Monday, 7 April 2014

Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Forgotten Technology

Do you know what this is?

This is an exploded electrolytic capacitor. Could you fix it? Could you build a new one? Do you even know what it does?

I answered no to all three questions, and I have a feeling most people are the same. If civilization ever fell, how many people would be left who knew how to make or fix this essential piece of electronic gear? With our ever-increasing reliance on technology, we are getting more and more removed from how items in our daily lives function.

Which makes for some interesting speculation for post-apocalyptic writers. Survivors would focus on simple technology like farming and guns, and within a generation there may be no one who knew how to make a circuit board or fix an AM transmitter. As civilization tried to rebuild, old electronics textbooks and Chilton manuals would become prized possessions. We'd have to relearn a century of technological development.

Of course, there might be a secret society out in the wilderness somewhere that's preserving all the old knowledge, waiting for a time to build anew. . .

Thanks for stopping by my post-apocalyptic A to Z! Today and tomorrow, by post-apocalyptic story The Scavenger is free on Amazon. Feel free to pick one up, I'd love to hear your honest opinion.


Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

9 comments:

Shine Kapoor said...

Thanks for a reminder.. Forgotten technology. I can relate it with the fact that as we grow, technology is getting redundant and nature is being compromised. Are we becoming too selfish?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most people wouldn't have a clue. I couldn't rebuilt one, but I know how to replace it.

Hemant said...

Yeah..imagining the scope of bloggers if such situation arise :)

somberscribbler said...

Thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing.

Carolyn Branch said...

I answered no to all three questions, as well. But in a Post-Apocalyptic world, how useful would such knowledge be? Much better to know how to grow potatoes or milk a cow - two skills I am proud to possess.

RichardK said...

Go back to the sequel to Planet of the Apes or A Boy and his Dog, or even the 1936 film Things to Come (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_to_Come). There was always a group of engineers and scientists who went underground to maintain and even improve technology. I could certainly see it happen should something occur.

Rita A. said...

Technology would be important but as an historian I wonder how many will be able to grow and store food, make clothes, build shelters or water treatment facilities. So much to think about.

Rusty Carl said...

I'm a big user of technology... not a BUILDER of it. So, no. I could build nothing. Fix nothing. I can't even hang a poster without causing an incident.

I do lay awake thinking about what I could and could not do should it fall on my shoulders to rebuild some lost knowledge. My conclusion: Nothing will be fixed.

P Lusamba said...

So true! We've become so reliant on technology that it makes one wonder how we'll survive without it. Great post.
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