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(Real Clear Science)   From the files of 'pleasant thoughts' questions: How big would a nuclear war need to be to upend human civilization as we know it?   (realclearscience.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Nuclear weapon, nuclear warheads, Nuclear weapons, Scientists Joshua M. Pearce, Nuclear Autumn, Nuclear proliferation, Nuclear warfare, nuclear weapons  
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2617 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2019 at 8:47 AM (25 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



133 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2019-12-04 7:56:36 AM  
Once chocolate and tea imports are disrupted, civilization as we know it is over.
 
2019-12-04 8:28:25 AM  
See all you need is a kid named Swan that can replant the earth.  So no worries...
 
2019-12-04 8:28:34 AM  
Just need to bomb a couple big cities.  Blow up NYC, London, Tokyo, and Beijing and you've destroyed the world's financial sector.

*clicks to RTFA*

For nine of the six nuclear powers,

This blog sucks.
 
2019-12-04 8:34:46 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 8:39:23 AM  
So many Dr. Strangelove references apply here.
 
2019-12-04 8:50:21 AM  
It would have to be a 7
 
2019-12-04 8:51:10 AM  
One bomb in just the right place might be enough to do it.
 
2019-12-04 8:51:16 AM  
Not that big, I'm thinking
 
2019-12-04 8:53:32 AM  

ZAZ: Once chocolate and tea coffee imports are disrupted, civilization as we know it is over.


FTFY
 
2019-12-04 8:54:49 AM  
The countries getting hit would take generations to recover, but the rest of the world would get over it pretty quickly.  Poor New Zealand would be inundated with formerly wealthy refugees looking for their handout.

/can you spare a former billionaire a dime?
 
2019-12-04 8:55:02 AM  
preview.redd.itView Full Size

Just enough to release magic into the word.
 
2019-12-04 8:55:19 AM  
FTA:

"After all, what's the point in annihilating your enemy if you commit suicide in the process?"

Author never hear of MAD?
 
2019-12-04 8:57:18 AM  
We've already shown that having two cities nuked can be recovered from fairly quickly if the occupying force is somewhat competent.
 
2019-12-04 8:57:28 AM  
Needless to say, a nuclear exchange of 1,000 missiles would be far more devastating. In this scenario, the authors estimate that 140,000 Americans would perish from global food shortages, in addition to the direct deaths

This is just a rounding error in this level of exchange.

This article sucks
 
2019-12-04 8:57:37 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: Just need to bomb a couple big cities.  Blow up NYC, London, Tokyo, and Beijing and you've destroyed the world's financial sector.

*clicks to RTFA*

For nine of the six nuclear powers,

This blog sucks.


Heh.

So thinking like a madman/scientist, I'd add Dubai, Moscow, Bangalore, Jakarta.
I'm trying to think also of where the data centers/internet tubes exist in abundance.
So LA, New Jersey, Karachi, Tel Aviv.

To disrupt trade: the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, not sure if Gibraltar can be disrupted, too wide.

Food wise, California, Sudan/Egypt, Midwest, New Zealand.

/that just went really dark, really quickly.
//the upside is you don't need all of that
///just the right virus
 
2019-12-04 8:57:56 AM  
Don't worry, I have ran the simulations countless times.  We will be ok unless Ghandi discovers the tech first

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 8:58:04 AM  
Doesn't matter what would destroy it. Some guy/gal with a work bench will come a long and build a whole new town using a floor mat to move around buildings in to places he/she wouldn't normally be able to place them. All while making a portable nuclear bomb launcher out of a few shopping carts, a board game that had nuclear material in it for some reason, and some springs from a nuclear powered clock he/she found.
 
2019-12-04 8:58:26 AM  
Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.
 
2019-12-04 8:59:30 AM  

Resident Muslim: To disrupt trade: the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, not sure if Gibraltar can be disrupted, too wide.


Suez isn't that big of a deal. Panama is bigger.

The Suez has been shut down by regional strife for a decade before. Trade still went on.
 
2019-12-04 8:59:53 AM  

Burr: Ghandi


Damn, it's even spelled in the image correctly... I should really get some sleep

/Maybe just one..more...turn..
 
2019-12-04 9:01:06 AM  

Nimbull: Doesn't matter what would destroy it. Some guy/gal with a work bench will come a long and build a whole new town using a floor mat to move around buildings in to places he/she wouldn't normally be able to place them. All while making a portable nuclear bomb launcher out of a few shopping carts, a board game that had nuclear material in it for some reason, and some springs from a nuclear powered clock he/she found.


*invests in duct tape and screws*
 
2019-12-04 9:01:16 AM  

This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.


A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.
 
2019-12-04 9:01:21 AM  

This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.


At least China is interested in national harmony.  Trump seems intent on tearing his country apart.
 
2019-12-04 9:02:57 AM  
I think we just found the solution to global warming
 
2019-12-04 9:03:29 AM  
I'll have to check my Twilight: 2000 collection, but it wasn't that many as I recall.
/ Still shake my head that the writers missed San Diego on the US targets list
 
2019-12-04 9:03:40 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

At least China is interested in only reports national harmony.  Trump seems intent on tearing his country apart.

 
2019-12-04 9:04:07 AM  
Don't forget power plants.  An old Soviet target map from the 1970's marked virtually every power plant in the US for annihilation.   That's really all they would need to do to cripple us.  Take out a few major bridges, ports and airports here and there for good measure.

Hell, just taking out all the Amazon service centers would cause mass panic and chaos.
 
2019-12-04 9:06:54 AM  
Quite a lot.

I've given this a bit of thought, as one does when one plans out world domination*, and it turns out that civilization is actually pretty resilient.   There are enough redundancies built in that you can't do it with just a handful of cities.

And "upending" is a pretty vague concept to begin with.  What exactly does that mean?  Is there a scale?  How do you separate the trappings of modern civilization from the concept of civilization itself?  One can have a civilization that has 18th or 19th Century technology.

In effect, you'd probably have to bomb just about every major city and even then I'm doubtful, as you'd still have pockets of civilization that would grow and expand.

And no, the radiation levels wouldn't kill us all.  Consider that before they were banned there were over 500 atmospheric nuclear tests, and they didn't even put a noticeable dent in our population.


*For entertainment purposes only.  Yes, I have Persian cats, but I don't have a secret lair under a dormant volcano nor do I have minions/mooks/underlings or a vaguely middle-to-eastern European accent.  So I'm not a supervillain.


*
 
2019-12-04 9:11:38 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover


Generations?

These are images of Hiroshima, just 20 years after the bombing:

cdn.akionagasawa.comView Full Size


photobookstore.co.ukView Full Size


cdn.akionagasawa.comView Full Size


photobookstore.co.ukView Full Size


cdn.shopify.comView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 9:12:19 AM  
We've actually already had the equivalent of a pretty good-sized nuclear war, just spread out over the last half of the 20th century. While it's pretty stupid we've been nuking our own planet for all that time and lots of detonations at once would be a worse situation, it doesn't seem as if a lot of nukes fundamentally causes that many problems for the ecosystem. The bigger problem for us would be the loss of infrastructure and general destruction.

Climate change due to our general altering of the planet (nukes plus everything else) is probably a bigger threat to the ecosystem.

A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - by Isao Hashimoto
Youtube LLCF7vPanrY
 
2019-12-04 9:14:08 AM  
Any 1 megaton direct hit on a population center, say NYC or Los Angeles would completely overwhelm the emergency response and crisis medical teams of the entire country.  Anybody left in those areas after the fallout descends will be too far gone to receive medical help, anyway.
 
2019-12-04 9:15:56 AM  

SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.


There would still be Romania and the breakaway Soviet republics.
 
2019-12-04 9:16:45 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: At least China is interested in national harmony.


Yes. Most dictators demand obedience.
 
2019-12-04 9:17:35 AM  
Oh, about two cities in Japan, since that already happened.  Or for that matter, just test a few of them, that also changed permanently the Earth's environment (and not for the better).
 
2019-12-04 9:20:59 AM  
I tell you what, you won't be trading bottle caps for stuff.  That's for sure.
 
2019-12-04 9:21:42 AM  

This text is now purple: SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.

There would still be Romania and the breakaway Soviet republics.


I like how you think.
 
2019-12-04 9:21:50 AM  
It could take just one (Tsar Bomba, anyone?), it could take 100 (as stated in the article), or it could take every nuke in existence.

The real bottom line is...they don't know. We may never really know how many it tould take to end us.
 
2019-12-04 9:22:46 AM  
It struck me the other day that is civilization (in the sense of 20th/21st century technological, industrial, global economics and communications) ends but the planet itself is still viable, the people best positioned to survive the next 20 to 30 years will be the ones currently living on the streets, sleeping in makeshift tents under freeways, or living in the poorest slums of the biggest cities.

Not only will they be impacted the least, they have the closest thing to the skills and knowledge needed to live in that particular post-apocalyptic world.
 
2019-12-04 9:24:02 AM  

SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.

There would still be Romania and the breakaway Soviet republics.

I like how you think.


*internet fist bump*

\not that kind of fisting
\\I mean, unless you're into it
 
2019-12-04 9:24:41 AM  
It's all uncharted territory, anyway.  I'd rather sit right under the damned things and get vaporized.
 
2019-12-04 9:25:15 AM  

HugeMistake: It struck me the other day that is civilization (in the sense of 20th/21st century technological, industrial, global economics and communications) ends but the planet itself is still viable, the people best positioned to survive the next 20 to 30 years will be the ones currently living on the streets, sleeping in makeshift tents under freeways, or living in the poorest slums of the biggest cities.


If that were the case, you would expect bums to have prospered in the prior devastating wars.

As it turns out, they don't. If living like a bum was particularly hard, bums couldn't pull it off.
 
2019-12-04 9:28:41 AM  

Jake Havechek: Any 1 megaton direct hit on a population center, say NYC or Los Angeles would completely overwhelm the emergency response and crisis medical teams of the entire country.  Anybody left in those areas after the fallout descends will be too far gone to receive medical help, anyway.


1.  Wrong.  There would have to be a certain amount of "self help" in those areas, and that's something that people do when pressed.

2. Also wrong.  Fallout from a strike against a city is generally pretty minimal, because it's an airburst.  Fallout is, essentially, very small bits of material turned radioactive.  With an airburst calculated to cause maximum damage, the fireball never touches the ground, so the only material that gets irradiated is, for the most part, the components of the bomb itself.

Ground bursts do cause lots of fallout, but that's because there are many thousands of tons of material being turned into radioactive particles and lofted into the sky.   That's why tests like Ivy Mike and Castle Bravo were so "dirty".

But you don't ground burst when attacking cities because that's wasteful.  You only do ground bursts against hardened targets, like missile silos and underground command and control centers.
 
2019-12-04 9:29:17 AM  

Jake Havechek: I tell you what, you won't be trading bottle caps for stuff.  That's for sure.


My theory is that the ideal post-apocalyptic currency will be soft toilet paper. It has inherent value, so does not depend on any fiat of a government of any kind. It's readily transportable, being light and flexible. It can be divided into very small units, as little as one sheet. It's durable: it doesn't "go off", rust, or decay quickly (provided it's stored carefully). And it's universal: everybody can benefit from it.

When everything goes titsup, you'll find me at CostCo filling the largest truck I can find with toilet rolls.
 
2019-12-04 9:30:03 AM  

kb7rky: It could take just one (Tsar Bomba, anyone?), it could take 100 (as stated in the article), or it could take every nuke in existence.

The real bottom line is...they don't know. We may never really know how many it tould take to end us.


Empirically, we know the number is greater than 2, for a nation much smaller than the US.
 
2019-12-04 9:30:19 AM  

dittybopper: Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover

Generations?

These are images of Hiroshima, just 20 years after the bombing:

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x303]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x296]

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x304]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x283]

[cdn.shopify.com image 850x649]


That was a 15 kiloton bomb on one secondary city in a military power (well two.... counting Nagasaki) that was already isolated and on the cusp of being defeated and about to receive generous post-war rebuild financial package.

Further, we exist in a more highly technical, interdependent world, where someone "sneezes" in one part of the world and it's felt on the other side of the world.  For example the financial meltdowns of Greece and Argentina - no offense to anyone, but not particurly large powers - either economically or by any other measure, and both were early dominoes in causing a worldwide economic recession.  Wiping out London or New York with a more modern higher yield war head is gonna have some serious long standing consequences for the world as a whole.  Can we exist without an NYC, London and Tokyo?  Sure, but that's a fair bit of reorganization.
 
2019-12-04 9:31:03 AM  

SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.


But what about Hentai? Will it be ok?

Asking for a friend
 
2019-12-04 9:32:08 AM  
dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.
 
2019-12-04 9:32:53 AM  
One airburst over the US and our grid is toast.
 
2019-12-04 9:35:42 AM  

This text is now purple: SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: SirEattonHogg: This text is now purple: Depends. If they all fell on Russia and China, human civilization would likely be better off.

A world without Russian porn and cheap Walmart goods?

Scary stuff.

There would still be Romania and the breakaway Soviet republics.

I like how you think.

*internet fist bump*

\not that kind of fisting
\\I mean, unless you're into it


[bump] back.  Of course!
 
2019-12-04 9:36:21 AM  
Look what changed after a few planes were flown into buildings.

It will take only one and somebody out there is trying to get ahold of one to do just that.
 
2019-12-04 9:37:16 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover


Just imagine how peaceful the rest of the world would be if India, Pakistan and the entire middle east were glowing sheets of glass.
 
2019-12-04 9:37:55 AM  

This text is now purple: HugeMistake: It struck me the other day that is civilization (in the sense of 20th/21st century technological, industrial, global economics and communications) ends but the planet itself is still viable, the people best positioned to survive the next 20 to 30 years will be the ones currently living on the streets, sleeping in makeshift tents under freeways, or living in the poorest slums of the biggest cities.

If that were the case, you would expect bums to have prospered in the prior devastating wars.

As it turns out, they don't. If living like a bum was particularly hard, bums couldn't pull it off.


You know how I can tell you've never tried living on the street?

That aside, which prior civilization-destroying prior wars are you pointing to for your counter-examples? I'm having a hard time recalling the last time there was a global and enduring collapse of modern technological society for comparison.

The closest I can think of in Western history were the fall of the western Roman Empire; and the Black Death. But even in those cases, we fell far less and far from a far lower height in a system far less interdependent; nor were they global events: Europe's recovery from the fall of Rome was in large part due to the repository of civilization that endured in the near- and middle-east.

It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...
 
2019-12-04 9:39:14 AM  

orbister: Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover

Just imagine how peaceful the rest of the world would be if India, Pakistan and the entire middle east were glowing sheets of glass.


Just imagine how happy nearby countries would be to have their electrical grids destroyed, and if they're downwind of the fallout cloud.
 
2019-12-04 9:40:08 AM  

HugeMistake: Jake Havechek: I tell you what, you won't be trading bottle caps for stuff.  That's for sure.

My theory is that the ideal post-apocalyptic currency will be soft toilet paper. It has inherent value, so does not depend on any fiat of a government of any kind. It's readily transportable, being light and flexible. It can be divided into very small units, as little as one sheet. It's durable: it doesn't "go off", rust, or decay quickly (provided it's stored carefully). And it's universal: everybody can benefit from it.

When everything goes titsup, you'll find me at CostCo filling the largest truck I can find with toilet rolls.


Difficulty:  It's a limited supply, and you can't make more of it post apocalypse.  So eventually, you'll run out.

I figure the best currency will be distilled alcohol.   It's useful as an anesthetic (both topical and internal), as an antiseptic, as a fuel for lighting, cooking, and even possibly to run modified engines, and of course it's got the social aspect of it.

And, you can make more of it, so you'll be printing your own money so to speak.

The technology of the pot still is so simple that pretty much anyone who desires to make one can make one.
 
2019-12-04 9:41:28 AM  

HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...


This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.
 
2019-12-04 9:43:30 AM  

dittybopper: Jake Havechek: Any 1 megaton direct hit on a population center, say NYC or Los Angeles would completely overwhelm the emergency response and crisis medical teams of the entire country.  Anybody left in those areas after the fallout descends will be too far gone to receive medical help, anyway.

1.  Wrong.  There would have to be a certain amount of "self help" in those areas, and that's something that people do when pressed.

2. Also wrong.  Fallout from a strike against a city is generally pretty minimal, because it's an airburst.  Fallout is, essentially, very small bits of material turned radioactive.  With an airburst calculated to cause maximum damage, the fireball never touches the ground, so the only material that gets irradiated is, for the most part, the components of the bomb itself.

Ground bursts do cause lots of fallout, but that's because there are many thousands of tons of material being turned into radioactive particles and lofted into the sky.   That's why tests like Ivy Mike and Castle Bravo were so "dirty".

But you don't ground burst when attacking cities because that's wasteful.  You only do ground bursts against hardened targets, like missile silos and underground command and control centers.


To further extrapolate on #1, a country isn't going to throw all of its resources at an impacted city. It will throw what they have in spare and keep enough locally to keep the lights on with a small margin.
This is why FEMA says have at least 4 days of food. Problem is that the 4 days is assuming they are setup by that point, ideally one would be better off completely self sustained because on day 4 you would be dealing with crowds and dog help someone if they run out of supplies.

Preppers get the reputation of being nutbars but in general if a situation occurs that reduces resource accessibility they are going to be the least affected.

When we had the tornado go through last year there were a lot of people in our vicinity who were woefully unprepared. We were lucky only part of the city was without power (my area was for about 72 hours), if it had been more it would have been worse. There were talk of a bit of looting but that was opportunistic and pretty minimal.
 
2019-12-04 9:44:14 AM  

Jake Havechek: I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.


The US has already won a nuclear war, genius.
 
2019-12-04 9:46:29 AM  
MAD or "Mutually Assured Destruction" is the theory that theoretically ended the Cold War and destroyed the Soviet Union.  The dangers of MAD are amply demonstrated in the movie Doctor Strangelove.

This, by the way, is why there should be statues of Lieutenant  Colonel Stanislav Petrov in every school yard.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/201​7​/sep/18/soviet-officer-who-averted-col​d-war-nuclear-disaster-dies-aged-77

The idea of MAD is that each country must have enough nukes to survive a devastating first strike by its enemy. Thus, even though your country is in ruins, the enemy has no victory because his country is destroyed as well.  It's essentially a Mexican Standoff on a global level.

North Korea has played the MAD game with South Korea for decades. They have enough conventional artillery to wipe the city of Seoul off the face of the earth.  With their nukes and missiles they have upped the ante by being able to hit Japan if attacked.

Bottom line: nothing new here. These scientists were apparently so busy in Chem Lab that they didn't have time for any history classes.
 
2019-12-04 9:46:54 AM  
A couple buildings in NYC was all it really took to upend civilization.  A single nuke would do it.
 
2019-12-04 9:47:20 AM  

This text is now purple: Jake Havechek: I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.

The US has already won a nuclear war, genius.


Wow.  Just wow.  You wear those Velcro fastened sneakers, right?
 
2019-12-04 9:48:05 AM  

SirEattonHogg: dittybopper: Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover

Generations?

These are images of Hiroshima, just 20 years after the bombing:

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x303]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x296]

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x304]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x283]

[cdn.shopify.com image 850x649]

That was a 15 kiloton bomb on one secondary city in a military power (well two.... counting Nagasaki) that was already isolated and on the cusp of being defeated and about to receive generous post-war rebuild financial package.

Further, we exist in a more highly technical, interdependent world, where someone "sneezes" in one part of the world and it's felt on the other side of the world.  For example the financial meltdowns of Greece and Argentina - no offense to anyone, but not particurly large powers - either economically or by any other measure, and both were early dominoes in causing a worldwide economic recession.  Wiping out London or New York with a more modern higher yield war head is gonna have some serious long standing consequences for the world as a whole.  Can we exist without an NYC, London and Tokyo?  Sure, but that's a fair bit of reorganization.


But that's why I was complaining about the vagueness of the phrase "upend human civilization".

Someone who lives in New York will obviously have their life upended if it's not completely ended.

But human civilization is very, very resilient.   Look at WWII in total:  We lost something like 4% of the total World's population, including the destruction or near destruction of a large number of important cities.   And yet, we don't claim that civilization was "upended" by WWII, do we?

Will there be adverse affects?  Absolutely.   But they aren't going to seriously affect human civilization.   It's too large, too distributed, and too adaptable to be "upended" like that.

Unless, of course, your idea of "upended" is different than mine.  Which again, goes back to my point about the vagueness of the term.
 
2019-12-04 9:51:05 AM  

HugeMistake: This text is now purple: HugeMistake: It struck me the other day that is civilization (in the sense of 20th/21st century technological, industrial, global economics and communications) ends but the planet itself is still viable, the people best positioned to survive the next 20 to 30 years will be the ones currently living on the streets, sleeping in makeshift tents under freeways, or living in the poorest slums of the biggest cities.

If that were the case, you would expect bums to have prospered in the prior devastating wars.

As it turns out, they don't. If living like a bum was particularly hard, bums couldn't pull it off.

You know how I can tell you've never tried living on the street?

That aside, which prior civilization-destroying prior wars are you pointing to for your counter-examples? I'm having a hard time recalling the last time there was a global and enduring collapse of modern technological society for comparison.

The closest I can think of in Western history were the fall of the western Roman Empire; and the Black Death. But even in those cases, we fell far less and far from a far lower height in a system far less interdependent; nor were they global events: Europe's recovery from the fall of Rome was in large part due to the repository of civilization that endured in the near- and middle-east.

It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...


Like real estate, all wars are local.

In WW2, two entire continents were devastated, another was dealing with a major power vacuum after the colonial overseers pulled out, and one more was minimally affected. North America arguably benefited. This was 30 years after two more continents basically shattered every major economy the first time.

It sucks in the short term, but humanity clawed itself to the top of the heap with nothing more advanced than a sharpened stick, and is fully capable of doing so again. Humans are big, mean, adaptable, and capable of eating almost anything. We're basically god's most bad-ass wasps.

Humans will survive. Things will reshuffle, we might lose some things, but not even most things. It will be easier on newer generations.
 
2019-12-04 9:54:46 AM  
11points.comView Full Size


compote.slate.comView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 9:55:20 AM  
The former Soviet states and and the USA can easily lob over 200+ each nukes via ICBMs and SLBMs, which will cause titanic amounts of damage before the command and control apparatus breaks down.

Do not expect any government assistance until 2-3 weeks following the blasts.
 
2019-12-04 9:56:14 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 9:57:30 AM  

Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.


Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.
 
2019-12-04 9:57:46 AM  

dittybopper: SirEattonHogg: dittybopper: Marcus Aurelius: The countries getting hit would take generations to recover

Generations?

These are images of Hiroshima, just 20 years after the bombing:

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x303]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x296]

[cdn.akionagasawa.com image 450x304]

[photobookstore.co.uk image 450x283]

[cdn.shopify.com image 850x649]

That was a 15 kiloton bomb on one secondary city in a military power (well two.... counting Nagasaki) that was already isolated and on the cusp of being defeated and about to receive generous post-war rebuild financial package.

Further, we exist in a more highly technical, interdependent world, where someone "sneezes" in one part of the world and it's felt on the other side of the world.  For example the financial meltdowns of Greece and Argentina - no offense to anyone, but not particurly large powers - either economically or by any other measure, and both were early dominoes in causing a worldwide economic recession.  Wiping out London or New York with a more modern higher yield war head is gonna have some serious long standing consequences for the world as a whole.  Can we exist without an NYC, London and Tokyo?  Sure, but that's a fair bit of reorganization.

But that's why I was complaining about the vagueness of the phrase "upend human civilization".

Someone who lives in New York will obviously have their life upended if it's not completely ended.

But human civilization is very, very resilient.   Look at WWII in total:  We lost something like 4% of the total World's population, including the destruction or near destruction of a large number of important cities.   And yet, we don't claim that civilization was "upended" by WWII, do we?

Will there be adverse affects?  Absolutely.   But they aren't going to seriously affect human civilization.   It's too large, too distributed, and too adaptable to be "upended" like that.

Unless, of course, your idea of "upended" is different than mine.  Which ag ...


Yeah, I'll agree with you on that.  It wouldn't be the end of civilization.  In fact, it wouldn't be the end of the level of technology we all enjoy currently even if NYC, London and Tokyo were nuked tomorrow.  The world would be different, but we wouldn't go back to living in animal skins and hunting with spears.  Much of what we enjoy may still be intact or repairable.

A financial or political capital can always be set up elsewhere and unless you totally nuke whole regions of a country - there will be plenty of technical people to keep running a power grid and upkeep computers and internet.  I think the longer term effect of a "limited" nuclear war would be the fallout and how much that would effect weather and the food and water supply.
 
2019-12-04 10:01:16 AM  

rikkards: To further extrapolate on #1, a country isn't going to throw all of its resources at an impacted city. It will throw what they have in spare and keep enough locally to keep the lights on with a small margin.
This is why FEMA says have at least 4 days of food. Problem is that the 4 days is assuming they are setup by that point, ideally one would be better off completely self sustained because on day 4 you would be dealing with crowds and dog help someone if they run out of supplies.

Preppers get the reputation of being nutbars but in general if a situation occurs that reduces resource accessibility they are going to be the least affected.

When we had the tornado go through last year there were a lot of people in our vicinity who were woefully unprepared. We were lucky only part of the city was without power (my area was for about 72 hours), if it had been more it would have been worse. There were talk of a bit of looting but that was opportunistic and pretty minimal.


Yeah, it never hurts to have a few extra supplies on hand.

Looking around in the kitchen cupboards, and ignoring the fridge and freezer, I figure we've got enough stuff to get by for at least a week.

Almost as important as the food, though, is having a way to prepare it.  You can eat canned foods uncooked, of course, but a lot of other things require cooking, and if the power is out and/or gas service is interrupted, you need to have an alternate way of cooking stuff.

I've got a gas grill with a separate burner (which is very efficient at cooking stuff, even at the low setting), I've got a backpacking stove, and a 2 burner camping stove, and a folding sterno stove with some sterno cans.

It's a good idea to have "comfort foods", too:  You can live quite well on a diet that isn't really considered "healthy", as long as you're getting calories.  The effects of vitamin deficiencies takes weeks or months to manifest, and heating up a can of vegetable sadness isn't going to be appealing while dealing with all your other issues, so leave the canned spinach for Popeye and enjoy your Spaghetti-O's with franks.
 
2019-12-04 10:01:59 AM  

Nick Nostril: One airburst over the US and our grid is toast.


This.  A few, probably less than ten, well placed airbursts around the globe would stop most modern technology.  The resulting chaos would be something to behold.
 
2019-12-04 10:03:47 AM  

Hachitori: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.


Yep.  That's exactly true.  Laborers could, and did, demand higher wages simply because there were fewer of them.
 
2019-12-04 10:03:48 AM  

Hachitori: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.


I'd say it's erroneous in that saying any segment of society suffered less.  You could say the serfs recovered the fastest, but to say they suffered less is disingenuous.

Some lords tried to lure landless laborers and serfs to work their fields for higher wages were thwarted by a law passed by the king that outlawed the practice.
 
2019-12-04 10:14:09 AM  
They would all forget to attack Canada. Make it so.
 
2019-12-04 10:14:14 AM  

Jake Havechek: Any 1 megaton direct hit on a population center, say NYC or Los Angeles would completely overwhelm the emergency response and crisis medical teams of the entire country.  Anybody left in those areas after the fallout descends will be too far gone to receive medical help, anyway.


Kurzgesagt did a great piece on this.  The jist was having a modern nuclear weapon go off in a major city would be the equivalent of a wildfire, earthquake, and nuclear response all at once, for hundreds of thousands or millions (depending on yield and number of warheads).  Scary stuff.

Tr0mBoNe: We've already shown that having two cities nuked can be recovered from fairly quickly if the occupying force is somewhat competent.


Yeah, two cities hit with 15kt (Hiroshima) and 21kt (Nagasaki) warheads.  The smallest one now is about 100kt in a MIRV package, so chances are a city's not going to get just one.  Plus, if the attacking party wants to be a dick about it, they can set one for airburst (maximum damage) and another for groundburst (maximum fallout and ground irradiation).  Ain't nobody living there for a LONG time.
 
2019-12-04 10:17:25 AM  

Jake Havechek: Hachitori: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.

I'd say it's erroneous in that saying any segment of society suffered less.  You could say the serfs recovered the fastest, but to say they suffered less is disingenuous.

Some lords tried to lure landless laborers and serfs to work their fields for higher wages were thwarted by a law passed by the king that outlawed the practice.


You might want to contact Encyclopedia Britannica and correct them, then:

https://www.britannica.com/event/Blac​k​-Death

The consequences of this violent catastrophe were many. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation, due to the deaths of so many labourers. This proved to be the ruin of many landowners. The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants. There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants. These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society.

Basically, if you survived, and you were a peasant, you were better off afterwards.

Oh, and peasants really actually lived a rather healthy lifestyle.   Their diet was often actually more healthy than their societal betters because it involved less rich and "junk" foods, and concentrated on what we would consider healthy food.  Whole grain breads instead of the fancy and expensive white bread, for example.  More vegetables and healthier meats and fewer fats and sugars than what the wealthy and noble would typically eat.

And we can see this in English society of the time, because it takes a healthy man to pull a 100+ lb longbow for military service.  If you're "pinched" due to a lack of meat in your diet, you can't effectively pull a warbow, and in fact this was an issue on campaign in the 14th and 15th Century.  When the English archers couldn't get a good enough diet, their effectiveness waned fairly dramatically, according to contemporary witnesses.
 
2019-12-04 10:18:54 AM  
In crazytime, full-on disasters, populations raid grocery outlets and clean out all the food quickly.  A better bet is to go to the laundry detergent isle and grab all the liquid bleach you can carry and get on down the road.  A small slosh of laundry bleach will render a bucket of nasty water more or less safe for drinking.  Drinkable water will be the immediate issue.....when power fails, no water will come out any tap after elevated water towers empty and that won't take long.  Most of us have enough body fat on board to stave off starvation for a period of time.  However, there are a bunch of diabetics around that will do poorly without regular caloric intake.
 
2019-12-04 10:29:03 AM  
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2019-12-04 10:33:03 AM  
After all, what's the point in annihilating your enemy if you commit suicide in the process?

To remind your enemies that you're a crazy motherfarker and they should keep their distance?
 
2019-12-04 10:33:36 AM  

Comic Book Guy: Yeah, two cities hit with 15kt (Hiroshima) and 21kt (Nagasaki) warheads.  The smallest one now is about 100kt in a MIRV package, so chances are a city's not going to get just one.  Plus, if the attacking party wants to be a dick about it, they can set one for airburst (maximum damage) and another for groundburst (maximum fallout and ground irradiation).  Ain't nobody living there for a LONG time.


Why would they be a dick about it?

Nuclear weapons are hella expensive.   You just don't waste them to be a "dick".  You have to have a pretty damned good reason for targeting a city with multiple warheads*, and unless there is some compelling reason to do a ground burst, you don't.  All civilian facilities, and most military ones (airfields, army bases, navy bases) are effectively targeted by airburst.  The only ones that aren't are, like I said, facilities that are buried to protect them, and that's a tiny minority of military and critical civilian facilities.

Also, nuclear weapons have gotten smaller as targeting accuracy has gotten better.   The days of the megaton city buster are pretty much over, and most warheads are less than 500 kt these days.

Something else to consider is that destructive power doesn't scale linearly with explosive yield.   While a 150 kiloton device has 10 times the explosive force of a 15 kiloton device, it only causes about 5 times more damage.  A 1.5 megaton device, despite being 100 times more powerful, only causes 21 times more damage than a 15 kiloton device.   That's because the explosion is 3 dimensional, but the target is only 2 dimensional.

This is a difficult concept for some people to wrap their heads around.


*Which could be things like known issues with warhead reliability and/or targeting accuracy, or the size of the city vs. the yield of the weapon, etc.  It generally doesn't include "being a dick".
 
2019-12-04 10:40:28 AM  

dittybopper: Jake Havechek: Hachitori: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.

I'd say it's erroneous in that saying any segment of society suffered less.  You could say the serfs recovered the fastest, but to say they suffered less is disingenuous.

Some lords tried to lure landless laborers and serfs to work their fields for higher wages were thwarted by a law passed by the king that outlawed the practice.

You might want to contact Encyclopedia Britannica and correct them, then:

https://www.britannica.com/event/Black​-Death

The consequences of this violent catastrophe were many. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation, due to the deaths of so many labourers. This proved to be the ruin of many landowners. The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants. There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants. These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society.

Basically, if you survived, and you were a peasant, you were better off afterwards.

Oh, and peasants really actually lived a rather healthy lifestyle.   Their diet was often actually more healthy than their societal betters because it involved less rich and "junk" foods, and concentrated on what we would consider healthy food.  Whole grain breads instead of the fancy and expensive white bread, for example.  More vegetables and healthier meats and fewer fats and sugars than what the wealthy and noble would typically eat.

And we can see this in English society of the time, because it takes a healthy man to pull a 100+ lb longbow for military service.  If you're "pinched" due to a lack of meat in your diet, you can't effectively pull a warbow, and in fact this was an issue on campaign in the 14th and 15th Century.  When the English archers couldn't get a good enough diet, their effectiveness waned fairly dramatically, according to contemporary witnesses.


Appeal to authority, logical fallacy.

Not that I'm arguing the points, I'm clueless here, but I've worked for Encyclopedia Brittanica. I grew up reading it, I loved it, but then I learned. Their article vetting process is bullshiat, depends on which expert conned their way in.
 
2019-12-04 10:47:01 AM  

donotdoit: dittybopper: Jake Havechek: Hachitori: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

Actually this is completely true.  The Black Death, of course, killed millions...which resulted in a tremendous labor shortage. Suddenly the Serfs had bargaining power.  There were not enough laborers to plant and harvest enough crops for everybody:  somebody is going hungry.  The Serfs could now sell their labor to the highest bidder, and since the alternative was starvation, the bidding was brisk.

I'd say it's erroneous in that saying any segment of society suffered less.  You could say the serfs recovered the fastest, but to say they suffered less is disingenuous.

Some lords tried to lure landless laborers and serfs to work their fields for higher wages were thwarted by a law passed by the king that outlawed the practice.

You might want to contact Encyclopedia Britannica and correct them, then:

https://www.britannica.com/event/Black​-Death

The consequences of this violent catastrophe were many. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation, due to the deaths of so many labourers. This proved to be the ruin of many landowners. The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants. There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants. These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society.

Basically, if you survived, and you were a peasant, you were better off afterwards.

Oh, and peasants really actually lived a rather healthy lifestyle.   Their diet was often actually more healthy than their societal betters because it involved less rich and "jun ...


The argument is: we have evidence that serfs did better economically after the Black Death. There are sound economic principles for how this could come to pass. The historical evidence is that these things did come to pass.

Your rebuttal consists of: Nuh uh!
 
2019-12-04 11:03:31 AM  

donotdoit: Appeal to authority, logical fallacy.

Not that I'm arguing the points, I'm clueless here, but I've worked for Encyclopedia Brittanica. I grew up reading it, I loved it, but then I learned. Their article vetting process is bullshiat, depends on which expert conned their way in.


When discussing historical facts, we all have to appeal to authority because none of us were there at the time.  Even primary documents often have to be interpreted, even if in English, because language drifts over time.

But I will tell you this:  The part about the archers and meat I got from "The Great Warbow" by Strickland and Hardy, perhaps the most comprehensive book about the use of the warbow by the English:

Fark user imageView Full Size


You might recognize Robert Hardy:

Fark user imageView Full Size


Yes, that Robert Hardy.  The man who played Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter films was one of the World's foremost experts on the English longbow.

I have one of his other books about the subject also:

Fark user imageView Full Size



Also, I first read about the peasants doing well because of the labor shortage in the book "Connections" by James Burke.  I just didn't have an electronic copy of it handy (but I do have the dead tree version).

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size


I believe he also mentions it in the TV series based upon the book.
 
2019-12-04 11:05:54 AM  

Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.


It's entirely true, though she might have been better to say "surviving serfs". The reduction in the labour force which resulted made serfs valuable instead of a liability for the first time ever.
 
2019-12-04 11:08:39 AM  
Sadly larger than you think. Too many goddamn people in the world.
 
2019-12-04 11:15:05 AM  
You could say it's a Land of Confusion.
 
2019-12-04 11:16:07 AM  

dittybopper: Oh, and peasants really actually lived a rather healthy lifestyle.   Their diet was often actually more healthy than their societal betters because it involved less rich and "junk" foods, and concentrated on what we would consider healthy food.  Whole grain breads instead of the fancy and expensive white bread, for example.  More vegetables and healthier meats and fewer fats and sugars than what the wealthy and noble would typically eat.


There is an interesting series on YouTube about Medieval diets, mainly talking about England, specifically:

Part 13: Food: What Did Peasants Eat in Medieval Times?
Youtube WeVcey0Ng-w


Knight's vassal's diet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPpWu​g​hBPc4

How healthy was Medieval food:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9RDa​f​8j2Yg

What rich nobles ate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ertx8​f​ZiuxA
 
2019-12-04 11:17:42 AM  
JUST A REMINDER:

Real Clear "Science" is affiliated with Real Clear Politics, a heavily right wing political site.  I'd take any'science' article presented on any such site with a grain of salt.
 
2019-12-04 11:19:14 AM  

orbister: Jake Havechek: HugeMistake: It's also worth noting that one social class that did do comparatively well out of the Black Death were the serfs...

This is the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

It's entirely true, though she might have been better to say "surviving serfs". The reduction in the labour force which resulted made serfs valuable instead of a liability for the first time ever.


Well, the Black Death wasn't really all that picky about socio-economic status.  It affected the rich as well as the poor.  So you could just as easily say it was bad for the surviving landowners.

But like in mathematics, like terms on both sides of an equation cancel each other out, so you can just take "surviving" as a given.
 
2019-12-04 11:27:53 AM  

Dhusk: JUST A REMINDER:

Real Clear "Science" is affiliated with Real Clear Politics, a heavily right wing political site.  I'd take any'science' article presented on any such site with a grain of salt.


So I take it that you didn't bother to follow the link in the article to the paper published in the journal Safety, entitled A National Pragmatic Safety Limit for Nuclear Weapon Quantities?

I've got to be honest, I haven't either, but then, I'm not arguing that it's bad simply based upon the source of the information.  That's yet another fallacy:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wi​ki/Ad_homin​em

To be clear, I'm not arguing that it's good either.   I'm just discussing the concept in general terms.
 
2019-12-04 11:44:34 AM  
Good thing dump is illiterate and allergic to learning. If anyone were able to explain this to him it would be all "nuclear wars are easy to win!" And then the missiles would fly.
 
2019-12-04 11:59:21 AM  

SirEattonHogg: I think the longer term effect of a "limited" nuclear war would be the fallout and how much that would effect weather and the food and water supply.


It wouldn't effect the weather one whit.

Many of the calculations involved in figuring out the effects of a mass exchange of nuclear weapons don't apply when talking about a limited exchange, and much of the data used in those calculations is either outdated, or just plain wrong.

First, let's take outdated.   Back when the concept of nuclear winter originated, the typical nuclear weapon was in the megaton range, because delivery systems weren't all that accurate.

This makes a big difference because megaton yield weapons loft their mushroom clouds up into the stratosphere, while a typical modern 200 kiloton device keeps it mostly in the troposphere.  This has very large implications for how long that debris stays suspended, and hence how it effects the weather.  The canonical example of this being an issue was Carl Sagan's prediction about how Saddam Hussein igniting the oil wells in Kuwait would cause world-wide cooling. It didn't, because the soot wasn't lofted into the stratosphere.  It stayed in the troposphere and caused some regional weather issues, but not global ones.

Now let's look at just plain wrong.

The idea that every city attacked would develop a firestorm.  I think this started because there was a firestorm at Hiroshima that started about half an hour after the attack.  But it's important to note that there wasn't one after the Nagasaki bombing, and the clue is in the timing:  Hiroshima was bombed at 8:15am in the morning, and Nagasaki at 11:02am.

Why is that important?

Because in Japan at the time most cooking at home was done with a shichirin, a sort of ceramic charcoal grill used indoors.  The charcoal from cooking breakfast and pre-cooking rice for lunch for people working outside the home was still burning when Hiroshima was attacked.

Now let's discuss what you need for a firestorm.  First, you need relatively calm winds.  Second, you need a significant fuel load, and third, you need thousands of individual, near simultaneous ignition points.

So at Hiroshima, you've got wood and paper residential buildings that collapse, exposing more fuel for the fire, and each one of those homes has a charcoal grill that shatters or is upset and spills it's burning charcoal, almost certainly on to flammable material.

That's why you got a firestorm at Hiroshima, but you didn't get one at Nagasaki despite the even more powerful bomb.

Modern cities have a much, *MUCH* lower fuel loading than Japanese cities of WWII, and they have fewer consistent ignition sources.  Modern electrical substations tend to have enough safety breakers that they'll shut off immediately.  So the idea that every city would erupt into a firestorm isn't correct.

This was born out by tests done by the US military in order to inform US civil defense measures:

The House In The Middle (1954)
Youtube pGJcwaUWNZg
 
2019-12-04 12:00:57 PM  

dittybopper: kb7rky: It could take just one (Tsar Bomba, anyone?), it could take 100 (as stated in the article), or it could take every nuke in existence.

The real bottom line is...they don't know. We may never really know how many it tould take to end us.

Empirically, we know the number is greater than 2, for a nation much smaller than the US.


You make a VERY salient point. I stand corrected.

Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

damageddude: [11points.com image 850x425]

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WarGames...not too bad. I kinda liked that movie.

The Day After...fark that. It gave me nightmares for weeks after I had seen it. Signals was just as frightening.
 
2019-12-04 12:19:17 PM  
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2019-12-04 12:20:20 PM  

doctorguilty: I'll have to check my Twilight: 2000 collection, but it wasn't that many as I recall.
/ Still shake my head that the writers missed San Diego on the US targets list


I really liked that game.

I ran many a mission through Poland, and rarely got out.  Then again, we didn't know the guy running the campaign was also a special forces officer, and had been in several police actions (wars, or whatever).  He was cold as ice, and really made you worry about food, water, security, equipment maintenance.  And he could set up a gunners nest or flanking maneuver in a heartbeat.  The enemy was rarely stupid.

I remember trying to take out a bridge with my team.  I was the demolitions guy, and we got chewed to pieces.  I managed to duck into a ravine that fed the river.  So I slid into the water and stayed low / quiet while they finished off my team.  Once I got under it, I lit it up and ... we never found out if the bridge went down or not, since I was the last one to die.  But I did blow right at the base of the structural support.  I probably got it.  It was already damaged.
 
2019-12-04 12:27:48 PM  
I'd imagine that any nuclear exchange would immediately escalate to a civilisation ending war, as people in charge in all nuclear armed countries would panic and start firing off everything out of sheer terror.

And then we'd never get back to where we are now, seeing as how all the easy to reach resources are gone and food supplies would no doubt dwindle away pretty quickly, not to mention the outbreak of follow up conflicts all over the globe as relatively unaffected powers rush to secure uncontaminated farmland and water supplies.

Any politician that advocates, or even suggests, using nuclear weapons should be dragged out of their government buildings and shot. I wouldn't contemplate the death penalty for anything else, but it's just too god damn important.
 
2019-12-04 12:33:27 PM  
what's the point in annihilating your enemy if you commit suicide in the process?

Stickkin it?
 
2019-12-04 1:20:07 PM  

kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.


As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.
 
2019-12-04 1:30:15 PM  

dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.


Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!
 
2019-12-04 1:35:06 PM  

Ostman: I'd imagine that any nuclear exchange would immediately escalate to a civilisation ending war, as people in charge in all nuclear armed countries would panic and start firing off everything out of sheer terror.


I don't see why that should necessarily be true.

For example, if India and Pakistan started lobbing nukes at each other, why would we start lobbing them at Russia, or China, and why would they start lobbing them at us?

This is illogical thinking, even when you consider that humans aren't vulcans.  I can't see why we'd be required to intervene, and even if we *DID* by some treaty, it would be a regional response, not a global one.

I think the root of this goes back to the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which makes sense when you've got two opponents with massive arsenals, but it simply doesn't apply to when you have 8 or 9 nuclear armed nations, some with extensive arsenals, some with relatively modest ones.

I mean, you can look to the entanglements prior to WWI for inspiration to suggest that it *COULD* happen, but that was an entirely different time with weapons that were several orders of magnitude less powerful.   I mean, the Allies wouldn't have been so willing to start that war if they know it would result in Europe being a radioactive wasteland*.


*Yes, the Allies started WWI.  The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was an operation by Serbian military intelligence, and Serbia refused to hand over the people most responsible to the Austro-Hungarians.  This is casus belli no matter how you spin it.  Serbia was Allied to Russia who was Allied to the UK and France.   The Austro-Hungarians were allied to Germany.   But of course, the victors get to write the history, so it's the Austro-Hungarians fault for letting the heir to their throne get assassinated and having the temerity to demand justice for the act.
 
2019-12-04 1:36:26 PM  

aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.

Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!


If you don't want to do math, go here and let the math be done for you:

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/
 
2019-12-04 1:40:05 PM  

dittybopper: aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.

Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!

If you don't want to do math, go here and let the math be done for you:

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/


Great, now I'm doing math and looking at website code.
 
2019-12-04 1:41:09 PM  
FTA:

In this (much worse) scenario, the authors estimate that 140,000 Americans would perish from global food shortages

That...actually doesn't seem like that many? I mean it is a lot obviously but I would figure a lot more. Unless they're figuring in billions being dead immediately? If so they didn't say it
 
2019-12-04 1:43:47 PM  

aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.

Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!


They actually get less efficient as they get larger, because so much of the blast gets sent into space doesn't really do much.
 
2019-12-04 2:01:19 PM  

TDWCom29: FTA:

In this (much worse) scenario, the authors estimate that 140,000 Americans would perish from global food shortages

That...actually doesn't seem like that many? I mean it is a lot obviously but I would figure a lot more. Unless they're figuring in billions being dead immediately? If so they didn't say it


America's most impacted by the shortage tend to have astronomically high grease levels in the blood. It's orange and glutinous like their politician. They can last a piece, at least.
 
2019-12-04 2:16:23 PM  

Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.


Instead ad hominems, why don't you explain to everyone how a limited nuclear exchange between a couple of nations like India and Pakistan would inevitably end all of humanity.

Use all the space you need below:
 
2019-12-04 2:29:34 PM  
bing.comView Full Size
 
2019-12-04 2:30:44 PM  

This text is now purple: aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.

Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!

They actually get less efficient as they get larger, because so much of the blast gets sent into space doesn't really do much.


Yep.  A 1.5 megaton bomb is 100 times greater in yield than a 15 kiloton bomb, but only causes damage over an area 21.5 times larger than the 15 kt bomb.

So if you used 100 bombs of 15 kt yield, and you spaced them correctly, you could destroy an area 4.7 times larger than the single 1.5 megaton bomb.
 
2019-12-04 2:48:41 PM  
Think of the CHUDs that will come after.
 
2019-12-04 3:01:03 PM  

dittybopper: This text is now purple: aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.

Pi*R^2 vs 4/3*Pi*R^3?  I'm not doing math today, if I can help it!

They actually get less efficient as they get larger, because so much of the blast gets sent into space doesn't really do much.

Yep.  A 1.5 megaton bomb is 100 times greater in yield than a 15 kiloton bomb, but only causes damage over an area 21.5 times larger than the 15 kt bomb.

So if you used 100 bombs of 15 kt yield, and you spaced them correctly, you could destroy an area 4.7 times larger than the single 1.5 megaton bomb.


And that's the MIRV effect people have been talking about.
 
2019-12-04 3:09:40 PM  
Fark. Everyone already got here with commenting on the Black Death! I feel like the 20th person to bring chips and dip to the potluck!

Okay, so, uh... Another result of the Black Death was that with everyone dropping over dead, there was a lot of clothes that were no longer being worn. Which meant that rags to make paper were plentiful and paper became cheaper. Which meant more people could afford books.

Right. The article. Anyhow, I think the dividing line between "big change but largely okay" and "totally different" is pretty blurry. Like the above examples, the Black Death fundamentally changed the world. But if, say, Canada was wiped out? As much as I adore my home country, I don't see it truly changing the world. If New Delhi was wiped out? I could see that changing the world.
 
2019-12-04 3:15:59 PM  

dittybopper: kb7rky: Although, to be fair, the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombs were relatively small, compared to what we have now.

As I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, though, that's not as much of a thing as you might think, because damage from a bomb doesn't scale linearly with the yield.   A single 150 kiloton device is 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb but only causes 4.64 times more damage.


Ergo my saying they were "relatively small".

Yes, I read your dissertations upthread...you make several great points.

If the SHTF, I want you on my team; not only to help set up the communications network we're desperately going to need, but also, you're one smart cookie.

Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:
 
2019-12-04 3:25:08 PM  

dittybopper: Ostman: I'd imagine that any nuclear exchange would immediately escalate to a civilisation ending war, as people in charge in all nuclear armed countries would panic and start firing off everything out of sheer terror.

I don't see why that should necessarily be true.

For example, if India and Pakistan started lobbing nukes at each other, why would we start lobbing them at Russia, or China, and why would they start lobbing them at us?

This is illogical thinking, even when you consider that humans aren't vulcans.  I can't see why we'd be required to intervene, and even if we *DID* by some treaty, it would be a regional response, not a global one.

I think the root of this goes back to the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which makes sense when you've got two opponents with massive arsenals, but it simply doesn't apply to when you have 8 or 9 nuclear armed nations, some with extensive arsenals, some with relatively modest ones.

I mean, you can look to the entanglements prior to WWI for inspiration to suggest that it *COULD* happen, but that was an entirely different time with weapons that were several orders of magnitude less powerful.   I mean, the Allies wouldn't have been so willing to start that war if they know it would result in Europe being a radioactive wasteland*.


*Yes, the Allies started WWI.  The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was an operation by Serbian military intelligence, and Serbia refused to hand over the people most responsible to the Austro-Hungarians.  This is casus belli no matter how you spin it.  Serbia was Allied to Russia who was Allied to the UK and France.   The Austro-Hungarians were allied to Germany.   But of course, the victors get to write the history, so it's the Austro-Hungarians fault for letting the heir to their throne get assassinated and having the temerity to demand justice for the act.


Say India and Pakistan go at it, then China might try to intervene on Pakistan's behalf to secure access to the Indian Ocean through Pakistan, and then Russia steps in to limit Chinese power in Central Asia, etc., etc.
It's not worth the risk, and an insane act of irresponsibility by any politician to suggest they might be used; the "it only could happen" should be read as "it probably will happen, given half the chance".

And you're right, humans aren't Vulcans. The unpredictability is the problem. I don't trust politicians to be consistently level headed, and would rather draconian punishments mandated for them to drive the thought out of their heads at all.
 
2019-12-04 3:27:28 PM  
Sun Ra - Nuclear War
Youtube lsPrINajncU
 
2019-12-04 3:56:07 PM  
"Stated simply: no country should have more nuclear weapons than the number necessary for unacceptable levels of environmental blow-back on the nuclear power's own country if they were used," they wrote.

I have a problem with this inasmuch as the known ways to "win" a nuclear war are:

1. Not to play -- make sure your enemy knows there's no way for their country to survive a nuclear war with any sort of resemblance of national cohesion, much less "win".
2. Fight a nuclear war against a defenseless (or nearly so) enemy.

In option 1, the best plan is to have so many nuclear weapons and so many delivery systems that it's impossible for any targeting plan to wipe them out -- no nuclear "Battle of San Jacinto" can happen where a nuclear counter-strike could be prevented or rendered impotent.

For option 2, we have:

1. Attack someone with no nuclear capability at all, or one so small that they're easily taken out or tolerated (and yes, some nations would gladly tolerate the loss of one or two cities or military sites [if cities are not targeted] in order to exterminate their enemy).  Corollary: convince a nuclear power to give up their arsenal with bullshiat promises of mutual disarmament, then break your promise and hit them.  Might be a pariah nation after that, but maybe it's worth it?
2. Find some way to outright negate some major segment of an enemy's delivery systems and convince them to reduce their overall arsenal because "peace and save the earth".  Or vice versa, get them to reduce their arsenal then build a capability to knock out the remainder.  Then attack "out of the blue" while negating the enemy capability.

Not that option 2 is simple, but the temptation would be there, especially if someone had either a technological ("Star Wars" or similar) or cultural ("Manchurian Candidate" President, country distracted by internal conflict, etc) breakthrough.
 
2019-12-04 4:10:14 PM  

dittybopper: I don't see why that should necessarily be true.

For example, if India and Pakistan started lobbing nukes at each other, why would we start lobbing them at Russia, or China, and why would they start lobbing them at us?


Because if you're pushed to the edge of extinction as a nation in a nuclear conflict, you're inclined to try to hurt anyone who stands to benefit from your extinction, especially your enemies.  India definitely doesn't want to just barely eke out a "win" over Pakistan just to be steamrolled by the Chinese shortly afterward, so India will likely -- depending on how many nukes they can spare and whether they think they're at "use it or lose it" levels of conflict -- at least lash out at China to make that a non-trivial action for them.  Hurt China badly enough, and they might start to worry that Russia and the US may capitalize on their problems and decide that out of their inventory, can't hurt to hit some Russian military assets near their borders and maybe a nearby US carrier group.  Which, of course, requires a response -- no nuclear-capable nation would simply ignore the use of nukes against their country or armed forces.

To be fair, India/Pakistan is probably a good example of one that may stay isolated; it's not likely they could have that sort of domino effect and I can't really think of a nuclear power that Pakistan would lash out at (not to mention I doubt Pakistan has bombs to spare).  A better example is Israel; while their arsenal doesn't officially "exist" nor does their war planning, the strong speculation is that in the event of inevitable extermination by their rivals (either conventionally or nuclear), they're going to lash out at ALL of their enemies to make sure they're at least affected by the conflict.  One of those Israeli nukes is most certainly aimed at Moscow and another at Berlin (not due to current enmity, more just a final retaliation).  Russia won't simply shrug off such an attack, but will definitely blame the US for failing to stop the attack.

India/Pakistan is pr
 
2019-12-04 4:10:57 PM  
??? last sentence wasn't supposed to happen, thought that was deleted.
 
2019-12-04 4:14:27 PM  

kb7rky: Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:


Fark user imageView Full Size


The real question now is:  Whaddya got to trade?
 
2019-12-04 4:20:10 PM  

dittybopper: kb7rky: Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:

[Fark user image 850x1133]

The real question now is:  Whaddya got to trade?


That is gorgeous!  I don't have anything worthy of trading - my parents sold all of my grandfather's antique weaponry when they moved and didn't even let me try to buy it.
 
2019-12-04 4:38:39 PM  

elchupacabra: Because if you're pushed to the edge of extinction as a nation in a nuclear conflict, you're inclined to try to hurt anyone who stands to benefit from your extinction, especially your enemies.


Perhaps, but we have an example from history that says that isn't necessarily so.

In 1945 at the end of the war, Germany had amassed something like 13,000 *TONS* of nerve agents, mostly Tabun but also a few hundred tons of Sarin and minor amounts of Cyclosarin and Soman.

Had Germany employed it, starting in 1944, it could have repelled the the Allied invasion in Normandy, and it could have stopped the Red Army juggernaut in the East.  The Allies had no idea that there was such a thing as "nerve agents", and all of their chemical warfare protection would have been essentially worthless.

But Hitler, even in his drug-addled paranoid "Fark Germany for failing me!" state, he didn't order their use.

So, why not?

Well, German intelligence had noticed a lack of papers in the western journals about research into organophosphate pesticides, which are related to nerve agents.  In fact, that's how the Germans stumbled upon them in the mid-1930's.  They then classified all the research into them.   So they saw the absence of papers about organophosphates as evidence that the Allies had developed nerve agents also, and there was a very real fear that the Allies would retaliate in kind against Nazi military forces.

And of course, the Germans hadn't really developed adequate countermeasures, and didn't have the capacity to distribute them widely anyway if they did.

So Hitler's hand was stayed by the thought that it would only make the situation worse, and hasten the end.   That's why they were never used.

A smaller nuclear nation launching against a larger one, in conjunction with fighting a similar sized nuclear power, is pretty much the same scenario.   Let's say, hypothetically, that India and Pakistan do get into an actual limited nuclear war.  It has to be limited, BTW:  Neither side has more than perhaps 160 warheads total, and neither has a large number of warheads it could deliver to the US.

But let's say they manage to get dozen warheads on the US.   The US has over 6,000 available warheads and the ability to deliver them without doing it in a manner threatening to other nations.

We could retaliate three times over and still not put a significant dent in our nuclear arsenal.

So I just don't see that kind of a thing happening.
 
2019-12-04 4:39:52 PM  

aungen: dittybopper: kb7rky: Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:

[Fark user image 850x1133]

The real question now is:  Whaddya got to trade?

That is gorgeous!  I don't have anything worthy of trading - my parents sold all of my grandfather's antique weaponry when they moved and didn't even let me try to buy it.


Oh, the gun isn't for trade.  It was built by my father specifically for me, to my measurements.

I meant what does kb7rky have to trade for my services.
 
2019-12-04 4:44:52 PM  

dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.

Instead ad hominems, why don't you explain to everyone how a limited nuclear exchange between a couple of nations like India and Pakistan would inevitably end all of humanity.

Use all the space you need below:


Sorry Charlie, I'm not playing your farking strawman games.
 
2019-12-04 4:50:57 PM  

Jake Havechek: dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.

Instead ad hominems, why don't you explain to everyone how a limited nuclear exchange between a couple of nations like India and Pakistan would inevitably end all of humanity.

Use all the space you need below:

Sorry Charlie, I'm not playing your farking strawman games.



So now it's a strawman to ask you to explain your position?

Fark user imageView Full Size



You're not interested in actually debating on the merits, you're just interested in dismissing people you disagree with.
 
2019-12-04 4:54:08 PM  
dittybopper:

I already argued my position up the thread, I'm not going to engage in pointless banter with the likes of you.
 
2019-12-04 5:48:53 PM  

dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.

Instead ad hominems, why don't you explain to everyone how a limited nuclear exchange between a couple of nations like India and Pakistan would inevitably end all of humanity.

<snip>

Lessee, wouldn't the prevailing winds blow fallout into China? And/or Russia? And I suppose there's no chance at all of either of them being drawn in, nor of the US in response....
 
2019-12-04 5:55:44 PM  

dittybopper: But Hitler, even in his drug-addled paranoid "Fark Germany for failing me!" state, he didn't order their use.

So, why not?


Hitler had a personal dislike/fear of chemical weapons; he'd already had some exposure during WWI and didn't want to face that again.

dittybopper: Let's say, hypothetically, that India and Pakistan do get into an actual limited nuclear war.  It has to be limited, BTW:  Neither side has more than perhaps 160 warheads total, and neither has a large number of warheads it could deliver to the US.


Neither would particularly have a goal of hitting the US, assuming we don't officially enter the conflict on one side or the other -- while India often sided with Russia, there was no formal enmity between India and the US.  Pakistan, having fewer nuclear weapons (and arguably more targets to use them on in India), is unlikely to "waste" any on other rivals.  However, there's definitely good reason for India to lash out at China, which is a nuclear state.

To be fair, are we arguing likelihood of an escalation, or whether it's a "sure thing"?  Halfway through typing all this, I realized that we might be arguing likelihood as opposed to "definitely will escalate".  I'd actually put it into tiers of probability.  India/Pakistan is less likely to be a "global" escalation than say, Israel facing a second holocaust.
 
2019-12-04 6:32:09 PM  

Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

I already argued my position up the thread, I'm not going to engage in pointless banter with the likes of you.


And yet, here you are, continuing to argue not on merits, but on personality.
 
2019-12-04 6:33:46 PM  
Da Bomb from Bamboozled
Youtube 5odrtwNoTW0

But it makes you get your freak on.
 
2019-12-04 7:08:11 PM  

whitroth: dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper: Jake Havechek: dittybopper:

Oh, you're serious.  Let me laugh even harder.

I suppose you also believe the fairy tales St. Reagan told you about "winnable" nuclear war.

Instead ad hominems, why don't you explain to everyone how a limited nuclear exchange between a couple of nations like India and Pakistan would inevitably end all of humanity.

<snip>
Lessee, wouldn't the prevailing winds blow fallout into China? And/or Russia? And I suppose there's no chance at all of either of them being drawn in, nor of the US in response....


Would they though?  Is some fallout worth nuclear annihilation?

The assumption that any nuclear exchange simply must devolve into a complete and full exchange by all nuclear powers isn't necessarily a valid one.  It's certainly a possibility, and I would never deny that, but by the same token it doesn't necessarily have to be so.  Simply saying it would be the end of the world as we know it is rooted in the binary past, when there were two nuclear powers.

It's more complex today, and the calculus of MAD no longer applies.  Only two nuclear states possibly have that capability, and that's kind of iffy, because they reduced their arsenals significantly over the last 30 years.  The majority of nuclear weapons on both sides are in storage, with only about a quarter of them actually deployed.  Those stored warheads are in readily identifiable facilities*, and getting them ready for use takes some time.  Chances are, they're going to be taken out in the first strike, or a significant fraction of them will be.

I simply don't see a smaller power launching against a larger one, that's not going to happen for practical reasons related to delivery methods in some cases, and because Han Solo aside, you don't rush a squad of armed professional soldiers armed only with a handgun. That results in your quick death.

I even have a hard time imagining a country like the PRC intervening if the DPRK nukes a neighbor or the US.  One irrational and suicidal move doesn't mean everyone has to follow.  I can see someone like Xi being pissed that Kim went off the reservation and saying "Hey, this is your mess, not ours", and letting others know that retaliation in kind against the DPRK wouldn't be viewed as an act of aggression against China, as long as it's proportional.

Of course, as I said, the opposite may be true.  But somehow I think that any nuclear exchange must lead to a full one is only one possibility, and the refusal to consider other possibilities is anti-intellectual.

*It's actually fun to play "Spot the nuclear weapons storage facility" on Google Earth.  For the US at least, they have double fencing, one access point with a guard shack, a clear field of fire around the perimeter, and poles that support wires to prevent helicopter landings.
 
2019-12-04 7:29:22 PM  

elchupacabra: dittybopper: But Hitler, even in his drug-addled paranoid "Fark Germany for failing me!" state, he didn't order their use.

So, why not?

Hitler had a personal dislike/fear of chemical weapons; he'd already had some exposure during WWI and didn't want to face that again.


I have a deep dislike/fear of being killed in a nuclear blast.   I suspect that I'm not alone.
 
2019-12-04 8:21:55 PM  

dittybopper: elchupacabra: dittybopper: But Hitler, even in his drug-addled paranoid "Fark Germany for failing me!" state, he didn't order their use.

So, why not?

Hitler had a personal dislike/fear of chemical weapons; he'd already had some exposure during WWI and didn't want to face that again.

I have a deep dislike/fear of being killed in a nuclear blast.   I suspect that I'm not alone.


I'm interested in being at ground zero or very far away. Nothing in between.

I think you would have at least given my grandfathers collection a glance.  In any case, it's gone, and that pic you posted was gorgeous.
 
2019-12-04 8:54:29 PM  

dittybopper: kb7rky: Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:

[Fark user image 850x1133]

The real question now is:  Whaddya got to trade?


DAMN

That is a nice rifle, and I am in awe of your marksmanship.
 
2019-12-04 10:44:00 PM  

HugeMistake: Jake Havechek: I tell you what, you won't be trading bottle caps for stuff.  That's for sure.

My theory is that the ideal post-apocalyptic currency will be soft toilet paper. It has inherent value, so does not depend on any fiat of a government of any kind. It's readily transportable, being light and flexible. It can be divided into very small units, as little as one sheet. It's durable: it doesn't "go off", rust, or decay quickly (provided it's stored carefully). And it's universal: everybody can benefit from it.

When everything goes titsup, you'll find me at CostCo filling the largest truck I can find with toilet rolls.


Fark user imageView Full Size


None of that wood pulp for me. And none of that euro-styled plastic either. No, sir, for me, it's 75% cotton, 25% linen. Doesn't need to be cut up like a T-shirt, specimens can still be found in any house in the former Republic, they can be rinsed in spring water, dried on a rock, gets softer every time you use it, the finest wipes on the planet.
 
2019-12-05 8:24:12 AM  

kb7rky: dittybopper: kb7rky: Plus, I hope you're a good shot :grin:

[Fark user image 850x1133]

The real question now is:  Whaddya got to trade?

DAMN

That is a nice rifle, and I am in awe of your marksmanship.


Well, that's only 50 yards, and that's roughly about the limit of that gun accuracy-wise.  Remember it's a flintlock, and open sights.  And the sights are fixed, so it's only good for a certain distance.   One hundred grains is my hunting load, so I can shoot more or less point blank out to maybe 120 yards.   On that target, I was aiming at the 6 o'clock position on the target.   If I was shooting at 100 yards, I'd have aimed center mass.

For primitive biathlons, where the targets are generally no more than 50 yards, I use a 70 grain powder load, because that shoots dead on at 50 yards.  Also, less recoil, less fouling, and less cost:  I can get 100 shots from a pound of powder at 70 grains, but only 70 shots per pound at 100 grains.

Now, I have another rifle, also built by my father, that is a Baker rifle, and I shoot that at 200 yards, but you don't get bench rest accuracy with a gun like that:

Fark user imageView Full Size


Here is is looking prettier:

Fark user imageView Full Size


Now, on that target, I managed to put all 8 shots on to the standard B-27 silhouette at 200 yards.  But that was a good day.  On a normal day, I manage to get maybe half to 2/3rds hits at that distance, which still would have placed me in the top rank of riflemen in the 95th Rifles.  Actually, probably better, because they used a full-sized silhouette between 5'6" and 6' tall, and my misses below the torso could be counted as hits.

But 200 yards is a long way for a round ball.  When you hear about amazing sniper shots from the Revolutionary War or the Peninsular Wars, take them with a grain of salt, because hitting a man-sized target past 300 yards with a flintlock firing round ball is more a matter of luck than anything else.   Variations in the powder, the casting of the ball, and most especially the wind.

Round ball is a very inefficient projectile, and they slow rather rapidly.  By just 50 yards, the ball from that Baker rifle is going subsonic, and time of flight out to 200 yards is 6/10ths of a second.   With just a 5 mph 90 degree cross-wind, that will push the bullet 18 inches off target.

A .308 Winchester might be blown just 2 inches off at that distance with that wind.
 
2019-12-05 7:35:33 PM  

dittybopper: elchupacabra: dittybopper: But Hitler, even in his drug-addled paranoid "Fark Germany for failing me!" state, he didn't order their use.

So, why not?

Hitler had a personal dislike/fear of chemical weapons; he'd already had some exposure during WWI and didn't want to face that again.

I have a deep dislike/fear of being killed in a nuclear blast.   I suspect that I'm not alone.


You're also not the person with the finger on the button.  What we're concerned with is the people who do have that control and whether they decide, "If we don't hit other enemies, they'll just take our country after this is over.  Might as well make sure we hurt them as well".

/sorry such a late response, got distracted
 
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