Impervious horrors of a leeward shore (arpad) wrote,
Impervious horrors of a leeward shore

Support vs. Development

Summerland Hotel in Beirut was built along the coast just west of the airport. The hotel opened in 1979 as the first resort hotel designed for people who wanted to vacation inside a civil war zone - in style.

The Summerland's innovation included the installation of two 12,000-gallon fuel tanks to feed its two generators and satisfy all hotel energy needs for more than a month, should the city's electricity be entirely cut off - which is often was. The hotel also had a separate 3,400 gallon gasoline tank for its own fleet of taxis and employee cars, thus ensuring that both the staff and the hotel guests could move around the city oblivious to the regular gasoline shortages. The Summerland had an underground garage that doubled as a bomb shelter, its own artesian wells and water purification system, its own fire department, and a maintenance shop that could rebuild or repair anything in the hotel. Instead of installing only four large refrigerators that a 151 room hotel would normally require, the Summerland installed eighteen freezers, so that veal, beef and smoked salmon could be flown in from Paris and stored for an entire summer season, when the hotel pool and restaurant were packed with Beirut's finest.

Because "the circumstances" in Beirut have kept foreign tourists away since 1975, the Summerland sold all the cabanas around its pool to Lebanese families….

(c) Friedman "From Beirut to Jerusalem"


99% of post-apocalyptic fiction does not take into account how fragile our civilization is. It's just war zone experience in disguise.

In a few decades from doomsday all technology related devices will be dead. Not because of lack of energy but because lack of spare parts.

Computers will die first – even if no one will use them. Their electronic components can not be stored more than decade or so. All heavy machinery will decay a lot quicker than you think, because to fix it you need fix instruments first. Even simple welding burner can't work without acetylene. As well, the rods it uses can't be produced in town smithy… All drags will either be used or their time limit run off. Car fuel lifetime is several years – even if it kept in hermetically sealed container. Et cetera…

Main destructive factor in a post-apocalyptic world isn't loss of infrastructure. The true civilization collapse comes from lack of brains to hold the know-how about countless interdependent components of the civilization. And from resulting inability to rebuild this infrastructure.

Why I am writing that? Because I am interested in post-apocalyptic world? Not at all. IMHO, post-apocalyptic world speculations are extremely boring. Survive or not survive - that is the question. End of story.

What Summerland story really makes me think about - is how much workforce, how much power our civilization is spending to just maintain the status quo.


Отель "Саммерленд" в Бейруте был построен на берегу сразу к западу от аэропорта. Он открылся в 1979 – первый отель для желающих отдохнуть на высшем уровне в зоне гражданской войны.

В Саммерленде были установлены два топливных бака по 45,000 литров, которые позволяли генераторам отеля работать независимо больше месяца на случай если электричество будет полностью отключено (что случалось часто). Другое хранилище для автомобильного бензина на 12,000 литров кормило автомобили отеля, гарантируя что и гости и работники смогут передвигаться по городу независимо от дефицита бензина. Подземный гараж Саммерленда мог служить бомбоубежищем; отелю принадлежали артезианский колодец, система очистки воды, пожарная станция и мастерская, которая могла отстроить и починить все чем пользовался отель. Вместо одного большого холодильника в Саммерленде было восемнадцать. Мясо и копченый лосось доставлялись по воздуху из Парижа сразу на весь летний сезон, когда бассейн и ресторан отеля были заполнены бейрутской элитой.

(c) Фридман "Бейрут – Иерусалим".


Мне не интересен пост-апокалиптический мир. Глобальная катастрофа в качестве интеллектуального упражнения – это убого. Ну какой интерес исследовать на каком уровне рушащаяся цивилизация сумеет зацепиться и начать восстанавливаться. Если сумеет.

А вот о чем история вышеупомянутого пансионата "Летний" действительно заставляет меня задуматься – это о том сколько ресурсов в нашей цивилизации уходит на поддержку, а не на развитие.

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