Many people have found the notion that World of Depleted is built on–that a small series of attacks could lead to full breakdown of societal connectivity in the world over the course of a single year–to be impossible.
However an interesting proof of the principles of World of Depleted was covered in Science News, based on a mathematical proof originating at the same time World of Depleted was being created.
A group of scientists funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency was exploring network theory in 2009 into 2010 and they found that behaviors shifted radically when networks were interconnected:
In their analysis of connected networks, the researchers found a type of mathematical behavior that couldn’t have been predicted from knowledge of single networks. When a node is removed from a single network, the failure tends to propagate gradually, the network coming apart bit by bit by bit. But removing nodes in a network of networks means the breakdown can occur abruptly. As nodes go offline, the system initially appears to be working properly. But all of a sudden, a threshold is reached. Lose one more node and — poof — the whole thing falls to pieces.
Although the concepts explored have especial focus on computer systems, they also note that it’s almost identical in the organic world:
A series of CNN news clips posted on YouTube highlight the vulnerability of interdependent systems. In what Wolf Blitzer repeatedly reminds the viewer is only an “exercise,” former U.S. government officials convene to respond to a simulated cyberattack. The War of the Worlds–esque report begins with a Russian computer infecting a smartphone with a virus. After jumping to other smartphones, the bug makes its way into U.S. computers. From there it crashes communication networks, which in turn take out power stations. The ensuing blackout shuts down transportation networks. Each failure leads to yet more failures as the effects of a single infection bounce back and forth between systems. Having no control over the Russian computer system and no authority to shut down smartphones, the U.S. government is powerless.
Obviously, this lends a great deal of credence to how a very small number of attacks could lead to 90% casualties in the course of a single year, as religious networks impact justice networks impact food networks impact medical networks!
The viability of the World of Depleted thesis helps remind us all to plan for the future and look to the hope that can be found even in dark times!
To read the entire article, go to: When Networks Network.