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What If They Turned Off the Internet?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the very-funny-now-where-is-slashdot dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 511

theodp writes "It's the not-too-distant future. They've turned off the Internet. After the riots have settled down and the withdrawal symptoms have faded, how would you cope? Cracked.com asked readers to Photoshop what life would be like in an Internet-addicted society learning to cope without it. Better hope it never happens, or be prepared for dry-erase message boards, carrier pigeon-powered Twitter, block-long lines to get into adult video shops, door-to-door Rickrolling, Lolcats on Broadway, and $199.99 CDs."

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511 comments

(And now with more Pants!) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861413)

If it gets Idle off /., it wouldn't be a complete loss.

Re:(And now with more Pants!) (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861447)

Sad thing is that this story *is not* in idle, but entertainment.

Re:(And now with more Pants!) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861545)

If i was a great big douche bag, i'd use a monospace font when i am not pasting code, or in other words for no god damned reason at all, just to annoy other slashdot users. i'd also be a native english speaker who can't handle the distinctions among they're, their, and there, not to mention the difference between loose and lose. i would do these things, and more, just to advertise my douchebaggery to save everyone the trouble of noticing it on their own.

Uhm... wrong site. (5, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861419)

What is this, digg? Cracked joke pages don't belong here.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (-1, Redundant)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861515)

Ok mister "I can't have a serious discussion if people are having fun too".

Now, how would society react if the Internet was taken down.

That's the question.

Personally I think it would be hard on society, but people would adapt by using the fax machine more and the population would restart to dial to BBSs.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (4, Interesting)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861673)

I think the old saw that "Nature abhors a vacuum" would take effect. It wouldn't take long to rebuild a network of networks again. The protocols that are used and the speed and whatnot may be still at issue, but having had an internet and knowing its potentiality, I think that if it were taken down, something would have to be invented to replace it.

Now, if it were 'taken down' because "they" wanted to silence it, I recommend to you the quote famously attributed to John Gilmore: "The internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it."

I don't know if you'd ever get it taken down for non-technical reasons (like The End Of Life As We Know It.)

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861535)

Idle and Slashdot 2.0 don't belong on Slashdot either. Unfortunately, someone behind the scenes thought that the best way to lure new users was to emulate Digg instead of doing what Slashdot did best; allow nerds and geeks to discuss interesting articles and thus provide intellectual entertainment. I think that they'll find that the whole charm of Slashdot was the discussion after the article and it is what made Slashdot worth returning to on a daily basis.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861645)

It's been all downhill since the Politics section...that's when they turned the corner from Geek Street to Whatever Brings in the Most Page Hits Boulevard.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861829)

I totally agree with you, but at the end of the day they still need to make money to operate this site; if page views for intellectual trash like Idle make that money, then that's what they're going to push. And I thought newspapers were in trouble...

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (5, Insightful)

altek (119814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861709)

+1000

I have been on /. since it launched (yeah, back then we nerds were quite resistant to ever creating logins for sites, hence my non-low account ID). And it seems in the last 6 months or so it's been going this way - I have gone to reading it in Google Reader and also have Gizmodo and Engadget in there as well. It seems like at least a third of the posts lately are just regurgitated from Giz and Engadget, a day or so later.

My thought is that the internet has grown so huge, that /. can't compete with sites that have pageviews hundreds of times higher, and this is their way of sucking in some extra pageviews.

The content on here has definitely changed. I still find some engaging comment threads, but it just seems like the truly geeky content has gotten watered down with posts about new products, jokes, etc.

Part of it may just be that the tech world as a whole has transformed from what it was in the mid-nineties. Back then, everything was awe-inspiring and amazing in the tech world, and now it's all pretty pedestrian, we've become quite jaded.

And, our attention spans have gotten so short, that spending a half hour reading an article about a distributed network cracking the latest encryption algorithm gets pushed under the three posts about new cell phones. And a simple yet brilliant idea is no longer brilliant, it's just expected from middle management in the outsourced development sweatshops.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861765)

The content on here has definitely changed. I still find some engaging comment threads, but it just seems like the truly geeky content has gotten watered down with posts about new products, jokes, etc.

Exactly. And since both nature and my cat abhor vacuums, where the hell are the good geek new sites now?

I currently have to settle for reading mildly interesting arguments about IPv6 on NANOG.

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861793)

I have been on /. since it launched (yeah, back then we nerds were quite resistant to ever creating logins for sites, hence my non-low account ID).

Uhhh yeah me too

Re:Uhm... wrong site. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861917)

While much of you may lament the current days of slashdot, when I started visiting it ~4-6 years ago it was filled with memes (I havn't seen a soviet russia joke in quite some time), first post jokes (GNAA) and dupes. Now it seems like most days most of the memes have rightfully left for reddit/digg. So while the comments have gotten better, the articles have probably gotten worse. What slashdot needs to do is evaluate the story submission process and the mods currently in control to emphasize less bullshit and more tech.

The real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861421)

As long as I don't have to deal with meatspace dickrolling, go ahead and shut 'er down.

Arrr (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861427)

I'd probably have to start *buying* DVDs

Re:Arrr (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861909)

More like trade DVDs, books etc. with your friends. Don't copy them, just engage in some barter for the physical DVDs/books etc. The legal way to tell the RIAA + MPAA and such to frak themselves.

Wat? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861433)

Wat?

That is is all. Yes, this post got modded that high. It means there really isn't anything else smart to say about this story.

Re:Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861687)

Wat?

That is is all. Yes, this post got modded that high. It means there really isn't anything else smart to say about this story.

I have a two-part question.

1. Who's the douchebag who thought, "hey, the word 'what' looks so much better if you spell it without the letter 'h', yeah that's so awesome!"
2. Who are the fucking idiots who agreed with that douchebag and made it into a trendy new troll?

It's not so bad. (5, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861439)

I remember an age before the internet. It was harder to find information and other data, but it wasn't so bad. The things you did have access to you took a bit more seriously. I spent more time at the library then. And I had an extensive cassette tape collection... No Internet != no computers, so rather than DL music, I suspect I would spend more time at LAN parties, which are always fun.

I mis-remember it (3, Interesting)

Jay L (74152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861605)

I'm always struck by my pre-Internet memories, because I have no recollection of how I learned timely, geek-related facts. I was a huge Trek fan in high school, and I knew all about conventions and movie plans and whatnot. I'm sure I got some of it from BBS's, and I must have subscribed to some 'zines, but how did I ever find those without - not just without the Internet, but without ubiquitous search?

Re:It's not so bad. (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861631)

True, life was just fine before the Internet. Now, though, the Internet has infiltrated almost every aspect of our daily lives. Given that, if the Internet were to be shut off permanently, we would have to do without a lot of conveniences we've become accustomed to, which would make it a lot more painful than life before the Internet was. To throw in the requisite car analogy, life without cars probably wasn't all that horrible (at least, not due to the lack of cars specifically). However, now that cars are a major part of the fabric of our everyday lives, it would be substantially more painful to give them up completely now.

Add to all this the fact that a large percentage of us would have to find something else to do for a living, and many of us would have to emerge from the basements we've been in since 1987, and you have a real problem.

Re:It's not so bad. (5, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861679)

Yeah - the transition would suck.

In counterpoint, a friend of mine survived the "special times" in Cuba (basically, a massive powerdown) and said that the first six months pretty much sucked ass. But then you started to smile again, because the water was still warm and inviting, and you still had your friends, and you began to have fun. Only no one drove cars, and you invented things to do that didn't require money, electricity, or petroleum. A year after - you're fine. Different and less comfortable, but fine.

RS

Re:It's not so bad. (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861663)

I remember an age before the internet.

Me too. For-profit copyright infringement was a bigger problem back in the days of dial-up.
Bittorrent and iTunes took the wind from their sails.
If the internet was turned off, I imagine that commercial copyright infringers will return with a vengence.

I'd have to get my torrents via FedEx (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861789)

Seriously, if they turned off teh internets, maybe those rub-burns on my willie would heal up.

On the positive side, I've collected over 200 liters of pecker-snot, in plastic milk jugs.

I plan to make a homunculus from it.

South Park had this covered (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861441)

http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/166179/ [southparkstudios.com]

They covered basically every topic in there

Re:South Park had this covered (4, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861729)

I think that if you actually look into it, you'll find that The Simpsons covered all of the topics even before South Park did.

Re:South Park had this covered (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861781)

Who covered the fact that The Simpsons cover everything first, first?

Oblig. South Park Quote (3, Funny)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861453)

Randy: And so what have we learned through this ordeal? The internet went away. It came back. But for how long, we do not know. We cannot take the internet for granted any longer. We, as a country, must stop over logging-on. We must use the internet only when we need it. It's easy for us to think we can just use up all the internet we want. But if we don't treat the internet with the RESPECT (pounds the podium with his fist)...that it deserves, it could one day be gone forever. So let us learn to live with the internet not for it. No more browsing for no apparent reason. No more mindlessly surfing on our laptops while watching television. And finally, we must learn to only use the internet for porn twice a day. Max

Re:Oblig. South Park Quote (5, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861815)

That was the best quote you could manage? You missed out on the epic chance to quote

"We can't go back to Playboy now!"

Riots? You've got to be kidding. (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861457)

I can't see the people that are really hooked on the intarwebs rioting. It's more likely they'd all still be sitting at their computers, staring blankly at their computer screens, oblivious to the appeals of their loved ones to "just get up and go take a walk"...

Not to mention that CDs have been around longer than the 'net, and never costed $199.99... for that matter so have adult bookstores and sex shops. Just how old was the submitter of this story, anyway?

Re:Riots? You've got to be kidding. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861649)

While riots are probably an exaggeration, Americans do have historical prior art if you're curious what might happen.

See prohibition of alcohol. It was bad enough that they repealed it.

Re:Riots? You've got to be kidding. (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861809)

See prohibition of alcohol. It was bad enough that they repealed it.

awww.. you gave away the end

OMG (1)

Boomerang Fish (205215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861463)

You mean I might actually have to leave the basement (not my moms, but...) and see people in real life?!?!?!?

I'd crack in a week!

On the other hand, playing GTA with real people and real weapons could be fun... in an OW! OW! I'm Bleeding, You Fu..... kind of way...

But we'd have no more lost carrier jokes, so it might balance out.

--
I drank what?

Re:OMG (4, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861485)

But we'd have no more lost carrier jokes, so it might balance out.

You would think so. Whole world would be filled with nerds running all around yelling LOST CARRIER, LOST CARRIER!!

Re:OMG (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861547)

Hmm... no internet, no stupid people using stupid memes. Sounds like a deal to me. I for one welcome our internet-stopping overlords.

Do you know what belongs to us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861639)

All your base belongs to us.

Re:OMG (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861711)

Hmm... no internet, no stupid people using stupid memes. Sounds like a deal to me. I for one welcome our internet-stopping overlords.

Thanks to the advertising and PR industries, the stupid meme predates the Internet. By a long shot.

BBS (5, Interesting)

lothos (10657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861479)

we'd be using our 1200bps modems connecting to the local BBS and swapping email over fido.

Re:BBS (2, Interesting)

Aoet_325 (1396661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861531)

"we'd be using our 1200bps modems connecting to the local BBS and swapping email over fido."

exactly what I did in the old days. As long as computers are around, people will find a way to connect them and connect themselves to each other using them. I suspect that while dial up might not be answer people run to these days I could see people setting up wireless networks within their own neighborhoods, and extending them into WANs that cover a good part of their city.

Re:BBS (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861727)

"we'd be using our 1200bps modems connecting to the local BBS and swapping email over fido."

exactly what I did in the old days. As long as computers are around, people will find a way to connect them and connect themselves to each other using them. I suspect that while dial up might not be answer people run to these days I could see people setting up wireless networks within their own neighborhoods, and extending them into WANs that cover a good part of their city.

This has already been worked out [wikipedia.org] . It has a tremendous advantage, too: it would be more difficult for a company or government to either shut it down or personally identify individual users.

Work? (4, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861481)

I'd probably get some work done... though I'm not sure how since our data is stored in Colorado and I'm in Ohio.

Re:Work? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861715)

Not a problem. As the old joke by Tanenbaum goes, "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway", or, updated for today/better performance, I guess hard drives and courier.

The latency would be rather bad, though.

Re:Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861895)

Sucks to be you. Happily for me it's the other way around.

What I would do? (3, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861499)

Let's face it, by then the shit will have hit the fan. Mankind will have been put under its own boot, with either one of two situations occuring: Men ruled by man or man ruled by men. Neither world is acceptable to me, not like this one is a model existence either.

I'd put on my headband, boots, camo pants, and grab whatever black market guns I could find (by then guns will be outlawed so we can become more in-line with the more "progressive" nations) and maybe grenade or two. I'd light a cigarette to go with my 5 o'clock shadow, strap on a bullet belt, and teach any of the dogs responsible for this mess, including those that tried to stop me, what the inside of hell looks like, all while Foetus's Anything (Viva!) [www.last.fm] played in the background. Rule of law? I'll show you Newton's first law: my bullet will hit their heads which will cause their brains to spray out.

There's no coping in my world. Only the blood of those responsible for this mess. Everywhere.

Re:What I would do? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861567)

I'd light a cigarette to go with my 5 o'clock shadow, strap on a bullet belt, and teach any of the dogs responsible for this mess,

And once you are well on your war path you will suddenly discover that bullets [eabco.com] in your bullet belt don't come with cartridge [eabco.com] , primer [cabelas.com] and powder [eabco.com] charge. You'd have to throw them, real hard :-) or perhaps study ahead of time how this whole thing works.

Re:What I would do? (3, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861583)

You are mistaken, sir, I plan to do it exactly like they do it in the movies. I even have the little "jumping out of an exploding train" sequence planned out in my head.

Re:What I would do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861733)

I'd light a cigarette to go with my 5 o'clock shadow, strap on a bullet belt, and teach any of the dogs responsible for this mess,

And once you are well on your war path you will suddenly discover that bullets [eabco.com] in your bullet belt don't come with cartridge [eabco.com] , primer [cabelas.com] and powder [eabco.com] charge. You'd have to throw them, real hard :-) or perhaps study ahead of time how this whole thing works.

You're kidding right? There's going to be scads of ammo laying around. Especially from all those fools who are stocking piling thousands upon thousands of rounds. They don't realize that they can't carry that much, they're not in a place that can withstand a siege, and that if they start trying to use it all themselves they're likely going to become dead in very short order. And they'll drop lots of ammo and guns.

Re:What I would do? (2, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861821)

I was only picking on GP's mistake of calling ammunition "bullets" - this mistake is quite popular. Bullets alone won't do you much good, unless you are familiar with the reloading press.

But with regard to leftover ammo and guns in case of major troubles ... ok, let's assume some people decide to abandon their homes and go ... where? Ok, let's assume they are gone. You are standing on the road, and there are presumably empty houses around you. You can break into some, but if the house is not empty you will be very dead. If you are lucky and the house is empty you can start searching. The house is large, and ammo is usually stored hidden and locked. You can spend a lot of time searching for something that may not even exist. Your time is not free because in a conflict zone there is always something hunting you, be it zombies or just gangs. So here you are, in an abandoned house, with little ammo of your own, holding a position that the owner himself saw as indefensible. Instead of moving on you are searching for ammo and guns; meanwhile zombies come closer and closer...

Also about the weight. I think I have about 2,000 rounds of 17HMR made by Hornady, all ready for the spring squirrels. The box is not that heavy, maybe 14 lbs. If you escape in a car you can load ten times as much. If you escape on foot, I'd probably dump some food items and take all the ammo because food is easier to find; you can always shoot a bird if you have to, but you can't defend yourself with a can of beans.

Re:What I would do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861927)

Its a good thing I have a shotgun reloader and plenty of powder, primers, and shot to go on a while then. I got a lead smelter to make more buckshot from scrap lead too. Also got that old bomb shelter out behind the house to bunker up in.

The redneck is strong in this one.

Re:What I would do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861935)

you can throw the can of beans at someone's head but yes your point is valid

I've already planned for the worst case scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861523)

A terabyte of porn and anime stuck on a RAID. That should last until they get the internet back up.

new poll (4, Funny)

tloh (451585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861527)

What would replace the internet?

a)sneaker net
b)ip over avian carriers
c)johnny mnemonic
d)radio killed the itunes store
e)cowboy neal
f)breasts (the live nude version on a real female)

Re:new poll (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861737)

Some would want g, an alternative to f

g) gay bars / clubs

The net put many gay bars out of business. Between the cover charges, drinks (and in some cases DUIs), the bars were a pretty expensive and inconvenient way for people to meet. Plus some would rather avoid people that are drinking/drunk, or places allowing cigarette smoking. Some feeling a bit shy are more prone to developing a drinking problem in a bar setting. The bars were also much more awkward for all those "straight" men who get the urge for manly pleasures now and then. While net avoids drinking as part of the routine, the 24 hour nature of it fits in with people high on meth or whatever looking for sex without taking time out to sleep. That the PnP crowd (party and play). It's sad that something fun like party has come to mean drug use.

UUCp: Bring it back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861559)

I for one would begin offering UUCP connections again, complete with multiplatform tutorials on how to get up and running...
Steven M Robbins are You Reading This?

I saw this on The IT Crowd (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861579)

They faked breaking the internet and people panicked and stampeded over each other. Even though it is a sitcom, this is probably accurate.

If Al Gore invented the internet, it will probably be Crazy Ol' Uncle Joe (Biden) who breaks it.

I'd be in a foxhole.... (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861601)

Ignoring for the moment that I generally grab what I might want from the net in the future as I find it (too many sites go "poof"), the only context in which "they" would turn off the Internet would be one of dire civil war (e.g. worse than what recently happened in Iran).

I doubt I'd actually be in a foxhole (that sort of implies you're fighting by the other side's rules), but I wouldn't take it laying down, nor would a lot of people like me.

Re:I'd be in a foxhole.... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861683)

> I doubt I'd actually be in a foxhole (that sort of implies you're fighting by
> the other side's rules)...

Having dirt between you and the bullets is good.

Re:I'd be in a foxhole.... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861749)

> I doubt I'd actually be in a foxhole (that sort of implies you're fighting by > the other side's rules)...

Having dirt between you and the bullets is good.

"You may find me one day, dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you'll find me in a pile of brass."
-- Trooper M. Padgett

Re:I'd be in a foxhole.... (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861797)

Having dirt between you and the bullets is good.

True enough, and it is best to remember the difference between cover and concealment ... but perhaps it's best (in this sort of thing) to be somewhere no one is shooting at. If you must shoot, then fire only once---very hard to tell where a supersonic bullet comes from due to the sonic boom it makes---and then "scoot".

Ad-Hoc Network (2, Interesting)

richtopia (924742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861617)

Could the internet eventually be replaced with a mesh network? Maybe because I'm in student housing right now, but without the internet, we'd probably go about setting up an Ad-Hoc network in our building, then expand that to others we want to talk to (like a cantenna to the university buildings across the way). Sure, I wouldn't be able to post on Slashdot, but I could probably scrounge up enough movies to keep playing for a couple of years. Porn on the other hand, we'd have to get creative.

Re:Ad-Hoc Network (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861941)

What you are saying is that if The Internet was turned off, you'd start building an internet.

I'm sure others would start doing the same too. You could peer with them.

What the hell? (1)

KnowledgeKeeper (1026242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861623)

There is only one answer for any tech minded nerd - you would build your own. It's just like BSD/Linux vs. AT&T Unix. When you're accustomed to something that good and suddenly get deprived of it you DIY. From hardware to software, the ideas for such a system are distributed globally and those ideas, principles and implementations should be incredibly difficult to eradicate.

I didn't know we had a pool. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861651)

After the riots have settled down and the withdrawal symptoms have faded

I expect to see a geek in a riot about the same time BnL perfects the all-terrain hover chair.

How would you cope? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861653)

Having lived most of my life without it, easily. I'd miss it, but I'd survive. I still remember how to do business via telephone and snail-mail. I still have most of my old reference books and the magazine publishers would spring back to life and bombard me with subscription offers. Bookstores would make a comeback.
(And we'd revive the old dialup UUCP-based Usenet, of course.)

Television, record stores, and movies would be revitalized, but that doesn't matter to me.

A much more serious problem would be the reason that someone could and would do such a thing.

Re:How would you cope? (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861897)

I am not sure I would agree so optimistically. I see the internet as just another means of communication, and cutting that off would obviously change the way we live. Our culture is built around the principles of this communication medium, and you can't simply go back to where you were. We COULD go back horse and buggies, but not really. Commuting could not longer be practical. The cities themselves would have to shrink, and the population decentralize more. We COULD use snail mail again, but that might not be realistic in the world that has changed so much with the internet. First thought is that businesses would have to shrink since automation of many processes could not be automated.

Radioamateurs would rise to the occasion (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861675)

And once again, glory would be ours.

- You'd dust off your old US Robotics modems.
- People would set up BBS'es.
- We'd WiFi honeypot each other...

EMP Pulses and Cisco rootkits (1)

Invisible Now (525401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861681)

Don't imagine. Anticipate... Don't you think there at least three or maybe four governments that could bring down the Internet with a keystroke? But, like the MAD standoff that prevents an EMP pulse in orbit taking away everything (EVEN YOUR TV!!!! AND TOYOTA!!!!) a de facto truce based on not knowing which crowd with torches, pitchforks and bricked netbooks would topple which government first holds sway. Or is it alread0%x3jd88 3mrj0ojpo.....Boo!

I would go nuts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861705)

The Internet is the only way I have to communicate with the outside world that I feel somewhat comfortable in. So w/o the internet, I would come directly home after work, and watch TV for 8hrs a day to feel somewhat connected to the world. Yes, I wouldn't be able to respond like I can online, but at least I would be getting the sensation of social interaction. Prior to the internet, that's exactly what I did. I imagine I would revert back to it. I don't function correctly in meatspace, so I wouldn't even bother attempting it. Live without the internet = Lots of TV and talk radio while reading books.

I wwould be incredibly lonely... (1)

ksemlerK (610016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861745)

...And damned near bat-shit insane. The Internet is the only way I have to communicate with the outside world that I feel somewhat comfortable in. So w/o the internet, I would come directly home after work, and watch TV for 8hrs a day to feel somewhat connected to the world. Yes, I wouldn't be able to respond like I can online, but at least I would be getting the sensation of social interaction. Prior to the internet, that's exactly what I did. I imagine I would revert back to it. I don't function correctly in meatspace, so I wouldn't even bother attempting it. Live without the internet = Lots of TV and talk radio while reading books.

Will someone PLEASE think of the children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861755)

Everytime /b/ goes down, its inhabitants spill out and pillage the internet for a week or so. With the internet gone they'll spill out into the real world and the world itself will collapse. I daresay it would happen in an attempt to DDOS the RL server.

There is no point in this. (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861777)

Because it would never happen.

Why I'm so sure? Because there is no "they" in the Internet. Everybody can connect to his neighbors' wifi router, if needed. And the moment when no company on the planet is interested in using the now unused wires and cell phone towers, to sell services to customers, is the moment when humanity itself ceases to exist.

I don't see a point in imagining not having the Internet. And I know how it would look anyway, since I already lived when there was no such thing. I even know how life in a monastery without electricity is. Or in a hut in the middle of nowhere.

Now, that we know of the concept of a Internet, as long as there is a critical mass of humans exists, there will be such a network. :)

This thread is shit and Timothy should be ashamed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861785)

This isn't even valid material for Idle.

*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861845)

That doughnut looked soooo good...

What would happen if Microsoft turned it off (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861857)

All it would take is one really bad Windows Update to turn off 70% of the Internet.

Question for Homeland Security: who has access to the master signing key for Windows Update? Who does the background check on those people?

Re:What would happen if Microsoft turned it off (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861889)

> All it would take is one really bad Windows Update to turn off 70% of the
> Internet.

Yes but we're discussing the part that would actually be missed.

White album (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29861865)

Well, I guess I would have to buy the white album.

having lived pre-internet.. (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 4 years ago | (#29861931)

Books will be read, assignments will be completed by students, TV will return to the entertainment center of the livingroom, people will not stay up all night, games will be payed on a board, you'll have to pick up a pen and write to people, or dust off your printer. (you do know that impact printers were cheaper to run and lasted longer than inkjets) I would welcome that future. There was data transfer before the 'net, BBS, forums, chat, can all work without the net, thus we may just find a different way to do net-like things.

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