Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tinfoil Hats and Hawaii

Hawaii got a warning this morning that there was an incoming missile. This was a take cover now, this is no drill, missile inbound warning.

The official story is that it was a mistake. So sorry, my bad, pushed the wrong button.

Maybe. Or maybe it was an opening test, let's just give them 15 minutes of thinking it real and see how the populace of 2018 reacts.

Or, if you're really into the Reynolds Wrap™, maybe there a missile launched. We managed to intercept it, using some technology we'd rather not discuss publicly, and the easiest, perhaps reflexive, response from the government was to just say "Swamp Gas!" and push the neuralizer.


Borepatch said...

I think it's more plausible that the system got hacked, because security of Government systems is wretched.

I guess it's possible that the NORKs shot a nuke at us and we shot it down, but that scenario requires a lot of governmental competence. My scenario only needs governmental incompetence.

Take your pick on which is more plausible.

ASM826 said...

Well, sure, the official story is plausible from the sheer incompetence, too. The system was so simple, all the person had to do was click one button and they didn't know they'd done it until they got the text along with everyone else.

That means that the design of the system was so sloppy that someone could send out an incoming missile message and it didn't automatically alert every other member of the team, it didn't require two person authentication, or even the one person to have to enter a second password and click a big red screened, flashing box that asked, "Really, are you sure, because you are one click away from telling a million people that a nuclear missile is on the way!!!" Click yes to proceed.

Comrade Misfit said...

I'll go with "mistake". But it's a bad mistake, because if the next alert is real, a large number of people will ignore it.

Arthur said...

Brad Richards said...

No need to overcomplicate it: "stupid mistake" suffices. I mean, you could require two-person authentication, but that's not an unmixed blessing: it could substantially slow the warning system. So they don't. So things like this can happen.

Of course, false positives are bad, far worse than most people realize. Just look at the amber alerts for missing kids: from what I hear (I'm not in the US), most people have turned them off, because most of them were nothing more than stupid marital spats. So now, no one takes them seriously.

Meanwhile, on the popcorn front, the reaction of the population was...amusing:

- "I was sitting in the bathtub with my children, saying our prayers". Um...why?

- "people getting out of cars and running and looking at the sky." Because you really want to see that nuclear blast.

- "Under mattresses in the bathtub with my wife, baby and in laws" What is it about bathtubs?

In the absence of a civil defense infrastructure, there's not much point to doing anything, with only a few minutes warning. Get away from windows. Underground might be smart, but only if you have a place you know, like your own basement. Beyond that, there's damned all that you can actually do.

Ken said...

Well, I guess Launch on Warning either isn't a thing now, or has a fail-safe.

Unknown said...

Why the bathtub? Because the bathtub was already empty, and the fridge wasn't.