Our Third Thirds: Did you Duck and Cover?

Our Third Thirds: Did you Duck and Cover?

Skipped to:
September 26 is Petrov Day: “Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, take a minute to not destroy the world.”

That last panel goes on to describe other false alarms: one where a training tape of a Soviet invasion was mistakenly inserted into the early-warning computer, another where a Norwegian rocket on a scientific mission to study the aurora was mistaken for a missile.

These were equipment mistakes, technological errors; they can happen any time. But the humans staffing the machines have to be able to stay calm and process the evidence rationally. Always it comes down to the one person who might be the one who “saves the world.”

Many times in my life I’ve explored what it takes to make peace as opposed to making war. This exhibit put another layer on it: how do we train people to refrain from pushing buttons, to pause, to consider? Because so far, the only time the world was saved was when a button wasn’t pressed.

Barbara Brown blog about life in the Third Third: empty nest, retirement, de-cluttering, adventures, crashes, New Things, all with art and humor.