Nuclear floppy disks
According to a study by the nonpartisan Stimson Center, it would cost at least $352 billion over the next decade to operate and modernize America’s current arsenal. The Minuteman IIIs alone are undergoing a $7 billion upgrade. So, one hopes that the floppies will soon go back to being associated with Number Munchers, rather than a nuclear apocalypse. If you watch the 60 Minutes segment, you’ll notice that the phones are also quite old, though it’s mentioned that they’re “looking at upgrading” them “in the next few years.” A bad connection sure would be an embarrassing way to start World War III. But old phones and floppies are only part of the problem.
I’m surprised that people find this surprising – while the military funds the majority of ‘cool stuff’ research going on in the US,1 they’re very slow to actually adopt that stuff.
- Actually, considering how spectacularly massive the US military budget is, the Pentagon is probably responsible for, like, half of all research going on in the world. ↩