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James Brody
December 13th, 2006, 03:43 PM
Emergent networks resist random attacks but are sensitive to strategic ones (Watts & Strogatz, 1998, Nature; also Barabasi, 2002, Linked). That is, variations in the importance of different nodes make them important or trivial targets. Applies to disease prevention as well as to rocket attacks.

Our grand tradition for asassination has been enhanced not by a new bullet but by winner-take-all (aka, Bose condensates) phenomena in which the majority of action is controlled by a very few players. Our collapse into Internet dependence, its faster operation, lower costs, and interchangeability of human talents makes us vulnerable to Nuclear Electro magnetic pulse attacks.

"An electromagnetic bomb or E-bomb is a weapon designed to disable electronics on a wide scale with an electromagnetic pulse. The electromagnetic radiation from an explosion (especially nuclear explosions) or an intensely fluctuating magnetic field is caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the electronic or explosive device in a surrounding medium. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. The effects are usually not noticeable beyond the blast radius unless the device is nuclear or specifically designed to produce an electromagnetic shockwave.

"The electromagnetic pulse was first observed during high altitude nuclear weapon detonations. An electromatic pulse lasts for less than a nanosecond, and travels outward in every direction as an electromagnetic shock wave. This shock wave will induce heavy currents in all electronic equipment that mainly contains semiconducting and conducting materials. This produces immense heat that melts the circuitry inside. As such, while not being directly responsible for the loss of lives, these weapons are capable of disabling electronic systems on which industrialized nations are highly dependent...Transistor technology is likely to fail and old vacuum equipment survive. However it must be considered, that different types of transistors and ICs show different sensitivity to EM: bipolar ICs and transistors are much less sensitive than FETs and especially MOSFETs. To protect sensitive electronics, a Faraday cage must be placed around the item. Some makeshift Faraday cages have been suggested, such as aluminum or tin foil."
Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_bomb, 12/2/2006


We end with one bang and a lot of whimpers, not from the blast but from hoarding, lack of warehoused supplies, lack of information about its location and availability, and ensuing riots. I understand that Mormons are instructed to have 6+ months of food and supplies for each member of their family. Might be a good idea so long as the neighbors don't know that you're Mormon!

JimB

Copyright, 2006, James Brody, all rights reserved.