A good portion of the Senses Novels takes place after the world has become a much darker place both figuratively and literally. I don’t go into it much, but even a limited nuclear exchange would likely disrupt communications worldwide. In the books, WiFi has gone the way of the dinosaur. Seeing how dependent the population of many countries have become on cyberspace, I wonder if the sudden loss of WiFi and cellular communication wouldn’t kill more people than bombs and radiation?
This is not uniquely a Western culture issue. Asia is just as, if not more, addicted to their phones and wireless than any European or American country (remember that the USA is only ONE American country.) I am constantly amazed that people may not have money for food, but they all seem to have cell-phones. Governments of many countries, including the USA hand them out for free along with minutes and data to use. The more paranoid among us might think that these governments have an ulterior motive beyond enabling their citizens to live in the modern world.
Unless you have been living in a cave, you probably know by now that every cell phone can capture images and sound even when you think it is off. Concepts of privacy are being forced to change. Governments, both benign and inimical, capture your conversations, texts, and emails. ALL.OF.THEM. Parts of George Orwell’s 1984 is and has been here for some time. And the ones that have the most power today are the ones that can manipulate the information that they have, your information.
Think I’m wrong? Here’s a simple test for you, go onto Google and search for a product or go onto Amazon and purchase something. Now, go into your Facebook account and look at the ads. If they aren’t starting to show you items that you looked at or purchased, I would be more than a little surprised. Google and Amazon have no direct relationship to Facebook except that Facebook sells advertising space to them.
What would happen to you if you suddenly could not use your phone or your WiFi? How would you react? How would your town, state or the entire country react? Think it through and ask some key questions, because that is how part of the world in the novels was built. What happens to food distribution when the trucks that haul it can’t get fuel because their drivers’ credit cards are no longer able to be used and the electronics that run the pumps fail? How many people will stay at their jobs when they realize that their ‘automatic deposit’ no longer works and cash only has value as something to be used in the restroom? Now multiply it by every ‘civilized’ country in the world, and you have the dystopian future shown to you in the books.
Man-made or natural, a disaster leaving us without wireless communication would be a death sentence for many people in the, so called, ‘civilized’ countries. And we have done this to ourselves. We have created the means to allow a government to control their population to an extent never before possible. This is a modern version of a water monopoly empire.
When you completely control a vital resource, you have complete control of your population.
This is used to great effect in the books. People are eventually herded into concentration camps thinking that they are something else (yes, just like Nazi Germany.) The ‘government’ in the Series has a single goal in mind, remember that the vast majority are made up of ‘Them.’
There is a warning in all of this. It is easy to forget how fragile the thing that we call civilization is. The more dependent we become on a particular technology, the less likely we are to survive its loss. Oh, and just so you know, I’m writing this on a wireless laptop with storage in the cloud.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone.