fredag 26 september 2014

Så har vi överlevt ännu ett år...

Det har varit ett rent ut sagt j-a skitår, med Putins återinförande av idén att europeiska länder med tillräcklig militär slagstyrka får lov att ta för sig av sina grannländers territorier, med Islamska statens frammarsch i Syrien och Irak, med ännu ett krigsutbrott i Gaza, och med Kinas allt stöddigare expansionism. Men vi har i alla fall överlevt, vilket sannerligen är värt att fira, och vi är på nytt framme vid den 26 september - Petrovdagen! För den som inte vet varför Petrovdagen firas just denna dag hänvisar jag till förra årets bloggpost om saken.

5 kommentarer:

  1. Arne Söderqvist26 september 2014 07:59

    Kanelbullens dag firas i vårt land 4 oktober. Petrovdagen passerar däremot i det tysta. Det motsatta vore vettigare.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Jo, det förstås, men jag gillar ändå kanelbullens dag, och jag sätter stort värde på att min födelsedag numera förknippas med detta utsökta bakverk snarare än med Gunnar Randholm.

      Radera
    2. Arne Söderqvist26 september 2014 08:39

      Jag försäkrar att jag aldrig tidigare förknippat dig med någon Gunnar Randholm.

      Som den sedan 1983 salige professorn Lars Kristiansson vid din läroanstalt en gång sade till mig, så är glömska ingen aktiv process. Det man en gång lärt sig kan visserligen falla i glömska, men i så fall av olika tillfälligheter. Det var alltså litet dumt av dig att nämna Randholm i samband med det datum du kom till jorden. Men jag ska göra allt för att inte komma att associera dig med honom.

      Trevligt nog kommer jag i alla fall att väga upp ovanstående genom att även förknippa dig med kanelbullar. Ett utsökt bakverk. Det håller jag med om.

      Radera
  2. Även Anders Sandberg uppmärksammar Petrovdagen:

    "Today, 31 years ago, the human species nearly came to an end. Lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov was the officer on duty in bunker Serpukhov-15 near Moscow, monitoring the Soviet Union early warning satellite network. If notification was received that it had detected approaching missiles the official strategy was launch on warning: an immediate counter-attack against the United States. International relations were on a hair trigger: just days before Korean Air Lines Flight 007 had been shot down by Soviet fighter jets, killing everybody onboard (including a US congressman). Kreml was claiming the jet had been on a spy mission, or even deliberately trying to provoke war.

    Shortly after midnight the computers reported a single intercontinental missile heading towards Russia.

    Petrov had the choice of notifying his superiors, in which case a nuclear war would likely ensue. But he also knew the system was possibly unreliable and that a single missile was an unlikely first salvo. He kept cool, reported it as a false alarm and waited. As the minutes went by, the Soviet launch options also dwindled. The missile disappeared. Then four new appeared. He dismissed them too – rightly, as it eventually turned out that the real cause was reflected sunlight on high altitude clouds.

    It is easy to romanticize the situation and turn Petrov into a individualist hero, saving humanity by going against orders and not being recognized until decades later. The importance of the situation is easily graspable and has a main character facing a tense choice: there is drama there. One can also tell the story as an engineer understanding the limitations of his infrastructure and taking a prudent decision: he was just doing an important job right. Can somebody who takes no action even be a hero? Or mention the numerous other close calls that were averted without some named actor.

    The exact details do not matter as much as what the incident symbolises. Sometimes individual human actions can matter for the entire species. It might be rare, but when it happens the moral responsibility is enormous, perhaps more than what we can expect any human to bear. We should be deeply grateful to people who show integrity and skill in such situations: they may need and certainly deserve our support afterwards. In fact, we ought to publicly and collectively pre-commit to this so that any new Petrov would feel more confident that he or she will be embraced afterwards (if there is an after).

    There is also another important realisation: we are collectively building or endorsing institutions that may be as risky as the 1983 Soviet Union nuclear system. It might not make much of a villain – a faceless set of devices, routines, strategy and people following orders – but the fact that collective decisions and actions had produced a system that could launch nuclear holocaust due to a trick of light should disturb us. Avoiding such Molochs is essential for the survival of humanity, and a very hard problem.

    Thanks to Petrov we have a chance to work on it."

    SvaraRadera