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post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
What if there was a huge solar flare that affected all the way up to the Earth's magneto-sphere. If caused a huge electromagnetic pulse that wiped out every hard drive, tape, and flash memory on the planet. How devastating would this be to the world economy? Obviously it would change the world forever but how bad on a human scale? Would it go down in history as a catastrophe worse than the black plague?

Imagine all the lost porn! The horror!
post #2 of 13
It would be the single worst event in recorded history. Think about it. No records of bank accounts, no modern communications, security cameras wouldn't work in stores which would lead to looting, etc... There would be huge panic and riots everywhere. It would be incredibly hard to maintain order. I shudder thinking about it.

Question: If this was to happen, would the effects last forever or would it wear off over time?

[ 07-11-2002: Message edited by: G4Dude ]</p>
I have a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.
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I have a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Back up everything to CD-R. Or vinyl.
post #4 of 13
There'd be more than bank records to worry about. Anything that powerful would probably also cause critical failures in aircraft computers, air traffic control systems, nuclear reactors, trains, automobiles, etc. Stuff would be falling out of the sky, sinking to the ocean floor, or blowing up all over the world.
I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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post #5 of 13
Whew...I'm not alone! I actually think about stuff like that sometimes (or some HUGE, devastating and crippling virus that pretty much does every computer it contacts completely in).

I can't think of a single aspect of my life, that in some way, shape or form, isn't controlled, governed, regulated, assessed, calculated, billed, etc. by computers/technology/communication.

It would make for an interesting story or movie script, wouldn't it? To know all that we know now, and all that we have and take for granted (I can e-mail a buddy in New Zealand or file share a bootleg Keith Richards demo with another buddy in Nashville and never have to involve the post office or buying a stamp or packing tape or an envelope).

Now, to wake up tomorrow and have ALL of that wiped out or severely crippled (e-mail, faxes, phones, cel phones, satellites, Internet, radio, TV, etc., etc.) would be quite a nightmare.

That's why part of me truly believe that the next big terrorist attack won't be the thing we're all sitting around and looking for/expecting (something loud, dramatic and explosive like that September morning). No, it'll be quiet, start small and snowball into something 50 times more devastating and impactful than any jet airliner crashing into any building.



We're all looking at airports, arguing about pilots packing guns, talking about immigration and putting extra guards around Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty, when, in all liklihood, we're going to fire up our computers one morning and find that NOTHING, NOWHERE works the way it's supposed to, and everything is crumbling right before our eyes.

:eek:

All that crap we got ourselves worked into a tizzy for regarding Y2K...what makes us think that we're any less vulnerable to those same horrors and outcomes now, albeit from a different cause (malicious human intervention and not a technical, fixable oversight like "two digits missing" or whatever)?

[ 07-11-2002: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>
post #6 of 13
I don't see the problem. The only computers that would be hacked or taken down are the ones on a network or internet, while that is quite a few it does not include all computers, my office has a compputer that everything is backed up to once a week and then is offline, now in the event that is happened that one day it was being backed up then yes it would kind of suck. As for the hard disks being erased, most companies keep a hard copy of everything, at least all of the companies I have worked for, so while things may work a lot slower they will not stop alltogether. As for straight mechanical failure in planes, yes that would suck, but boats will still float and cars will merely shut down. we will still have bikes and what not. It would be a rude awakening for some, but life would not be turned into some never-ending turmoil. I believe that mankind would continue and move on if not rally together and make life better.

forever optimistic....

end of line...
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by ijerry:
<strong>I don't see the problem. The only computers that would be hacked or taken down are the ones on a network or internet, while that is quite a few it does not include all computers, my office has a compputer that everything is backed up to once a week and then is offline, now in the event that is happened that one day it was being backed up then yes it would kind of suck. As for the hard disks being erased, most companies keep a hard copy of everything, at least all of the companies I have worked for, so while things may work a lot slower they will not stop alltogether. As for straight mechanical failure in planes, yes that would suck, but boats will still float and cars will merely shut down. we will still have bikes and what not. It would be a rude awakening for some, but life would not be turned into some never-ending turmoil. I believe that mankind would continue and move on if not rally together and make life better.

forever optimistic....

end of line...</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't know if you were referring to my original post or about the network terror attack but a huge solar flare would be catastrophic. Hard copies or no hard copies. Forget about going into work the next day.
post #8 of 13
...wouldn't an electromagnetic pulse disrupt all electronics, not just magnetic media (hence failure of basically every electrical device on the planet), or have I just been watching too many sci fi movies?

Boats may still float in the event of a complete systems failure, but submarines wouldn't. Having cars on the interstate travelling at 65mph+ suddenly lock up because of a failure in their systems would be a bit more of an inconvenience...
I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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post #9 of 13
subs and most government computers are shielded against EMP's, which is what I think you are talking about. Solar flare, nuclear blasts all release them, but I don't see the catastrphic implications. For some yes, But I have worked with many shielded computers and after exposure to EMP's they still worked fine.
post #10 of 13
As far as the whole cars traveling at 65 mph, yes there will be some, probably many accidents. You do still have the emergency brake, but we all know how well that will work. And for the terrorist attack, it will affect many but not all computers. And with no computers I bet that there will be work the next day, if not then, for sure the following day. Nothing will be automated for a while, so that means more man hours.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sure the sun can produce EMPs more powerful than anything ever measured here on Earth. Orders of magnitude more powerful.
post #12 of 13
luckily my office has an anti-pulse shield, so i'll be safe. my main question about this is, when this happens (not if, but when), how will it affect my sperm count? I should hope that a disaster like that, which destroys life as we know it, would also provide a safe and effective birth control so no humans would have to live in a world like that.
post #13 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>What if there was a huge solar flare that affected all the way up to the Earth's magneto-sphere. If caused a huge electromagnetic pulse that wiped out every hard drive, tape, and flash memory on the planet. How devastating would this be to the world economy? Obviously it would change the world forever but how bad on a human scale? Would it go down in history as a catastrophe worse than the black plague?

Imagine all the lost porn! The horror! </strong><hr></blockquote>

I see you have watched Dark Angel on Fox.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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