I’ve always been a big fan of dystopian fiction. A common trope of the genre is “what if all the tech failed tomorrow?” Sometimes this is an electromagnetic pulse attack that wipes out anything more sophisticated than a steam engine.

Generally, the depicted world falls swiftly into chaos, starting with everyone sadly tapping at their dead phones and culminating in shoot-outs and new world orders. Even to a fan, these plots can seem far-fetched; South Africans regularly live through blackouts for hours and even days, and can barely raise more than a despondent tweet in protest...

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