Apocalypse Blimp!

He's showing me how he wants to position an airborne hologram over the Dome of the Rock, a gold-capped shrine that's one of the most holy sites in Islam. "The blimp will go there," Hayutman says pointing into the blue. "And eventually the Messiah will come."

He has two big ideas, two ways to engineer the apocalypse. The first: a hovering holographic temple. Hayutman wants to set up an array of high-powered, water-cooled lasers and fire them into a transparent cube suspended beneath a blimp. The ephemeral, flickering image, he says, would fulfill an ancient, widely revered Jewish prophecy that the temple will descend from the heavens as a manifestation of light. Hayutman hopes to finance the project with some of the proceeds from a $20 million patent-infringement suit he and his partners have filed against Palm.

The rest of that money would be poured into Hayutman's second idea for jump-starting the end-times: a virtual temple within a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

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12 Responses:

    • jwz says:

      lj's being a dildo.

      • ajaxxx says:

        it would appear so. you're not showing up in my friends view at all. which is significantly better than when i tried to add you the first time, when you didn't even make the Friends: list on my info page. perplexifying.

  1. dachte says:

    Will these wacky people need to send their Messiah back?

  2. valacosa says:

    It's certain this will work, right? I mean, all those other predictions about the end of time have certainly come true...

  3. pdx6 says:

    ...I would build robotic Messiahs, one Jesus and one Mohammad, to battle to the death. Who needs liquid cooled lasers shooting at a cube when you can have a robotic Jesus with a death ray?

  4. masterkill says:

    "... It's a prophecy that many Jews have embraced because it suggests that only God can build the temple. But Hayutman found a loophole. He realized that another way to get a temple of light to descend from the heavens was to combine a blimp with hologram-producing lasers."

    Is this for real? I mean, we're awfully close to April 1 and all. Googling proves inconclusive, although there does appear to be a "Yitzhak Hayutman."

  5. This is the from the new Neal Stephenson novel, right? Brilliant as usual, Neal! You could almost believe these techno-kooks are real!

  6. ronbar says:

    Sounds about right to me. I've never believed in an earth-shattering apocalypse.

    I don't see why he needs the blimp or the cube. If the lasers are bright enough that they need to be water-cooled, their beam intersections should be visible in normal atmospheric pollition or condensation.

    As far as the game goes, I don't see why they can't just use the open-source Quake or Quake II engines and the free level- and object-building tools that are already out there.