Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zap and it's gone. Yep, everything.

Coming Subtraction: The Day The Earth Stood Still

Back in the 1950's, they called it "radioflash." By the 1980's, scientists were hypothesizing about its effects. Then it just fell out of the public consciousness. Now it's back, and they're having a conference about it, in Niagara Falls.

It's the dreaded Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP).

The idea is that a big enough burst of electromagnetic radiation will fry everything electronic --- a big problem in 1989, a bigger problem in 1999, a HUGE problem in 2009 when almost all information is stored and transfered electronically.

We're not just talking about Twitter being down for a day. Consider what the future might be like if all bits and bytes, from your personal financial records (i.e. your stocks and bank account) to the software that controls the Pentagon's weaponry, were vaporized. Period.

In this scenario, key infrastructure components such as electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water would be knocked out.

Some heavy thinkers believe that this is a realistic scenario, if terrorists or rogue states were to get their hands on an EMP weapon.

Here's the video:

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