It’s a common trope in SF for a society to get too reliant on technology (especially sexy alien technology) and then get into trouble when it’s taken away. In fact this seems to be a key tactic of sexy aliens. But there’s no need to invoke aliens for what is a real problem.
Any use of technology comes with it a “disaster recovery” (or DR as they say in the business) plan. If you regularly drive a car to work, what would you do if one morning it doesn’t start? Depending on your circumstances you might ask your spouse or roommate for a ride, seek public transport, or if you have a flexible work arrangement, work from home that day. Sometimes a DR plan is implicit, unstated. Un-thought-about until it’s too late.
As technology marches on even the fallback plans become vulnerable. If your work laptop crashes, how do you file the ticket to get it repaired? If your work network goes down, and the entire phone system is built on top of the network, how do you even let someone know there’s a problem? On the broken internet, nobody can hear you scream.
It’s terrifying to think about a scenario where a disastrous bug sweeps across the internet, and the folks who would normally fix it get caught up in the wash of system failures. Or the necessary fix uncovers an even more serious bug. Rinse and repeat. Automation adds layers between people and technology, until no one person fully understands what’s going on. That’s a recipe for some conflict. Hence this story I am working on. Stay tuned for details.
P.S. I’m pondering setting up a mailing list for fans & first readers, leading up to a product launch. If you’re interested, drop me a line.