The Coding of Codes

May 3, 2021

There’s one advantage to the comprehensive destruction of humanity’s civilisation, and that is the annihiliation of pointlessly complex computing.

Reg knew that since the turn of the 21st century computers had rapidly outgrown the power that society could usefully take advantage of. The computing sophistication had mostly been directed towards blowing each other to kingdom come in the imitation world of computer games, or creating situations in films (instead of getting actual damn actors, or shooting on location) or poking fruit to make the mdisappear. And of course there was the surveillance aspect.

Reg could not abide his civil rights being eroded in the name of profit. Reg had worked for long enough in the software business to know a thing or two, so even before the apocalypse people knew him as a technical wizard. But they often expressed surprise at how he could be so technically literate and “yet, not on Instagram and Facebook”. To which he naturally, if a little haughtily, would reply: “That’s exactly why I’m not on Instagram or Facebook”.

And then everything changed. A massive electromagnetic pulse from an unknown source wiped clean all computers. Consequently, that part of the world so used to communication and calculation quickly collapsed. But the pulse couldn’t erase the knowledge in Reg’s head, and so when England became a tribal battleground he became instrumental in the development of electromechanical computers, used to create secure communications, and break the encrpted handwritten notes of his enemies.

There was never enough computing power now, and that helped set Reg apart, which suited him just fine.