Friday, September 18, 2009

Pump Six, by Paulo Bacigalupi

Pump Six is the lead story in a collection of the same name. The link is to a podcast including it. Paulo Bacigalupi is a very hot name now, one of those who is capturing darker versions of our future. This story tells how quality infrastructure might do us in, by continuing to function incrementally less well as time goes on, such that we forget how to maintain it. Sounds like modern India, or, increasingly, the U.S. I don't think we're actually in danger of having this particular future materialize--what we build doesn't hold up nearly that well, though some water systems do remind one of it (there are wooden pipes under Boston, leaking 5 gallons for each one they deliver).

This one goes on my recommended list.

Read of the Day

Also in the above podcast is Iain Creasey's Reality 2.0, a piece of irony done as an infomercial. Check it out for a little laugh. The folks in Pump Six world might have been able to manage Wondernumbers.

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