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Computers could give you better chances of survival. In a shelter / bunker let's say you can have a control center where you can monitor sensors and manage databases. These tasks doesn't require a computer, but saves you massive time to do something else.



The core premise of the story is that the people who have tech have access to a copy of WikiPedia, or some portion of it, which is like a super power in a post-tech world. Even if it is only used periodically (to prevent wear and tear on the computer), it would still be incredibly valuable to have an oracle that can answer questions like "how to nixtamilize corn?" or "how to preserve food without refrigeration" in a world without grocery stores.

This, of course, presumes libraries are also mostly gone, since you don't need WikiPedia if you have a library.


Well, honestly, I think for that type of knowledge, Wikipedia is actually a very bad starting point. It could have become something like that, but ... I blame Deletionism, and more importantly, the general aversity to "know how" pages. Yes, you could relearn math from Wikipedia, but I'm not sure there's enough stuff in there that somebody who didn't already know how would be able to recreate half-way modern antibiotics, or an old CRT TV tube, let alone an SEM etc.


While I agree that WikiPedia is unnecessarily restrictive in their coverage (particularly with regard to how to do things), I think there's a lot of value there, too...especially in a world that has lost access to anything more in-depth. I mean, I can go to WikiPedia and figure out how ancient peoples cooled and heated their homes, handled irrigation, preserved foods without refrigeration, what plants are edible, what plants grow in what regions (though this would be thrown off by a climate catastrophe), how to render fat for storage, how to make rubber, how to smelt iron, how to build a boat from naturally available supplies, how to make cloth water resistant, natural remedies, etc. While it's not a "how to" guide for any of these things, if you can read, look at the diagrams, and follow the references within WikiPedia, you can figure it out with some trial and error.

The premise isn't that the folks with WikiPedia can rebuild modern society. It's that they literally can't (even if they had better knowledge resources), but would still have a survival advantage from having a little bit of the old knowledge. The fact is that if we lose our modern society, we'll never be able to build it up again. We've dug up all of the easily accessible resources, already. Scavenging from the good old days is the best any post-apocalyptic society can hope for, as bleak as that sounds.


Now I'm suddenly tempted to write up some kind of program that'll automatically archive not just the Wikipedia pages themselves ¹, but also their citations and external links. Or maybe (probably) someone else has already written such a program.

¹ I vaguely recall Wikipedia already provides some way to download all pages in bulk, but I can't seem to find it (if it even exists anymore, or if it ever actually existed instead of me just hallucinating it)



Nice, thanks!


There might be a place for a WikiKnowHow...


"since you don't need WikiPedia if you have a library."

I have libraries and WikiPedia is still pretty useful. Searchability and portability / mobility would be pretty valuable attributes in this type of scenario.


Or you manage to repair a advanced drone .. that can do scavenging in dangerous radiated areas for example (or just common drone, can scout for you). Solar panels will be valuable... But wind is easily to bild and generate as well.

In general, the scenario is, that the whole world is broken down, but full of tech. So many machines to get back to working. Machines beat muscle on a scale


> that can do scavenging in dangerous radiated areas for example

Most robotics don't work in areas of heavy radiation, because radiation damages electronics.


You wouldn't want to scavenge something from an area which is so irradiated that it fries electronics.


Could a Z80 do these things effectively? Honest question.


Yes, sensor monitoring (movement, heat, wind) is just simple IO handling and I'm sure managing a SQLite database would be in it's capabilities. If a C64 is capable of all if this then it can be done.

Even chat is possible for example between two buildings where radio might not penetrate the walls. But sure, at that point if you can lay down cables, then it's simpler to just build a telephone.


SQLite assumes quite a bit more resources than a Z80 has.


There were databases that ran on 8 bit computers. They were not as powerful as SQLite, but they could do the job.




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