Revolution on NBC [Spoilers]

This show captured my interest and has been renewed for another season. For those of you not familiar with it, a Defense Department weapon gone awry (of course) prevents the transmission of electricity worldwide. Fifteen years passes. The United States government collapses into regional nations (California (plus the Pacific Northwest, perhaps Nevada and Utah) , Texas (presumably to include Oklahoma and Arkansas, perhaps Louisiana), The “Plains Nation” (the midwest), the “Georgia Republic” (most of the south) and the “Monroe Republic”, (the northeast to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers).

Fast forward to the end of season one. The electricity has come back on. See you next season! We will go from swordfighting and steam engines back to a world than has been dormant for 15 years. How this would theoretically play out interests me. How would the power structure in society have changed up to that point and how will it change again? In the TV show, we see flashes of electricity due to technology, but if this were to actually happen, we would have to assume that power generation would have stopped and would have to be rebuilt.

So what would happen if electricity suddenly returned after a 15 year absence? Would civil engineers and those with technical training be kings? Would people just return to their original professions and try to rebuild society? Would armed struggles for power and territory break out?

I added spoiler tag since you gave away the ending for the season, just in case!

Turning the power back on also seemed like it was causing a bunch of electrical storms, so maybe they really did “end the world” with it and things will actually be worse, not better.

I just wonder, why did so many people just have lamps and stuff sitting around turned on all this time, looked like lights were coming on all over the place. Not to mention how the hell are power plants running okay with 15 years or whatever with no maintenance and such.

But it’s just a show and I should really just relax.

I just hope the lead actress (Charlie) learns a new facial expression in her time off between seasons. Her old one is getting kinda tiresome.

I was annoyed that they went from sword fighting to muskets to assault rifles and ended up with sci fi weapons as the season went on. I was hoping for things to stay fairly medieval, at least until the power came back on. The plot was interesting enough, i hate hate hate Charlie and anything relating to her and I’m glad the brother is gone.

I predict people will pop in to denounce the show was “beneath” them, make comparisons to Lost and declare the show will be cancelled shortly, therefore it’s okay to leave a steaming load in the thread and leave. (if it’s like the other Revolution threads, hah)

There’s two ways to answer your question of what happens next after electricity is switched on after an absence of 15 years. The first way is in the context of the show.

They’ve hinted that the Georgia Republic was in the best position to take over, since they had lots of well-fed soldiers in prepped bases on alert status waiting for Miles to succeed.

Civil engineers don’t and won’t become kings. Randall had access to radically superior tech and he didn’t take over. Instead, he handed it to Monroe and became a lackey.

In the end, he switches personalities and launches nukes. So in that scenario, the US govt remnants in Cuba would take over, because the two big power bases in Atlanta and Philly get wiped out. This is contingent on the missile salvos taking out enough of Monroe and Georgia republic (a single nuke each might not do it), but they did show multiple nukes fired.

So that points to the writers erasing Atlanta and Philly and going with Cuba as the next big bad. They keep Monroe alive, with an open possibility that Sebastian teams up with Miles and Tom Neville. (Much like Tom shuffled sides)

To answer your question the second way, in the context of the real world. If electricity was switched off for 15 years and turned back on, there would be enough living people with knowledge and training to reboot society pretty much overnight. Local warlords would prefer to give up their current power base to return to the previous society’s standards of living. A rising tide lifts all boats.

On the plus side, the decimated human populace has a chance to steer away from environmental disasters caused by previous overpopulation. Another plus, is this miraculous programmable nano-tech changes the world so once things are back to “normal”, humanity is blessed with miracle health cures and other new tech wonders.

I was thinking more along the lines of what would actually happen with the premise of what happened in the show. The idea of “rebooting society” is one that I had as well. For that to happen, people would have to voluntarily perform functions they were trained for without actual employment or a working government. Would the United States reconstitute? If so, would a large government, complete with regulations and everything else that comes with a large government, return? Or would a 15 year loss of electricity reset society in other ways?

I like the show well enough to watch, but I’m angry 100% of the time I’m watching it simply by virtue of the premise of electricity not working. It offends me that such a fundamental misunderstanding of physics is fed to the American public as entertainment.

Specifically, if electricity came back after 15 years of not working, there wouldn’t be a single human alive, nor any animal with a brain and central nervous system. Every single one would have died within minutes of electricity not working.

I think the show adequately explained why electrical devices stopped working, but biological creatures continued to function.

The nanites were programmed to use electricity from the surrounding environment as their power source. This would disrupt functions in devices where localized voltage drops cause them to stop working properly. Anything dependent on microchips wouldn’t work right. (I would’ve stopped here, btw)

But in the show, they say all voltages are dropped to zero. We see evidence of this because even simple lightbulbs don’t work. The explanation is that there’s a whole lot of nanites.

So why don’t nerve cells and brains stop working? If they had stopped at small localized voltage dips (enough to mess up microchips), then they could say the dampening has a big effect on chips where a voltage dip causes a one to be interpreted as a zero. But nerve cells can still work because they operate in an analog fashion, not digital.

But they didn’t do that (lightbulbs are analog and they still don’t work). So the next-most plausible explanation is in the healing tech that was used on Rachel’s broken leg (and for Danny’s asthmatic lungs). The nanites are programmable, y’see? And it’s certainly plausible for something to check if it’s inside a wet living creature or not.

And I suppose it would similarly be plausible for the nanite to check if it’s in proximity to a pendant.

Okay fine, so let me also answer your next nitpick – how does a computer near a pendant communicate over a network? Well, sure, if we were in the 80’s and all you had were modems, yeah you’re screwed. You couldn’t even use a telegraph. The best you could do is smoke signals or that chain of signal fires on mountaintops used in Lord of the Rings. Because y’see, electricity don’t work, but light still does.

Hmm, what technology uses light to transmit signals over a computer network? Can you say “fiber optics”? I knew you could.