The Implications of a Post-Pulse America

While engaging with the DIGC202 lecture this week and thinking about the dematerialisation of labour, product, money, etc. I couldn’t help but be reminded of that old sci-fi favourite of mine, which I love the way Christopher Robin loves his silly duffer, Winnie the Pooh: James Cameron’s Dark Angel.

The show is semi-apocalyptic dystopian, taking place after “The Pulse” – a massive terrorist electromagnetic strike which took out all computers in the US at once and effectively destroyed the electronic economy. Just going by what this class has taught me so far, it seems like that would have to be a REALLY, non-existantly, powerful blast to actually collapse the entire system, however, it is interesting to ponder the implications of an economy, and even society, which is becoming increasingly dematerialised and liquefied. Much of this does, after all, mean that we are putting an awful lot of faith into the IDEA of money, and the IDEA of goods or services, rather than actually purchasing solid, tangible items with solid, tangible currency.

Not that those things weren’t half constructs before the digital age came along anyway.

Buying books gets really weird when you think about it too hard...
Buying books gets really weird when you think about it too hard…

Whether this dematerialisation is a good or a bad thing, I think, is up for discussion. Feel free to leave your two cents in the comments below.


5 thoughts on “The Implications of a Post-Pulse America

  1. Money is energy.

    Basic: money is a representation of value. Value is how much effort/energy we’re willing to put in to obtain/achieve something.

  2. Being decidedly pro-tech i’d like to say all-digital currency would be a very convenient future, i certainly love my debit card, but so many things could go wrong so very quickly. Even today our digital money in the bank can just go poof if the bank goes bankrupt, so it’s hard to let go of the comfort of our pretty paper. I’ve often wondered if we could ever evolve (or de-evolve) to an economy without money, but it’s hard to imagine what that would look like when we have so many digital goods these days. Not sure how viable it would be to trade games for food.

  3. Interesting perspective and approach in tackling the topic. People and work are so dependent and trusting into network systems and the ability to connect. Its no longer a simple as turning up to the right place and time. I’ve always wondered how everything would run if suddenly we could no longer use technology or electricity even. It would be a difficult thing to return to the activities and lifestyles of the past because we are so reliant and take tech for granted. I think it’d send a lot of individuals jobless and insane for sure!

  4. It’s funny when sci-fi movies really attack on the idea of post-cyberspace as a post-apocalypse theme – it shows how much the internet has become part of our reality. Your meme really hit the nail on the head with the point that purchasing tangible goods has its strange aspects as well as digital shopping.

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