21 April 2010

File under, "We didn't listen to the warnings."

Last night, I was thinking about the fragility of a world economy made dependent on high-efficiency travel.

Watching the news? No, I was watching Doctor Who. And not the new series with Matt Smith, no. I was watching some old school Who: “The Seeds of Death.”

That’s right: back in 1969, writer Brian Hayles was worried about the risks of globalization and how easily interdependent economies can be disrupted if travel stops. It’s a teleportation system called “T-mat” in the show rather than good ol’ airplanes, but still. And the parallels don’t stop there.

A major part of the plot concerns the abandonment of rockets... and now we’re looking at the last space shuttle flight with no replacement on the near horizon.

The cause of our current woes? Eyjafjallaj√∂kull, a volcano in Iceland. (And seriously, you cannot tell me the name of that volcano sounds like the name of a Doctor Who baddie. You just can’t.) The cause of the woes in “The Seeds of Death”? Ice Warriors!

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