EMPs and Revolution

So, there’s a show coming out on NBC called Revolution. DH mentioned this show to me a few nights ago and described the premise. I proceeded to have an intellectual hissyfit:

DH: The premise is that an EMP kind of thing takes out everything electronic, and it’s 15 years later, so there’s no electronics, and everyone is living without it. It’s post-apocalyptic, and there’s no cars or batteries or lights or anything. Electricity doesn’t work anymore.
TK: No. That’s not possible. That cannot be true.
DH: Well, there was an EMP, a massive one caused by something.
TK: It’s still not possible. You can’t destroy electricity. You can destroy electronics, but you haven’t destroyed the brains that made the electronics. We’d just rebuild them. Yes, it would take time. World economies would be messed up because banking records would be destroyed and there’d be economic collapse, but it could be restarted, probably in less than 15 years. Is that what they’re talking about? Is it about the re-building of the world?
DH: No, in the show, things still don’t work. They can’t start the cars. They’re all just growing moss on the interstate.
TK: That makes no sense. If that’s what they’re saying, this show is utter crap. [Ed. Note: I may have said bollocks. If I didn’t, I wish I did.] The premise is fantastical. Unless they’re employing magic, it can’t work that way. Electricity doesn’t STOP existing. You can make more batteries and you can re-start power plants. You can just build the computer again. I mean, maybe they run it off of water and wind in a personal sense instead of a grid…there’s an infrastructure hit, for sure…but still, you’d have electricity and thus technology, certainly within 15 years.
DH: JJ Abrams is involved in it.
TK: I don’t care who is involved in it! It makes no sense. You can’t get rid of electricity. Lightning exists! What about storms? What about flying a kite with a key attached? If electricity is gone, it would screw up the entire planet! What would happen to magnetism? The tides? Is this only on earth or every planet? You can’t yank electricity from the world without it having impact on magnetism! It’s not an element, like iron or oxygen, it’s a force tied into the fabric of how stuff works. How could this have been greenlit at all?
DH: They landed a plane on an island that apparently moved through time and space. That didn’t bother you.
TK: That was magic! And eventually just an imagining, but it was never something they tried to explain as real science or anything, nor did it affect the entire planet. Is there magic involved? That’s the only way this works, is if you’re ignoring the laws of physics and are employing magic as a key point of the plot. Are they saying there’s magic?!? I mean, I can’t imagine this ever got made with that kind of gap unless there’s magic or something.
DH: Um. Let me show you the trailer. Maybe I misunderstood it.

So, he showed me the commercial for the show, which you can view here:

Then, our conversation resumed:

TK: Given what I saw, I think they’re using magic. And I’m willing to have some faith that they will explain in the first episode that there’s some mystical or other reason that things still aren’t working. They say in there that things just don’t work, and they imply no one knows why. But, then they show that things are working, so it’s not that there’s no electricity.
DH: Still, it will be interesting to see how they explain it, and to your point, how they explain that it’s still in nature, or what impact it has…or whether magnets still work.
TK: They better not explain it as the EMP. That will bother me and anyone who took basic science. It has to be magic. Somewhere in the first episode, they’ll explain that they tried to re-build and they couldn’t, and no one knows why…and that’ll be the magic, like all the time travel and stuff was the magic on Lost.

You may hear that this show is highly anticipated. I am highly anticipating it, but not necessarily because I think it will be good. I look forward to finding out how they’re going to explain this. I also look forward to all of the articles that will inevitably have to explain to people that an EMP would kill electronics, not electricity. 🙂

6 thoughts on “EMPs and Revolution

  1. this dialog between you two amuses me to no end. and i too am anticipating the first episode with much curiosity. just since january (no doubt because of all the scarmongering about 12/12/2012) i have read no less than THREE novels in which the post-apocalyptic premise is an EMP (all on my Kindle). plus a couple of years ago our book club got caught up in S.M.Stirling’s Dies The Fire, which also is an EMP-driven post-apocalyptic story. In it, the laws of physics are tampered with (gunpowder only sizzles and bubbles, internal combustion doesn’t work anymore, etc.) and “stuff just don’t work no more.” The effect isn’t really explained yet, but the “survivors” who are slowly figuring out what works and what doesn’t, while they get drunk, sitting around a pathetic little fire, laugh when one says it was caused by “space monkeys” and the excuse sticks. 🙂 so my vote is “magic.” 🙂

  2. oops.

    “EMP (all on my Kindle).” <–aha! the EMP is caused by all of us KINDLERS!!! 🙂

    what i meant to be saying was that all my reading is mostly on my Kindle anymore, so, w/o Whispernet, which depends on electronics, my brain candy fix would be gone.
    and i would be very sad. 🙁 but at least libraries would be even more popular again!

  3. one other thing….i just re-read my post. DUH.
    that auspicious date isn’t 12/12/2012…it is 12/twenty-ONE/2012

    sometimes my brain is faster than my fingers.

  4. Silly writers. Vacum technology will still operate, as will gas/desile/propane powered generators. Also vehicles that do not have computers in them will also in all likelihood oprerate or be made to do so with little difficulty. Unless like in “Dies The Fire” electricity, gas, gunpowder no longer operate for some unknown reason like Alien Space Bats.

  5. Silly writers. Vacum tube technology will still operate, as will gas/desile/propane powered generators. Also vehicles that do not have computers in them will also in all likelihood oprerate or be made to do so with little difficulty. Unless like in “Dies The Fire” electricity, gas, gunpowder no longer operate for some unknown reason like Alien Space Bats.

  6. I didn’t hear about this show until I saw an ad during the Olympic opening ceremonies — ’cause I don’t watch TV — and that was precisely my reaction, too. Electronics *that were powered on during the EMP* will burn out, but others will be just fine. Cars — almost ALL cars — will start right up. Power companies — and ALL larger companies — will just take some back-up machines that the tech support department has in the closet and plug ’em in. (And since the power companies are also doing this, there will be power within a week or two for a lot of those back-up computers.) And if this EMP is global, then somewhere around 60% of first world countries on earth will be mostly powered down, anyway, ’cause it will be the middle of the night. And more than half of the world still runs on pre-electronics age technology. AND all of our power comes ultimately from FIRE, anyway. Coal won’t stop burning, atoms won’t stop splitting, wind won’t stop blowing… Consider the big blackouts of recent history, like the New York cascade a few years ago. Took ’em what, a couple of weeks to get most things back online? AND AND AND, have the show’s producers ever heard of battery backup systems? For that matter, have the show’s producers ever heard of batteries? Has anyone connected to the show seen Ocean’s 11? They’re in the entertainment industry; you’d think they’d know this kind of stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *