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  1. GolfTango
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    GolfTango New Member

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    Accurate Consequences

    Discussion in 'Research' started by GolfTango, Apr 4, 2010.

    Hi guys,

    I'm hoping for your assistance with a world I'm trying to imagine. I'm writing about a post-apocalyptic Earth wherein an electro-magnetic pulse destroys all the world's electronics. The plot itself I pretty much have in my mind, and no - I'm not seeking validation as to whether or not I should write about it ;). My question is: What ramifications would having no electronics be, aside from the glaringly obvious? ie. No power, phones or internet. I'm hoping for examples like: The city's electronic irrigation system explodes and ruptures all the cities street without regulation. Nuclear Power plants go Chernobyl because there's no systems in place to keep the Uranium stable. All planes fall out of the sky, killing thousands.

    What things would occur that might not be considered with a cursory glance? I'd like to get all of your thoughts on this - thanks.
     
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  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, you're the one who wants to be a writer, gt... and writers are supposed to have their own ideas... i know some here will say it's ok to ask, and i shouldn't say not to, but if you want to be a professional writer, you're really going to have to do your own research at some point and now's the best time to start...

    all you need is only a mouseclick away... the magical place where you can find it all is called 'google'... do the smart thing and start doing your own homework/research... it will serve you best in the long run...

    love and hugs, maia [a mother, first and foremost!]
     
  3. JoenSo
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    JoenSo Member

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    Well, I'm one of those who thinks it's okay to ask, since that's a kind of research too in my opinion. Though you better double check any information you get from a forum.

    As for the electricity... I guess it depends a lot on where in the world you are. I mean, the winters up here in Sweden where I live would be horrible without electricity. While in other parts of the world the summers might be worse than the winters.

    Getting clean water and preserve food would prove a problem for many.

    I've heard that the subway tunnels here in Stockholm would be flooded without electricity for example. A lot of these tunnels go under water, so I don't know if it would happen a lot in other places.

    Maybe a minor thing, but I like the idea that just about everyone would be able to the stars at night without a bucketload of light pollution.

    Well, maybe that wasn't so helpful, but that's what I could think of from the top of my head.
     
  4. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    If it clears out all electronics, then you will end up with a lack of these things:

    - Computers. The banks, stores, hospitals and so on would be in trouble. They would have to come up with ways to keep records by taking notes on paper. The hospitals would be without any machine using electronics, which at least in the beginning would mean serious trouble.

    - GPS, meaning trouble for maritime transportation, but the navigator or captain should know how to navigate without that... the problem is if the boat can't be controlled without electronics (like drive-by-wire)

    - Lots of cars not working properly or at all.

    - Any alarm system would be out of order, meaning good times for criminals and looters.

    - No Internet, so back to snailmail, with emphasis on snail. What transportations would work to deliver the mail?

    I wonder how quickly the manufacturing of electronics can be back up and running again.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I reckon you have the first, immediate effect: machines going off mid-operation in hospitals, planes/cars crashing, wipe out of communications (including between leaders of countries: I'm not sure how efficient phones, telegraphs, radar would be) etc; and then you have the long-term consequences and measures that are taken...you don't tell us how long the electronics are affected, or if the world has to learn to live without electronics...
     
  6. Blazewind
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    Blazewind New Member

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    One thing that has not be mentioned so far is the effects this would actually have on medical technology, and thus on human health mortality. With no electronics, the health care system would where it was a hundred years or so in the past, give or take. Life support would fail, so suddenly many more severe injuries would become fatal. Defibrillators would not work, so when patients hearts stop if CPR failed, there would be no more last resort. Babies born premature and at very low birthweights, would have very little or no chance of survival at all, as these days th3ey can survive only due to high tech medical care. Even transporting patients to the hospital would become far more difficult as things like that tend to be organized with the use of computers and telephones. It could be done, provided vehicles still ran normally but response times might be drastically reduced and this would claim lives. Overall I would logically imagine that the mortality rate would be far higher in such times simply because it;s medical science that often helps people live so long and survive devastating injuries. Also to, in cities, because of the number of people living in such close proximity, and with things like sewage and ventilation systems at risk, illness would spread so fast.
     
  7. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    You should also wonder if there's still money. (banks would not be working, people could just take what they need etc.)

    Also, the entire communication would be broken, so to get in touch you would have to visit someone or send mail somehow. This also means people would raid stores.. no security alarm, no way to get in touch with the police soon..

    No way of knowing where someone else is, how to get in touch with them, how to know there whereabouts.

    As Blaze stated, people would die, unjuries would become fatal, no medicines etc.

    It also depends if it happens right after or if it's been like 20 years since it happened.
    Right after there would still be enough food, gas in the car, some medical supplies.. but after 20 years people would be out of all those things and would probally rebuild a part of the world. Think about this aswell.

    And are the key leaders of the world still alive? The president? Is someone else taking over ? There will probally be small communities who all have seperate leaders because they can't communicate with, for example, the president or other great leaders.

    Hope I was able to help you a bit! Good luck with it! :D
    ~ Lola
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Though the actual physical devises may be gone, the knowledge to recreate them would not be, assuming that the EM pulse were only just that. If there were no other kind of destruction other than the EM pulse, you would have someone cranking out the needed items within little time. It would, in my opinion, cause a massive shift in economic power centers, wherein whichever production center was able to get product out again would gain a frighteningly powerful leverage.
     
  9. GolfTango
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    GolfTango New Member

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    Excellent input guys, I really appreciate you taking the time. To respond to your question, Lola - I have considered possible political implications. One big problem I'm trying to work through at the moment is trying to construct a shadow-government conspiracy to orchestrate the attacks (I know, I know, 24/Jericho/Tom Clancy's Anything, been done before... etc. etc.) but as I live in Australia, I would feel like a fraud writing about the world's most interesting country America. I'm trying to come up with a semi-plausible Australian Government idea that's also convincing for someone without knowledge of Australia's government structure. As I find my own Government uninteresting this has been failing thus far.

    I really like your idea about production, Wreybies - perhaps a multi-national company caused the crisis to enable the monopolisation of the arms industry (hmm, again sounding familiar.)
    Oh well, to quote Cognito's copy paste job, is about how I write it I suppose. I've storyboarded a couple of the key plot points, but even that needs reworking already... gonna be a long one :p

    Again, I appreciate all the input everybody had about different possible realities - if something new strikes don't hesitate to add it, I'll be monitoring this thread.

    Peace!
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Add to this that there are technologies in use today like hardened shelters that would protect some items from an EM pulse. Other items would survive by chance in areas that are not necessarily designated as hardened shelters but which provide the same kind of protection, such as deep underground. The collection and allocation/reallocation of these surviving items would also have a significant economic and strategic impact on the end outcome.
     
  11. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    On the other hand, countries that have a huge army that doesn't rely totally on technology might have an advantage...hmmn, that wasn't supposed to sound like a threat ;)
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's a very valid point.

    Suddenly, other skills that have been perhaps marginalized by the advent of technology will again become deciding factors in a very, very different New World Order.

    People with skills that allow them to live outside of uber-modern urban settings will suddenly find their skills to be very lucrative commodities.

    The homeless could find themselves becoming consultants. Think about it. :rolleyes:
     
  13. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    Ah that's a great idea! you should make this hero-type guy who's was homeless in the 'last world' and got a strong survival instinct! :)
     
  14. GolfTango
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    GolfTango New Member

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    That's really cool. Maybe an ex-military hermit could be the protagonist. I wasn't going to bog you down with the plot ideas I had going, but to give you an idea about what I was thinking about -

    Basically, in 40 or so years the oil is running out fast, when Australia discovers a mass field under the Northern Territory, under dense rock bed that this generations' tech wouldn't be able to detect. China had also found their own field a few years prior, which allowed them, along with grossly disproportionate national military expenditure, to be the world's most dominant superpower. After the discovery of the world's most significant oil field, China makes a power-play by setting off a 'theoretical-futuristic' Australia-wide EMP (I'm still researching how that might work exactly); penetrating all but the highest-funded military assets, to facilitate a nation-wide invasion. God knows they've got the population to pull something like that off.

    The story follows a couple of different perspectives following the attack. I had started to write about which perspectives exactly, but suddenly realised given the complexity of the story it would take about an hour.. I do like this new addition of the hermit ex-Spec Ops though - perhaps he went into hiding to protect his life due to a past Chinese covert op, and the story's nemesis could be the HVT he was supposed to have assassinated, but failed.

    Loving the input guys, really helpful. Again, anything else you got - throw it at me.
     
  15. brihoppy
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    I'd like to think in 40 years we won't be that dependant on oil...!!!
     
  16. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    In 40 years we will have moved on to something else than fossil fuels, either because we will run out of affordable oil or we will finally understand that it's simply not clean enough.
     
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