I was reading this business book called "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture" by John Battelle (he has a great blog here). One of the assumptions that he makes (and that most biz writers make thesedays) is that the web will always be around, and that the growth of the internet will be eternal, always robust, and that consumers will increasingly lead a large part of their life online. In fact he rates the 'net and search as one of the key inventions of mankind.
"Interesting", quoth I. That triggered a thought - what would happen if the Internet suddenly vanishes, or in a larger sense, what happens when if all our ubiquitous electronics were to vanish overnight - say hit by an EMP pulse in a nuclear war, or attacked by a silicon-eating virus?
What aspects of our life would be disrupted? Well you wouldnt be able to call a repair-person (or anybody else in the world for that matter) since your phone wouldnt be working, the internet would be disrupted, your computer would be a junk-heap of smoking parts and mobile networks would have vanished forever. You wouldnt be able to drive down to fetch help either since your car's electronics chips would have been fried which means that your engine wouldnt even turn over. Any thoughts of cooking yourself a snack while you wait for help would be impossible (unless you have a tree and an axe close to hand, and you know how to use it) since your kitchen appliances wouldnt work. And of course your utilities would have long stopped working since the control mechanisms would have been disabled too.
Over extended periods of disruption like this where would you find food and shelter? In extreme situations (say if you live out in the country) do you have the basics close at hand - tinned foods, manual tools for carpentry, hunting and cooking? Non electric blankets and whatnot.
I guess the only people who wouldnt be too bothered would be the people who are increasingly ignored in todays high-tech society - people who do physical work - farmers, carpenters, cooks, constructors, lawmen. All the rest will go the way of the dinosaur- graphic designers, sales and marketing people, business leaders, politicians, film stars... and yes, bloggers too.
Think about it - do you have any REAL survival skills?
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