Using Human History as a guide Could Our Present Civilization Fall Into a New Dark Age?

RJM Corbet

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Sorry for the double posting: moderator please fix, lol.

@Dave: In fact I wasn't responding to anything you wrote, but to another member whose western viewpoint some Africans would find slightly offensive, although he certainly did not mean it that way?
 

Dave

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It used to be that if your typewriter broke or misfunctioned, you could have a go at the little springs to try and do something to correct the failure. You could give a thing a kick, and sometimes it worked. But you can't do that with a computer. With the Internet we are completely powerless to take anything apart and try to patch it, lol ...
That's also true. Mechanical things that break can often be fixed by bending the part, or with glue, or with ducktape! Modern machines have engineering pass codes and require an engineer call out, very expensive kit for diagnosis of the error, or else sitting on the phone to a helpdesk. Less complex equipment is cheaper to operate and might not be totally useless if those things are not available.
 

BAYLOR

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That's also true. Mechanical things that break can often be fixed by bending the part, or with glue, or with ducktape! Modern machines have engineering pass codes and require an engineer call out, very expensive kit for diagnosis of the error, or else sitting on the phone to a helpdesk. Less complex equipment is cheaper to operate and might not be totally useless if those things are not available.
Imagine the sum total of all human knowledge locked up on hard drives and no way to access them.
 

RJM Corbet

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That's also true. Mechanical things that break can often be fixed by bending the part, or with glue, or with ducktape! Modern machines have engineering pass codes and require an engineer call out, very expensive kit for diagnosis of the error, or else sitting on the phone to a helpdesk. Less complex equipment is cheaper to operate and might not be totally useless if those things are not available.
Yes. A toaster with a microchip is really something :sick:
 
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Harpo

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1. Build a clay oven.
2. Bake bread.
3. Slice the bread.
4. Impale one slice on a fork.
5. Hold it over the glowing embers of civilisation until it's done.
 

BAYLOR

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1. Build a clay oven.
2. Bake bread.
3. Slice the bread.
4. Impale one slice on a fork.
5. Hold it over the glowing embers of civilisation until it's done.
The scary part is that if our technology failed, there would be relatively few people who could even figure out how to do any of that.:unsure:
 

RJM Corbet

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Imagine the sum total of all human knowledge locked up on hard drives and no way to access them.
So, where this is going is HOW could that come about? A generalised failure of computers to read their hard drives, memory sticks, etc?
 
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RJM Corbet

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Would it really have to be some sort of virus that just took everything down, and which permanently erased all hard-storage, also permanently destroying the ability of computers to read hard-drives, etc. All Internet and hard-drive/memory stick etc, information gone forever?

Could it happen?
 

Onyx

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So, where this is going is HOW could that come about? A generalised failure of computers to read their hard drives, memory sticks, etc?
Most discussions of lost human data point to the relatively short life of electronic storage media compared to printed paper, clay or metal inscription. You may have only a few decades to retrieve that data and transfer it to a stable media.

The other problem is decentralized storage means that the right document may not be available because the index or physical connection to its server is lost. What's stable on a hard drive in Kansas isn't going to help you if the internet no longer exists.

But the physical loss of stored data doesn't happen overnight, even with an EMP. I could happen with viruses, though.
 

RJM Corbet

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Most discussions of lost human data point to the relatively short life of electronic storage media compared to printed paper, clay or metal inscription. You may have only a few decades to retrieve that data and transfer it to a stable media.

The other problem is decentralized storage means that the right document may not be available because the index or physical connection to its server is lost. What's stable on a hard drive in Kansas isn't going to help you if the internet no longer exists.

But the physical loss of stored data doesn't happen overnight, even with an EMP. I could happen with viruses, though.
Perhaps the unlucky coincidence of two or three independently created, perhaps even innocent or playful viruses all meeting at some crucial moment and breeding with each other and setting off a chain reaction?

Way hay ... Mad Max(n)
(Remember him?)
 
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BAYLOR

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Perhaps the unlucky coincidence of two or three independently created, perhaps even innocent or playful viruses all meeting at some crucial moment and breeding with each other and setting off a chain reaction?

Way hay ... Mad Max(n)
(Remember him?)
Given how depend we are on technology , a major worldwide tech failure would have devastating repercussions.
 
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Vertigo

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Would it really have to be some sort of virus that just took everything down, and which permanently erased all hard-storage, also permanently destroying the ability of computers to read hard-drives, etc. All Internet and hard-drive/memory stick etc, information gone forever?

Could it happen?
An awful lot of long term storage is write once and can't be simply erased or overwritten. CDs and DVDs for example some are rewritable but most (?) are not.
 

BAYLOR

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Most discussions of lost human data point to the relatively short life of electronic storage media compared to printed paper, clay or metal inscription. You may have only a few decades to retrieve that data and transfer it to a stable media.

The other problem is decentralized storage means that the right document may not be available because the index or physical connection to its server is lost. What's stable on a hard drive in Kansas isn't going to help you if the internet no longer exists.

But the physical loss of stored data doesn't happen overnight, even with an EMP. I could happen with viruses, though.
Bottom line, we're vulnerable.
 

BAYLOR

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An awful lot of long term storage is write once and can't be simply erased or overwritten. CDs and DVDs for example some are rewritable but most (?) are not.
In less then a century , even those would likely decay to nothing.
 

BAYLOR

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Yes of course but the point I was making is they would be unaffected by viruses, EMPs etc.
Opps sorry Vertigo. My fingers were moving a bit quicker then my brain. :oops:
 
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BAYLOR

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Then there's the Internet. Yeah , we're doomed. :D
 

BAYLOR

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Perhaps the unlucky coincidence of two or three independently created, perhaps even innocent or playful viruses all meeting at some crucial moment and breeding with each other and setting off a chain reaction?

Way hay ... Mad Max(n)
(Remember him?)
A very realistic and frightening possibility. :unsure:
 

Dave

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I have The Second Sleep by Robert Harris on my 'to read' pile. I'm trying to quickly finish another book so that I can start it. It sounds excellent. Begins in 1469 with a monk riding to Devon to bury another monk. People began to write to Harris after they had only read the second page to complain about his historical inaccuracies. Spoiler: it isn't set in the past but in the future.
 
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