|Sorry Aussies...I don't like it either.|
First, Australia... I'm sorry to say that it doesn't look good. When I was a Biology student, the environmental impact of severe drought, over population and the damage done to the Murray-Darling River Basin because of this lead me to assume that the smallest continent's days are numbered. The simple fact is that Australia's carrying capacity is roughly ten million people, while the current population is over twice that. When the effects of Peak Oil make using industrial agriculture impossible, the is little hope for the land down under. There will be enough refugees leaving Australia's shores for New Zealand that there will most likely be a war. Ironically, The nuclear phase of the Great War caused enough of a climate shift that Australia is more inhabitable in 2210 than it will be in 2110. So in the short term, Australia's doomed, but in the end it will be a decent place to live. Minus, of course, the Marsupials.
Anyway, onto the idea of open-source infrastructure, which I take to be Internet by the people, for the people and all that jazz. Power creation, water storage and filtration, and food production will have to, at least in the short-term, be decentralized and sustainable to the greatest extent possible. Those fringe folks that are building solar panels, gardening their yards, and storing staples and whatnot are most likely going to become the mainstream of society in the coming decades as food transportation, power plants, and the other trappings of civilization become less available. Let's face it, all of it runs on oil, and oil is running out.
That being said, keeping the Internet going in the face of societal breakdown will be a higher priority than most people assume. Look at the current demographics; one seventh of the worlds population is literally starving to death, half the population are in grinding poverty, yet eighty percent of all the people on Earth have cell phones.
So yeah, I think we'll fight for the Internet.
Most of you already know that I'm a big fan of open-source. Everything here at Blue Max Studios, from my computer's operating system to the programs I create all of my products with, is free and open-source. There are a lot of us out there, and we believe in open-source. So if (or when) the global economy collapses and corporate controlled programs become unavailable and all of that stuff, people will make due. It's staggering to think how much our current society depends on communication and computers. We are going to protect it, and we are going to make our own if we have to. Fabricators will factor into this, as there exist today circuit printers as part of the Fab Labs set up around the world. If I had to guess (way outside my pay grade) as to what an open-source infrastructure will take, I would assume that hacking into the existing communication satellites and creating a secondary, free Internet using the remains of our current system will allow people to maintain contact even if the whole world gets dropped into the kacky. My only experience with any of this come from my Army days in the late Nineties when I was trained to set up and maintain multi-channel communications nets in combat theaters from the back of a RAU. So it can be done...
|My old ride...the Army's Remote Access Unit.|
But I dunno. Those of you RocketFans that are more knowledgeable about what it would take for people to maintain and continue the Internet in the absence of the major telecommunications are welcomed to comment, and we'll all get together and figure it out. So, the Official Question of the Day: Assuming the loss of Internet because of economic and societal collapse due to the lack of oil, how could we as individual citizens get the World Wide Web up and running again?