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News Layer of civilization

  1. Feb 7, 2009 #1
    Sun flare
    Terror attack
    pre strike because you might become my enemy in the future.
    someone plugged in the toaster and the kettle one morning.

    whatever. if IF Global electricity went down. And stayed down. ....

    How long would individual nations survive? How Thick is the layer of society in various areas of our planet?
    Large cities run on electricity. What if it were removed? Personal homes would be out of food/heat/communications/etc. How long do you wait till you start to panic.
    Days? Weeks? My guess would be less than one month.

    Some other 'third world' places might not notice a difference till the next dry season and wonder where the truck is. They may have a thickness of several years.

    How long could you last?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2009 #2


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    Society stops functioning in a temporary power outage. If the electric grid went down and people knew there were no immediate prospects for getting it back, society would start to break down in a matter of days.
  4. Feb 7, 2009 #3


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    The magnitude of social dislocation due to an interruption/destruction of an unevenly distributed/utilized resource is clearly positively correlated to the local dependency of that resource.

    For example, the Germanic incursions in the early fifth century Roman Empire led to a swift contraction of a city-based market economy.
    In rural areas that were closely connected to cities through market mechanisms, in that agrarian specializations were well underway (making the local farms dependent upon their livelihood from commercial interchange), the break-down of the city-system led to a swifter spiralling down of living conditions, even to beneath the level of those rural areas that had been largely self-sufficient and unintegrated in the maket economy prior to the occasioning incursions.

    For example, in Northern Italy, pottery had been a commercial ware prior to the Germanic incursions; the type of substitute hand-made pottery for household use coming into being afterwards was of a very inferior quality to that household hand-made pottery already made in commercially unintegrated zones of the Roman empire (some zones of Britain, for example).

    You may read Bryan Ward-Perkins' book on the varied effects on economy in the post-invasion Empire for further examples.
  5. Feb 7, 2009 #4
    Nations or societies might disintegrate but in long term they would be there (different superpowers and different national boundaries)

    So, as much as they would with electricity.
    Isn't it the adaptability that has helped us to reach here.
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