"The germinal societies like Singapore and communist Hong Kong may give us a mutant capitalism that is both virulent and efficient. This is a significant cultural danger."
The most precious substance in the Dune universe is a substance called spice, or mélange. It was found only on the planet Arrakis (aka Dune), a planet that was almost entirely desert. It was not possible to establish fixed mining sites, because of enormous sandworms that roamed freely across the surface of the planet. For this reason, mobile, self-contained factory units were dropped onto the surface where spice sands were observed.
Since the giant sand worms would invariably come to any source of rhythmical vibration, a carryall wing aircraft was always on standby to remove it. Shai Hulud, the sandworm of Dune, was large enough to swallow a factory crawler as long as a football field whole, with all aboard.
(Solido Projector Factory Crawler Image from 'Dune' by Frank Herbert)
Obviously, we have no equivalent of spice on Earth, but huge mobile harvesting factories can be found in various forms. For example, timber harvesters capable of felling, debarking, debranching and cutting entire trees in lengths for transport, at an average of one tree every thirty seconds changed the logging industry. One could imagine unscrupulous logging companies landing one of these in a stand of virgin timber, hoping to clear as many acres of land as possible before being discovered.
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