In his lecture, Professor Josephson talked about massive construction projects all over the world, which many of the worlds major powers have undertaken in the past 100 years. The part I found most interesting about the talk was the rhetoric used to justify many of them, which is always frighteningly similar. In Russia, most the projects were started by the state to mainly reinforce their national pride. Many projects had the goal to modernize “backwards” people in provinces of the soviet union or to improve life for those around the project sites, such as dams, canals and earth moving projects. Although often at the end of the day, the Moscow was normally the place that benefited the most. These projects were the state projecting their will, in a way thought to improve the nation. The state often acts on its own volition assuming their decisions are always right, although this is not the case. This does not just apply to Russia and the Soviet Union. The Tennessee Valley Authority was supposed to promote democracy, with their massive water control projects, in much the same way Lenin’s electrification of Russia was supposed to promote communism. This relates back to a story Geoff Manaugh talked about in one of the lectures earlier this semester about Delicate Arch in Utah. Delicate Arch is a rock formation, and a man wrote the government asking it to be preserved from any further erosion so future generations could enjoy it. Many chemical and engineering companies stepped up and offered solutions, but all did more damage to the stone than protect it. I think an important lesson can be learned here about the state assuming total control over nature, an unpredictable and sometimes violent force; you do not have to look far for stories of these massive engineering projects failing.