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A Momentary Flow

Evolving Worldviews

Neal Stephenson is thinking big - 20km (12.4 miles) big, to be precise. That’s how high the tower he has proposed building will soar if the project ever comes to fruition. Such a structure would make it cheaper to launch objects into space, he says, thanks to fuel savings. It’s a lofty goal. But creating a building more than 24 times taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and not far off double the height commercial aircraft fly at is no easy task. “It ends up being all about wind,” the author tells the BBC. “In a windless environment making a structure that tall would almost be trivial. But when you build something that is going to poke up through and get hit by the jet stream from time to time, then it becomes shockingly much more difficult.” Stephenson studied physics before becoming a writer, and his fascination with the way science and technologies develop is a central theme in much of his work. (via BBC News - Neal Stephenson on tall towers and NSA cyber-spies)

Neal Stephenson is thinking big - 20km (12.4 miles) big, to be precise. That’s how high the tower he has proposed building will soar if the project ever comes to fruition. Such a structure would make it cheaper to launch objects into space, he says, thanks to fuel savings. It’s a lofty goal. But creating a building more than 24 times taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and not far off double the height commercial aircraft fly at is no easy task. “It ends up being all about wind,” the author tells the BBC. “In a windless environment making a structure that tall would almost be trivial. But when you build something that is going to poke up through and get hit by the jet stream from time to time, then it becomes shockingly much more difficult.” Stephenson studied physics before becoming a writer, and his fascination with the way science and technologies develop is a central theme in much of his work. (via BBC News - Neal Stephenson on tall towers and NSA cyber-spies)

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