Friday, February 7, 2014

Day of the Moron by H. Beam Piper

While my attention span was seriously diminished by a bout of the flu, I found myself browsing some of the old science fiction shorts on my Nook, and ran across this classic. The story has a theme or two in common with Blowups Happen by Robert A. Heinlein and The Marching Morons, by Cyril M. Kornbluth, which was adapted to screen in Idiocracy; the potential dangers inherent in atomic power plants and in the "morons" within our society.

The protagonist is in charge of a nuclear power plant which provides 100% of the electricity for the eastern seaboard. He becomes concerned with the consequences if one of the men staffing the facility should decide, while bored, to twiddle a dial or push a button just to see what happens. The evidence for this type of behavior is obvious in studies of other industries' disasters, so it must be taken into consideration here. He calls in a top notch psychologist to administer tests to the workers, and will use the results to weed out the personalities prone to that sort of thing - the "morons", if you will.

In the process, however, he gets crossways with the union goons on the job site, and the results are, shall we say, suboptimal.


ProudHillbilly said...

I thought maybe you were digressing to commentary on the Democrat leadership when I saw the title of the post....

Jon said...

You don't even want to get me started on that topic.