What if the Internet and all data were eliminated at the hands of China?
Throughout the history of life on this planet there have only been a handful of brief evolutionary moments when creation radiantly bursts ahead, expressing itself in unique forms and sometimes complementing those already struggling to survive and dominate. Humanity has been given a handful of powerful blessings by Mother Nature since we stood up and began to branch out into undiscovered territory. From opposable thumbs to abstract thought and enhanced central nervous systems capable of comprehending the potential future and recalling the distant past, bestowed upon the human animal are the attributes of gods. Seeding our numbers throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia, over the Bearing Straight and onto every available landmass, we broadened our horizons and multiplied. So did our technology, especially in the last hundred years or so. The species, riding on the back of innovative ways to harness energy and produce petrol-food, ballooned from less than one billion in number to more than seven. In the contemporary era, and just as the progression switch was flipped, we stood upon the precipice of true artificial intelligence, the verge of sending off a self-sustaining greenhouse to Mars, and finally starting to discover some of the universe's most coveted secrets. We were about to initiate mining asteroids, genetically engineer our food supply, and get to distant planets with big solar blankets that collect protons from starlight. Robotics, augmented reality, and smart technology were taking over the role of living and working from mortals. Life's plan to reach out from Earth and evolve on distant destinations was immediately halted without warning by one suicidal factory worker from the heart of China. In the end it wasn't a doomsday comet, our planet wasn't invaded by an advanced civilization, nuclear war didn't break out, and we didn't go back to the Stone Age because of a really nasty bug. Nope, it was a lonely Chinese genius named Báo. Well, that's how history records his name, anyway. The character stands for retribution, but the word doesn't come draped in negativity like it would in English. Instead, as defined in the Chinese language, it's neutral and refers to the natural consequences of one's actions. To understand, just tie in the idea of karma, or the Yin and Yang theory, and avoid preconceived judgments of good/bad and right/wrong. One of our own threw the switch, and maybe, just maybe, it was that decision that ended up saving us. The global reaction wasn't as savory as some of our more romantic historians like to claim. While the brunt of modern civilization was still in shock, the machine halted and even the angels held their breath. What would we do next? Imagine an electromagnetic pulse going off that is so immense it takes out everything on the entire planet in the span of a few weeks. It explodes like a fusion bomb or a huge incoming object from space. The only difference, it just takes out the internet and anything attached to it. Yeah... No internet, folks. Sorry, nothing to see here, move along. Once shock wore off, and people began to get a taste for how deeply connected everything was to the digital world, things got dicey fast. That was the first round. While the net went down, mobile technology was failed at the same time. Imagine that the world is encased in glass and anchored below water in a huge celestial fishbowl. Now, the water outside our protective shell is absolutely pristine. Ok, so the water, that's mobile data streaming everywhere around the planet, but data will not make it inside the encasement. If we could see it, and some forms of telescopes can with specialized types of infrared, it would look like a brilliant sweeping river of information. Our thoughts and those of our creations floating through the cosmos. No Internet, no credit reports, no banks, a whole new world.