Geomagnetic Planetary Hard-Drive

Geoff Manaugh is a mad genius:

… it occurred to me that if the U-Bahn system could somehow be hooked up to massive, earth-anchored magnets, and made, therefore, to produce a magnetic field of its own, that you could transform all of Berlin into a geomagnetic harddrive.

As a sail traps the wind, a planetary harddrive would use geomagnetism.

Provided constant motion on behalf of the trains, I thought, and given absolutely gigantic magnets of the right polarity and location, Berlin could start producing its own magnetic field – which meant that any city with a subway could be transformed into a harddrive. Harddrive London. Harddrive Beijing. Harddrive Moscow.

Of course, it’s obvious even to me that you’d have to do quite a lot more than just bury some magnets underground in order to transform a city into a harddrive – you’d need a shovel, for instance, and perhaps some strong anti-manic drugs; but my point is that if Christopher Wren could build a tower that simultaneously memorialized the Great Fire of London even as it acted as a scientific device, then perhaps you could turn urban infrastructure itself into a kind of working scientific apparatus.

You could turn all of Berlin into a geomagnetic harddrive….

(Thanks to Matt Jones)

12 thoughts on “Geomagnetic Planetary Hard-Drive”

  1. What kind of storage density could you get with this, I wonder? Could a city be made to store pornographic images of everyone who lived in it? Would Seattle, WA set itself up as an enormous communal iPod full of horrid hippie/emo crap?

  2. Fantastic, what a great idea. Then the local version of ASLEF will call a stike….

    (Associated Society of Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen)

  3. Great. Now the world’s hacker’s can own Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, London, New York and turn all the world’s major cities into a vast bot-net. The authorities may be forced to nuke a few of them that are being used to harbour vast collections of warez.

Comments are closed.