Technology and the Cold War
The thing that struck me at first when I started reading The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson was how technology was being used in this world. The first thing I noticed was how different the cars were. From what I am getting from the book so far is that cars follow a magnetic path and are controlled mostly by computer systems, there is very little human involvement at all. All they have to do is use the blinker lever to change lane and use the gear selector.(1-2) Other than that it seems that the cars are very similar to what we have today. Secondly, the military seems to have more drones than we do currently and they seem more technically advanced than ones we have. An example from the book is the RX-16, a remotely piloted vehicle that can reach speeds up to Mach 7 and has the radar signature of a bee.(14) This shows that they want to do less fighting with actual people and want to use more drones to do the fighting for them.
The second thing that caught my attention is that the Cold War was still going on in the year 2027. At first it surprised me because from what I learned in history is that the Cold War ended in 1991, but than we talked about that in class and I sort of agree that the Cold War did not end, just went into hibernation. So, that makes this scenario a little more believable, but in our time the Cold War is not against the Soviets, we are fighting against the former Soviet Union, Russia.
Robinson, Kim. The Gold Coast. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1988. Print.