In blogging about all the tech I thought about while writing Corporate Torsos Need Not Apply (I’m not an efficient or expansive thinker, this was over a 24-year period, including my formative teenage and college years and before we had phones to stare at) I realized two things:
- I was preoccupied with geoengineering for a couple of years, especially the fact that hydroelectric dams slow the rotation of the earth; and
- That kind of thing hasn’t really made it into pop culture yet.
As John Oliver taught us, it’s rare that infrastructure makes it into pop culture.
Which could be why there haven’t been any major investments in national infrastructure in 50 years. (Or maybe other reasons?)
We know there’s a general public awareness (and fear of) genetic engineering, but geoengineering, or in this case, the slowing of earth’s rotation due to a large hydroelectric dam, is just a blip on the 24-hour news cycle. Why?
Is it because we don’t understand the long-term effects, but really love electricity?
Is it because it’s a big concept, yet the effects seem small? What’s a millisecond every here and there?
Plus, as with any whole-of-planet phenomenon, it can also be explained to laypeople like myself as “normal”. Which, of course, through debate, is the same way that discussions of impact to earth’s ionosphere, global climate change, mass extinction of species, and all other inconceivably big effects of human civilization happening in our time fly under the radar of human consciousness.
You argue about it for a while, then you get tired or hungry, and give up, and go do something else. Electricity is great. Let’s keep our mouths shut.
Meanwhile, the Earth slowed down.
But we don’t know if the one thing causes the other.
Until it happens.