We All Want To Change The World

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NEW LOFI COMIC! “Dumb And Number”

DONORS AND SUBSCRIBERS: The LoFi Comics aren’t showing full sized in the Premium RSS Feed yet. I’m working on it.

SEE WHAT I DID! I made a geek joke AND finished the 3 comic arc about how unbearably sick I’ve been all week AT THE SAME TIME! I’m not saying I’m great, but if you were to say it I would probably stand behind you and nod knowingly.

Revolution premiered this week. It is at least the 5th or 6th work of fiction I can recall from recent memory that deals with something akin to a worldwide EMP that knocks out all electricity, integrated circuits, electronic devices, etc. This is pretty well trodden ground, but that doesn’t mean the creators can’t tell an original story within a familiar framework. The odd thing (and the thing they damn well better expand upon pretty quickly as not to alienate their core target audience of over analytical geeks) is the show is proposing that the “laws of physics went crazy” so even though man has not magically lost of the knowledge of how to harness electricity, he cannot “begin again” as it were. Further more, mankind seems likewise unable to return to an industrial revolution era society… because of reasons. Reason that… will be explained?

None of the characters grabbed me right away. The main girl, let’s call her Katniss, because that’s exactly who she is (being dressed like Katniss and given a bow and arrow to run around with) seems… bland. Emotionally bland. Elizabeth Mitchell (who I enjoyed in LOST), seems to have a very truncated role, but that could change. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad is there, but without his accent, I just don’t find him as terrifying. Maybe he’ll slit someone’s throat for no reason, then I’ll know he means business.

All of that aside, as my wife pointed out, it was not nearly as boring at the recent crop of network sci-fi (Terra Nova, season 1 of Falling Skies, etc.) I am definitely going to give it a chance, but I feel like the pilot being filled with logic-holes is a bad start. Planes dropping out of the sky like stones is a neat looking effect. That planes don’t do that when they lose power makes it more of a distraction. That guns work, but internal combustion engines that don’t rely on computers don’t work raises further questions. Someone on Twitter suggested “spark plugs don’t work if electrons don’t work,” which would also imply that static electricity doesn’t work either, nor does MOTHER TIT-GRABBING BIOCHEMISTRY. All machines getting zapped is one thing. Building the show around the idea that electrons don’t behave like electrons any more pretty much means that everyone would have dropped dead on the spot.

With all of that in mind, I’m starting to think a REALLY cool idea for a show would be a post-global EMP world where they DO return to the industrial age. We still have the knowledge to mass produce cars and iPhones and jets, but without a single operational robot-controlled factory, or wafer fab plant it really wouldn’t matter. We would have to start over and work our way back to where we are today. The interesting part would be that there are those that want to get us back to where we were as quickly as possible, those that wanted to embrace the simplicity and those that want to go in a completely different direction. They would look at this catastrophe as a do over. I also like the potential for stories about the redistribution of power. When all electronic money vanishes in a blink, the rich and powerful become less influential than the common man. (To be fair, this was briefly touched on in the Revolution pilot). When you can’t buy people off, how do you influence them? I’d also like to see that maybe there’s one part of the work, either underground or otherwise secluded that was totally unaffected. They have solar power and super computers and backup of the Internet, and maybe a jet… IT’S RICHARD BRANSON! He’s the only one who still has tech! Oh man, I want to see THIS show now.

FANCY SKETCH DRIVE UPDATE: I am still drawing these things. A lot of you gave VERY generously and I am not content to toss off a quick sketch in the cases of $50 – $100 donations. I want you to have a nice piece of art for your troubles, so please bear with me and maintain both enthusiasm and patience. I’m getting a handful of them done every day, but I still have about 50 to go.

COMMENTERS: Did you watch Revolution? What did you think? 

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100 Comments

  1. your live tweeting of that scored about a 9 on my rantometer. it was impressive to say the least.

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  2. There were things I liked, but things I really didn't. I was mostly bothered by how perfect everybody looked.

    It was…rough, but no J.J. Abrams show has EVER been able to hold my attention. Eric Kripke, on the other hand, created one of my favorite shows ever, so I'm gonna give it some time. The pilot of Supernatural pretty much blew chunks too.

    #Revolution

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    • Seconded, Supernatural is awesomesauce (though the pilot did grab my attention more than the Revolution pilot) so I'm going to give it some more time. Working within NBC land is probably very different than working within CW land. At the tiny network, you pretty much get to do what you want, at NBC they need 500 characters and a convoluted plot right away!

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  3. There's no UK air date as yet, but at least that means I get to read how the show's turning out before it starts broadcasting here. Thanks for being our TV guinea pigs, America!

    To build on your really cool idea, how about a world where two or three global companies have defeated the nations for the world's dwindling resources and now own the globe? Downtrodden workers suffering under incredibly harsh conditions, high-tech corporate espionage agents manipulating the companies from the shadows and a 1% who live in over-the-top luxury and wield unchecked power (wait a minute…). And of course a young, independent girl who uses a bow and arrow, but who gets killed off in the pilot's cold open because "that sort of thing cannot be tolerated"….

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    • So basically "Blood of Heroes" with more background on the rich people living underground =)

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    • "There's no UK air date as yet, but at least that means I get to read how the show's turning out before it starts broadcasting here. Thanks for being our TV guinea pigs, America!"

      We're square as long as you keep giving us more Doctor Who and Sherlock.

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    • Barring the girls with the bow & arrow, that sounds like The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth.

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  4. I have never even heard of this show. Proof that I have been living outside of the US too long.

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    • Consider yourself lucky?

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  5. TV shows I would love to watch:
    • Global tech disaster as outlined by Joel above
    • A series based on the SCP website
    And that's all I would need for visual entertainment ever again.

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  6. I agree with everything you said. But I still see potential in it so I'm willing to give it a chance. However if the girl hasn't stopped being annoying after 3 episodes, or the show doesn't get good enough around her to negate that then I'm out.

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  7. Try reading S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series for a good take on this idea.

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    • Actually his Change series deals with almost exactly this premise except it includes a cap on technology of industrial era or later, and it explains it better in the books. Try "Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling.

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      • The Emberverse series is another name for his Change series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emberverse_series). "Dies the Fire" is exactly the first thing I thought of when I read this comic. Honestly, I think S.M. Stirling could have a case for getting royalties from the show, if he were inclined to pursue that.

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        • Thanks to all of you for the recommend. Putting it on my reading list! :)

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    • I was going to suggest that NBC has five seconds to explain where they got this plot from but you beat me to it.

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  8. I liked it well enough, although I will confess I’m a breed of sci-fi nerd that doesn’t need to be instantly appeased by hardcore!Science to be able to enjoy a story premise. I suspect they have SOME notion of what the ultimate catalyst is. This being an Abrhams show, I also suspect it’s going to involve a red sphere, a giant explosion, a completely unexpected mastermind behind the scheme and at least two relationship changes for the heroine, (should the show run long enough to contain such), at least one of which will involve abrupt and slightly contrived betrayal.

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    • Which shows are you referring to, LOST, Fringe, or Alcatraz?

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      • That's Alias Snag is referring to.

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  9. I wasn’t bored with the show. I was always looking forward to seeing what happened next and it moved along very quickly. If this came out years ago with all the Lost clones it would have taken 6 episodes for Katniss to get to Chicago and meet her uncle.

    But I also enjoyed nitpicking it. Do asthma inhalers really stay good for 15 years? Why didn’t Katniss check that one dude’s arm for a Monroe brand the moment she met him? When they are at the Grand why was there a giant pillar knocked over? Is electricity keeping our pillars from falling over today?

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    • Asthma kid should be dead. Also I don't like him very much. He's boring.

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      • Yeah he had 2 close calls in 2 days. he wouldnt have survived childhood.

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    • I can tell you right now, inhalers last for a year, maybe two, before they start becoming increasingly toxic.
      Once when I was getting a little too wheezy for comfort I puffed a years-old inhaler of mine and got WAY worse in one second.

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  10. The problem with cars isn't so that engines don't run without electricity, it's that they don't run without gas. No computer controlled refineries, no gas. I suppose you could try ethanol, but there's probably not a lot of surplus grain for fermenting. Plus older engines are going to get wrecked running on it. Of course that doesn't explain why there aren't diesels running on vegetable oil (assuming anybody can figure out how to build a hand cranked starter). My money is on a scientist conspiracy to stop global warming by getting us to quit fossil fuels cold turkey.

    MILD SPOILERY AHEAD.

    The final scene of the pilot suggests something is keeping electronics from working–and that some people still have a limited ability to circumvent it.

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    • they refined gas before electronics. Those cars on the highways all had gas in them…

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      • Do you know how to do it, though? Can you build the facility to do it? Can you acquire the oil to be refined into gas? Can you get the gas to the cars?

        If you happen to live near one of the Gulf refineries, you could probably get gas. If you live in Chicago, you are SOL.

        The big trick to this kind of story is setting the timeline such that the group is still working on rebuilding the infrastructure. If electricity stops, civlization largely collapses. Communication, information, money, and a huge chunk of our industries just stop. Transportation, medicine, and a number of other services are severely hindered. Most first-worlders will also be totally lost without electric lights.

        While it is entirely possible to drop back to an industrial or pre-industrial era, that sort of civilization relies on its own intricate infrastructure, which no longer exists. Fifteen years is simply not enough time for people to get their shit back together. Even with all the libraries at our disposal, it just takes time to relearn all those obsolete skills, get the skilled people in touch with the resources they need, and then get the benefits of those skills back in the hands of the masses.

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        • I'm certain there are books in the Chicago public library about refining gasoline, again, here the problem is access to oil.

          You're right though. The fun part is watching civilization rebuild. I think 15 years is enough that at least some things that rely on gasoline would work still. Also, Steam engines.

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        • Yes, yes, and yes. It's not that complicated if you don't need to have high-grade fuel. And you don't need high grade gas. You can run a diesel engine off cooking/vegetable oil. And conveniently enough a diesel engine doesn't require electricity to run.

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          • "Where are all the diesel cars??!!!??" was my first thought.

            For that matter, I wondered at first where the older cars (because newer cars all rely on way too many sensors and chips to run without electricity) were, given that there would be tons of already-refined gas out there unused and a small number of cars (because of the newer car thing) using it, but then I realized that gas goes bad. Without oil to refine, it would be tough to still have much gas fifteen years after their catastrophe.

            But seriously, diesels. And old steam-driven tractors. Those things are cool, and there are a bunch of dudes not that far from Chicago who collect them.

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          • I believe you can actually run diesel engines off sufficiently strong grades of hooch as well, making them pretty much the honey badger of engines. But I'm not a diesel mechanic so I'm going on what I've heard.

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            • The first diesel engine ran on vegetable oil. Hooch is horrible diesel fuel but amazingly dangerous and fun to use in gas engines.

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        • It doesnt matter if we know how to refine gas, seeing as how the pilot showed an entire highway full of cars that suddenly just stopped. Im assuming that they all had at least some gas in them, so what made them magically not drive? Not to mention that im sure we have at least a little bit floating around at places like gas stations and tanker trucks. Granted, its not going to matter in 15 years, but its just the sudden stop that bugs me. You cant account for everything they show stopping just by saying electricity doesnt work anymore…

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          • Most modern cars are controlled by microprocessors that monitor just about everything in your car. Power steering, brakes, door locks, windows, the door locks, the engine, etc. Once those are blown, you're screwed.

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          • If the ElectroMagic Pulse KO'ed the batteries in the cars, then that makes sense, as much as that show's broken laws of physics will allow it.

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        • I didn't watch this, but I have to chime in. Sooooo, no gas because no computer controlled refineries? I guess all the engineers also shorted out? I always knew those bastards were androids! Also, you should be able to push-start a pre computer controlled auto so there should be old air cooled Volkswagon bugs toodleing around. Trust me, volksie owners know this. And you can burn old used motor oil in a diesel engine if you have to…it doesn't make it happy, but it runs.

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          • Filter that oil t through a toilet paper roll first tho'.

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        • I could definitely refine oil without electricity, just like they did in the old days.
          I just need to watch a YouTube video that will show me how to… wait a second, what's wrong with my phone?

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  11. SF stories should always have time travel in them. What was the last crappy SF story involving time travel? Trick question! There hasn't been one, ever! However I concede the concept of 'ever' is flexible in a world with time travel.

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    • Two words: Terra Nova.

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      • Yeah, but he's looking at it from a non-linear viewpoint. Tera Nova hasn't happened yet.

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  12. Combine all that awesomeness you talked about, plus some supernatural telekeneticy stuff, and you've got FreakAngels!! http://www.freakangels.com/?p=23
    I'd watch the crap out of a show made based on that.

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    • That was a good comic.

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      • That does have the bones for a good show, if someone does it right….and doesn't turn it into a "teen with powers" show.

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        • What I'd love to see is The Umbrella Academy comic brought to tv, or Doom Patrol during Grant Morrisons's reign.

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  13. I didn’t watch it because the whole premise seemed meh to me. I wasn’t impressed with the previews and clearly they are capitalizing on Hunger Games popularity with the Katniss clone. There is nothing wrong with that but you have to go somewhere new with it. If it improves then I can catch up with it later.

    There is already a story with… “have the knowledge to mass produce cars and iPhones and jets, but without a single operational robot-controlled factory, or wafer fab plant it really wouldn’t matter.” It is called Dune – wasn’t that the premise behind the Butlerian Jihad backstory? They couldn’t make any machine that thought like a human being anymore.

    @Rich – your comment makes me think that they are going to introduce something supernaturally-ness into the show – because they clearly need more things to make people watch, right?

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    • Not that they couldn't. They shouldn't make an AI anymore. Hence the Mentats. They still have the tech to make a computer mind but chose to ban it.

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  14. Joel, you should make a graphic novel with that very premise. I'm not sure I could follow a web comic of it, but I could totally see it as a graphic novel I would buy.

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  15. WHY DID AIRPLANES SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL?!?

    All of what you guys said, I'm sure, about science and electrons and shit but… Airplanes, without their engines on, are basically huge friggin gliders. The power goes off and they'll glide for at least a little while before crashing, it's not like they're helicopters which need the rotation of the rotor to keep them aloft, but even if they were mafuking helos, they'd autorotate down.

    AND! If they WERE going to just spin out of control… those mafuckers are going 500 miles an hour. They wouldn't lose their horizontal velocity just because they lost lift….

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    • If the controlling of the flaps is electronic, might not they start losing control once they hit turbulence?

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      • "AND! If they WERE going to just spin out of control… those mafuckers are going 500 miles an hour. They wouldn't lose their horizontal velocity just because they lost lift…."

        I think that explains it. In the show they look out at the sky and there are at least a half dozen airplanes just dropping like stones while spiraling. It was overkill.

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        • It was seeing EVERY GODDAMN AD for Revolution begin with the physically-impossible plane crashes that turned me away from the premiere, and the bland Katniss clone with a crossbow (despite that weapon's inherent awesomeness) saying "When the world lost it's power, I found mine." just confirmed I would not like it. I must penalize the crashing with invoking the TVTrope DidNotDoTheResearch.

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          • If you're going over the top with planes, do it right. Giant sharks jumping out of the water and plucking them from the sky. Mutant Alaskan King Crabs scaling radio towers and snagging Air Canada jets… Big frigging apes on Manhattan sky scrapers! Do it right!

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        • I agree that's it's kind of silly to have planes suddenly fall from the sky, but it's a better quick visual than planes just gliding along.

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  16. I have not seen anything from Revolution other than the banner ads during The Voice (yeah, I watch the shit out of that show), and even from that I noticed the obvious Katnissness of Katniss.
    @Joel: your magnificent rant reminded me of Irish comedian Dara O'Briain's number on the crapfest that was "2012" (see http://youtu.be/_jUP1k-PKh0 – sorry for the russian subtitles). He was pretty close with "The electrons – are angry!"

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    • aargh, I nearly spat coffee over my laptop I was laughing so much. He's a ridiculously funny man, who loves science.

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    • THANK YOU for linking this. I didn't even see 2012, but it completely just made my day.

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  17. Flaps are only used on landing, sometimes on take-off when they're taking off on a short runway. Also, commercial airframes are inherently stable. They're designed to return to a nuetral position when there's no more input.

    If the plane was midbank it would probably fall that would be very few aircraft.

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  18. For the record Joel, I would totally watch your TV show if it came to life. Also, I think your idea of the Industrial Revolution being suddenly brought back in modern time is oddly enough the most realistic steampunk scenario out there.

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  19. The pilot of Revolution was pretty horrible. The brother and sister ripped straight from Hunger Games. Most of the characters looking like they just stepped out of a fashion magazine 15 years after the end of electricity. The choppy dialogue. The bad acting. The erratic way most of the characters behave. The magical USB device that somehow generates power (micro, wireless cold fusion generator?). Planes that can no longer glide on air. A single, modern, semi-automatic pistol that works while everyone else is using muskets. I might watch another episode or two just to see if it gets drastically better … but then again, I might not.

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    • My theory on the gun, at least, was that musket balls are much easier to make than bullets. So bullets would be in short and dwindling supply and only the head guys would have modern guns.

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      • Re-loaders have shot up in popularity since Obama took office. There would be bullets for some time as long as shooters saved their brasses. When the brass gets too stressed to re-use safely, and unless someone gets on the ball manufacturing fresh brass shell casings, then you'd have trouble. I guess by that time those "crazy" folks who have bunkers and 3 to 5 year supplies of provisions would have started scrapping out the useless car batteries and appliance motors for the lead to make minnie balls. Yes, Bert Gummer is my hero.

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        • "Re-loaders have shot up in popularity since Obama took office. "

          If that's true then i find it utterly depressing and hilarious. The current administration has done exactly nothing to tighten restrictions on gun owners or increase gun control. The only thing paranoid and fearful people need to be paranoid and fearful is a rumor, a lie or anything in between.

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          • Well, except for the EPA floating the ban of lead ammunition and Obama's claim over F&F documents through executive privilege even though Obama swears on his father's grave that the he and the white house cabinet were not in any way, shape, or form involved(thus making by his own words his claim of executive privilege invalid, assuming of course that he's not lying through his fucking teeth).

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        • If you are truly prepared for a worldwide EMP pulse, and you were CORRECT – you are still crazy.
          Them's the rules. I don't make 'em, I just post 'em.

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  20. This is definitely one of your best comics ever. Not least because I know exactly what you mean about the teeth. Granted, for me that's a named psychological disorder – I can feel my blood, too, and I feel the muscles in my eyes and my heart beating and, ugh, it's awful – but still. Good stuff.

    I didn't know about Revolution but it reminds me of a book called Dies The Fire which is basically an SCA fanatic's wet dream: All electricity and explosives stop working. No explosives, no guns… so everyone has swords now 😉

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  21. Yeah, I wanna watch YOUR show. It sounds way better.

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  22. The planes dropping out of the sky bothered me too, but I guess "the laws of physics are broken" explains that too? Not only electrons, but now airfoils don't behave the way they should either…

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  23. "The laws of physics went crazy?"… If only we had some kind of "vampire goat" to investigate these shenanigans!

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    • Yes. I want to see this as the next mini storyline! It would be better than any TV show on the air!

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      • Mini storyline? I want this as the entire gorram comic. Joel, make it so!

        I mean….if you're feeling up to it…

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  24. Amusing fact: There is a real honest-to-god scientific theory that, due to the universe cooling off too quickly after the big bang (seriously), there might actually be glitches in the very fabric of reality.

    Now, none of those glitches are really perceptible (so no Matrix 2 bullshit about them being the origin of vampires or whatnot), but, like a computer system that's just got too many glitches in its core programming, those glitches may very well interact and crash the entire machine.

    When that happens? The laws of physics, along with the rest of the universe, will basically cease to exist after a milliseconds-long period of complete and utter insanity.

    So, yes, it's possible that the laws of physics can go crazy–but the universe wouldn't survive it, never mind a plucky group of shallow characters.

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    • There's nothing a plucky group of shallow characters can't survive.

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  25. Are we gonna get to see all the AC REPLACEMENT-drive sketches? Did you answer that already? I'm sorry. Long week.

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  26. here's the thing about your complains

    MOST of the books that would tell you how to build what would be at BEST early Victorian tech using mechanical energy requires Tools and know how that are VERY rare now a days

    really the people who would be doing the best if the power stopped working are those in 3rd world countries and those who live in ares near Amish colonies

    as for why the power dosen't work All the tech used to measure electrical activity is it'self powered by tech

    (my theory is satellites creating an EM feild that the pendant can nullify in a limited way this is similar to the motion comic Afterworld with out the field also disintegrating people)

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    • Um, you might try old Mother Earth News magazines from the 70's. Lots of "Get off the grid", "Build your own hydro-powered…" whatzit, and "Build your wood gas car" articles from the golden age of DIY.

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      • There is also this type of structure that stores data on compressed plates of plant cellulose covered in bits and smudges of various minerals. Also a lot of geeky people have stashes of such materials. Also there is this paramilitary youth organization based on survival skills and teamwork.

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  27. "That guns work, but internal combustion engines that don’t rely on computers don’t work raises further questions."

    This, more than anything, I had a problem with. Does this mean gasoline won't burn anymore? Do pistons not move? If ALL technology had ceased to work, then fine, I might have been able to overlook it, despite some things functioning based on chemistry rather than electricity. But having modern firearms work but combustion engines not is just…bleh.

    Also there's the question of why the chemical interactions in humans, animals and plants apparently wasn't disrupted either.

    That one line was just flippant handwaving that annoyed me more than if they'd just not explained it at all.

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  28. A few minutes after watching this I got a text message from a friend of mine.

    Him: "WTF!?!?"

    Not immediately connecting the two events I thought maybe it was something I did, so I texted him back.

    Me: "What's wrong?"
    Him: "Did you watch Revolution?"
    Me: "Yeah, why?"
    Him: "What the motherf*cking f*ck?!?!?"

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  29. So, someone may have mentioned this, but I'm not reading all of that. I'm guessing it's a sustained EMP field blanketing the planet. That would explain the USB locket, as it could be a dampening field that acts as a shield to the EMP.

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  30. Joel – face facts. Television these days is an abusive husband, and you need to get yourself to a shelter.

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  31. I went through the stages of "revolution is bullshit" way back when the trailer first came out. To the point that when the pilot actually aired, the line about "science says this is bullshit" was actually a step up than what I thought would happen in the show.
    Also, did all scientists automatically lose the ability to science after the blackout in the show? Why can't they figure out what happened? Electricity not working doesn't mean that you can't trial and error everything until something happened.
    Also did all doctors forget everything? Did we let all asthma people die before we invented the inhalers?
    And why is almost everyone using muskets? Did we destroy every modern gun and forget that bullets are made in casts and a person could smith them if they tried?
    Dammit, Joel, you got me going again…

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    • Electricity not working sure leads to the question as to how biolelectricity in the brain is still working.

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      • It doesn't seem to be working in THE WRITERS' brains, amirite?
        Eh? Eh?
        Up high, bro! Come on!

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  32. It's basically "Ripped off Dies the Fire but decided to make all the necessary So-We-Don't-Get-Sued changes to be shittier science." At least Dies the Fire tried to be somewhat logical about it – as much as an English/History person can be.

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  33. I feel confused. I didn't see Joel in the living room when we watched Revolution, but the above dialog is so close to our ranting it can hardly be coincidence, can it?
    I too questioned why we weren't employing the time honored ways of the Amish, Where were the horses? Are we incapable of constructing wagons for them to pull?
    Why do all the clothes look new, stylish and in good repair? Why don't they look homemade? And also I agree about the books. Can't we crack one open and learn about pioneer times?
    I haven't decided if I'll even watch the second episode. Maybe if I keep rereading the above comic the show will grow on me?

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    • Physics was so screwed up that the dumbest people in society are now considered the smartest.

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    • <Why do all the clothes look new, stylish and in good repair? Why don't they look homemade?>

      I personally am insulted that you assume these two things are opposites.
      Homemade clothes can, most certainly, look new, stylish and in good repair. Not everyone in the world has ignored sewing as a hobby.

      Interesting tidbit: while my husband and I were watching, I turned to him and said "You know what still works when the electricity goes out? Hand sewing. So I'd still have something to do."
      He said, "You know what else works? Acoustic guitars. Drums. So I still have a hobby, too."

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  34. As far as the guns go that is easy. Any form of firearm short of bows are outlawed. (mentioned in the shootout scene.) Makes sense as if you are gonna be a petty stepped up dictator you are going to remove them from the populace. then maintain control by limiting access to top lieutenants in order to mitigate the ability for your own army to remove you from your comfortable position of power.

    Now making roundss is the issue. the round has four parts the bullet, casing, primer, and powder. Yes you can mold the bullet itself, hunters and gun nuts do that all the time today. however the casing and primer is the difficulty. in order to be able to produce a casing with an impact primer for an automatic weapon you would need a level of sophistication in your machinery that is apparently lost. any already produced are probably hoarded by the powers that be. (see petty dictator)

    Just a comment on one of the few things that actually made sense in the show.

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    • As a firearms enthusiast, this. So much this. Seeing everyone wonder why modern guns don't work just made me laugh. They work just fine, but once you're out of ammo, how are you going to make more?
      A musket requires far less technology to make new rounds. A round ball, gunpowder, cotton, and flint. No machined cases or primers.

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    • "you would need a level of sophistication in your machinery that is apparently lost"

      That's actually MY problem. Why is that machinery and knowledge lost? A little too convenient.

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  35. OK I haven't watched the show, and I haven't done any research, but based on the rant, lovingly provided by Joel, here is your new intro:
    It was a war for resourses, a war to control what was left. We needed something to win, something that would take the fight out of our opponants, the rest of the world. We had that something, EMP, a pulse sent high enough in the atmosphere that it would destroy the electronics of the world, but leave us in peace. For us it was a no brainer. We are sorry.
    It was only designed to send out a single pulse, it doesn't, it continually sends out pulses(?), the whole world is affected, including us. Planes didn't drop from the sky when it happened, they don't do that, they do become gigantic gliders, the limited control the pilots had was enough to get most grounded, the ships and subs,
    however, the warships inflated their life rafts and most of the men and women serving aboard were fit enough and disaplined enough to make it to a shore, the pleasure cruise ship, and those navy that were too far out, did the same, got into the life rafts, and prayed. Submarines were not spared the electronic meltdown, and for some even training didn't stop blind panic and death, for others basic training and survival cut through this fear, manual pumps were deployed to help float the subs(?), and then the rafts prayer and luck came into play.

    The world has changed, because of us, in seconds we have been transported back in time, essentially back to before the industrial revolution. The first few years are going to be a struggle, then we can work out what we want to do. Due to our device, we have to wait 200 years before we can have our electrical driven society back. We can use this chance to change our ways, or we can repeat our lifestyle, its our choice.

    The question marks are parts that I have no clue on. Feel free to abuse this one and leave the show alone:)

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    • So no Faraday cages protecting electronics anywhere? Would a nuclear sub's reactor core short out from an EMF pulse? It's already a well-grounded big metal tube. They still have ICBMs on board, yes? If the subs all die, then we've got bigger problems than "My car won't run"…Fukushima style problems. I mean, the oceans are now full of melted down nuclear sub reactors. And on land? The Comanche Peak Facility is just south of DFW, and there are too damn many nuclear plants all over the US. I hope someone who's better versed in the science can tell me. I do know of several indestructible type posts online explaining how to protect your household electronics from EMF pulse events, as well as how to get your older car up and running after a "solar event or nuclear pulse". Trust me, there are lots of paranoid doomsday survivalists and preppers out there that sit up nights pondering TEOTWAWKI, and actually plan for this stuff. Heck, in a post-apocalyptic world, the Mormons will rule because they will have all the food stored up!

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  36. Someone mentioned it earlier.. but if 'the laws of physics went crazy' to the point where electrons no longer function… shouldn't all matter.. just.. fall apart?

    I'm not a physicist.. but aren't electrons part of what hold matter together?
    At the very least, if all electricity stopped.. why aren't people dead? The nervous system runs on electrons too…

    I feel like Revolution was supposed to be some sort of "JJ Abrams-lite" show. Like it is trying to grab an audience that thinks his other shows were too sci-fi or too out there.. so they dumbed down or glossed over the explanations. Of course, this only ticked off the viewers who are perfectly comfortable with the science.

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  37. Yes, I caught part of one of the trillion replays of the show – gotta make sure no one missed it!
    I like that it's sort of post-apocalyptic D&D. You know, the traveling adventurers wielding bows and swords – but these used to know what iPods are. Traveling from bar to bar… having random encounters along the way. I LIKE that.

    I don't like this supposed mystery as to what happened and how or why we're going to fix it. And the handful of computers that somehow still work. Don't like those either.

    BTW, if the laws of physics "went crazy", why did people fly off the planet? The laws of physics include gravity. And momentum, but I bet if you bounced a ball it would not behave weirdly at all.

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  38. I've heard of the show, but haven't watched it yet. It just sounds like an awful ripoff of one of my favorite series of books. If they wanted to do that, they should have just gotten the rights to SM Stirlings Emberverse. *laughs*

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  39. And I'm now trying to kill myself for grammar errors. Stirling's. I can write, I can…

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  40. If a still can still be used to make booze then chemistry works. If fire is still hot than thermodynamics still works. If the human brain and muscles still work than electrons still move. There is no reason that things should have fallen much below the late 1800's. I know that I am an Engineer so I have trouble looking past things like that but it is really making it hard to like the show. Making things worse is that it is filmed here in Wilmington NC (except the pilot) so I really do want it to do well. The more shows that do well here the more the stench of Dawsons Creek might be washed away.

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    • Heck, if you machine an internal combustion engine to use a pilot flame (ala early otto-cycle prototypes), you could run it on a gasifier unit that runs on garbage.

      I had a welding teacher that was a certified steam engineer. He built a mini steam engine by carefully porting the cylinder of an old fridge compressor… so what's the excuse of an entire world?
      Arg. I haven't even seen the show and I'm annoyed by it!

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  41. Hey, NBC! This show was better when it was that anime, A Wind Named Amnesia. Freaking hacks. 😛

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  42. What bugged me, first off? Old cars should still be working. You know, the classic cars that didn't have fancy computers built-in. Also, did all the renewable energy engineers die? Are you telling me that there's no one around who knows how to make solar panels work? Cause even if something happens to kill off all the electricity, there's no reason why we can't make it start working again.
    Also, the protagonist(s) are fecking irritating as fecking feck. "But we're faaaaaaaamily!" Ugh. Couldn't make it past the 2nd episode.

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