Sunday, 16 October 2011

Out Of Toner!


Imagine that we found out that there was going to be a cataclysmic EMP* event, that every computer and electronic device on Earth would stop working at the same time.

Imagine the panic as we realised exactly how much of our information is stored in exclusively electronic mediums.

Imagine the logistics. No really, think about it.

If we knew we only had a finite time before all that information was lost to us forever how would we handle it?

Scientific and educational facilities would obviously start printing at a rate of knots.

The production and delivery of ink and toner cartridges and paper would be prioritised and possibly would require the use of armoured cars.

Government branches and public services would draft all their people into collating and stacking and waving fans at overheating printers.

Would it get to the point where they started commandeering or contracting civilian printers?

Would civilian businesses cooperate?

What about professional publishing houses? Those best set up to print large amounts of material in an efficient fashion.

Would they accept priority jobs from universities and the like?

Or would they be grimly printing as many of the classics and as many new novels and non-fiction resources as possible before technology is knocked back to the industrial age?

Would there be riots in book stores?

Would libraries be at risk?

Does anybody still know how to construct a reference card system on the dewey decimal system?

Would there be time for the companies that still print camera film to go completely buck wild seeing as digital cameras would soon be nothing more than inefficient paperweights?

What would we do?

*Electromagnetic pulse

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