Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Foresight Needed to Create Viable Future Tourist Industry for Failed American Civilization

Recent improvements in building technology have made it necessary for America to start planning for its decline now, if it is not to wake up in a few hundred years unable to compete as a tourist attraction for visitors from China and other emerging powers. That is the harsh message that is coming out of the recent International Conference on Planning for Urban Decay and Tourism (ICPUDT) held this week in Detroit, MI.

Although buildings made of stone have a good chance of surviving the time scales required to create a good future tourist industry, even that is in doubt because of the use of substandard, standard concrete in modern America.   But now the Japanese have invented ways to create concrete, essentially a form of liquid stone if you will, that lasts almost half as long as the classic Roman concrete.  "We are still not as good as the ancient Romans, damn them, but this is good enough for us to build structures that will last long enough to be viable tourist attractions.  I call on the patriotism of all true American construction firms to start using this new concrete in their work so that we can leave a legacy for our impoverished descendants."

The conference attendees were inspired by this announcements and also the breakthrough ideas in monument protection technologies and designs for future ruins that have the potential of enhancing tourist appeal.  The conference attendees also voted to approve and issue a report describing the threat to future tourism dominance in a collapsing civilization and to propose possible countermeasures that have the promise of creating an important tourism industry for the failed and otherwise shamed former superpower.

To see the danger most clearly, the conference report discussed the situation in Egypt and Rome, both of which have extremely important tourism industries which live off the extensive remnants of their glorious past. In both cases, what tourists see are not actually the ancient buildings and tombs, but what is left of them after their greedy and lazy descendants demolished  those buildings in the search for cheap building materials.

Was the passage of time the cause of this decay or was the building stripped for parts?

Although there was no consensus on what techniques should be used to protect our future tourist investments, there was general agreement that we have to start now. “It takes time and its hideously expensive to build these buildings that will represent us to future tourists. We have to start now and build in the protective techniques that will keep our children's children from destroying these buildings in order to make a fast dollar, or yuan, as the case may be”.

Three experimental techniques proposed in the final report of the conference include:

-- developing new materials that bond the facade with the underlying concrete so one can not remove one without removing the other,

-- making the windows out of transparent and incorruptable metal,

-- long-lasting explosive designs that kill anyone who tries to loot the building by dropping a wall or a roof on them (this is a revision of the classic booby-traps designed by ancient Egyptian architects to stop the looting of their ancient tombs), 

-- micro-encapsulated poison gas incorporated into the building materials that shatter and instantly kill the looters.

The conference report concluded that if America was going to fail to show the slightest planning in their economy, infrastructure and foreign affairs, but always go for the most stupid policies that make the fastest buck for the rich, then it is all the more important that we take care today to create a viable tourist industry for our impoverished and degraded descendants or the people who conquer them and live here now.

Already abandoned in Detroit, does this building have what it takes to survive 500 years and become a tourist attraction?

Article on recent work on reverse engineering Roman concrete

Wikipedia page on Roman concrete

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