Monday, October 29, 2007

Only 2-3 Weeks from Cyberattack to Cannibalism?

So there's been an amusing thread over on the SCADA mailing list about the interdependencies of various critical infrastructure sectors
Fact is, Los Angeles, Chicago, SFO, Detroit, NYNJ, Boston, WaDC, etc. are two to three weeks away from cannibalism. Any large city will devolve into rioting and block warfare if the power stays off for longer than about 48 to 72 hours. As soon as the stored food is gone, people will die, or other people will kill and eat them.
Maybe Walt has recently read Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road or perhaps he is just tapping into that little voice inside all of us that wants to stock water, food, and ammunition in preparation for the "big one." I wonder if kids that are old enough to appreciate 9/11 have the same fears those of us who grew up during the cold war did?

How many rounds of .223 is enough for your Mini-14? How many plastic milk jugs full of rice will last you until food shows up on the shelves again? Can you ever prepare enough? As for myself, I put my faith in martial law and I have enough real problems (and real madness close at hand) rather than preparing these sorts of fantasies. But if you want to go there, definitely check out this amazingly haunting, spiritual, Pulitzer-prize winning book, which I read in nearly one sitting a few months back:
The clocks stopped at 1:17. A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions. He got up and went to the window. What is it? she said. He didnt answer. He went into the bathroom and threw the lightswitch but the power was already gone. A dull rose glow in the window glass. He dropped to one knee and raided the lever to stop the tub and then turned on the both taps as far as they would go. She was standing in the doorway in her nightwear, clutching the jamb, cradling her belly in one hand. What is it? she said. What is happening?

I dont know.

Why are you talking a bath.

I'm not.
However, it is not what you think. You will not get a linear description of what happened that led the father and son to wander across a ash covered America of the future and encounter various characters out of Mad Max. But there is cannibalism. And infanticide. And it is definitely good read.


I said...

Now let's just stop and think for a moment. Throughout history, many humans have died of starvation, both in rural areas and in cities under siege, etc., but don't most people just . . . die, rather than eat their babies or other peoples' babies or the old lady next door? I mean, people usually just get weaker and weaker until they can't do much of anything, don't they? Off the top of my head, I would think cannibalism would be the exception, rather than the norm, when people are starving. Me, I'm pretty sure I would never be THAT hungry. Just doesn't seem very believable, though it is terrifying, of course.

Matt Franz said...

Thanks Amelia!