0.01 seconds, just like nothing but programming to stop the Tesla driving into a truck at 75 because it did not “see” it.
Buy a new Ducati for example, and WOT isn’t even WOT, you can open the twistgrip 100%, but depending on perceieved speed, gear selected, engine RPM, and so on and so forth, the actual throttle body is limited to 50% opening, a nightmare for dyno tuners, a nightmare for riders too I would have thought…
Human error is a bastard, roger your fire mission, 20 rounds of HE bearing 128.74 range 17.8 km downrange,fire for effect, no shit you bastards WE are 17.8 km downrange, the ENEMY is 18.7 km down range… but it all takes TIME at human speeds.
In the 21st century the systems work so fast that multiple programming loops and decisions are made before the first round has even left the barrel, roger that master control program, 20 rounds of crockett mini nukes fire for effect bearing 178 range 1.2874 km… WTF…
So the yanks have at least 20x 100 kt plus nukes in turkey and the turks have surrounded the base, in the time it takes the base commander to sip his coffee there is time for the US based systems to send 10,000 different orders and queries to various systems there, so “the man on the ground” isn’t, you don’t call the shots any more than the “manager” of a supermarket does, he gets 1000 orders a day from HQ (don’t forget I have literally seen this in my day job, defrost freezers number 3, 5 and 9 today, etc) so the man on the ground is eliminated in favour of the virtual man on the ground thousands of miles away, who *will* see things differently.
And so 20+ x 100 kiloton devices go off as a ground burst just north of Ankara…. or the south china seas, or Poland….