When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth

By Deane Barker on August 11, 2010

When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, by Cory Doctorow : Here’s a great little short story from Cory Doctorow about what would happen if the world ended and sysadmins were left in charge.  A group of them happen to be in a bio-safe facility in Toronto when the world kind of ends.

“Attacks on major cities all over the world have left emergency responders in chaos. The attacks are electronic, biological, nuclear and conventional explosives, and they are very widespread.

[…] “We’re holing up here for the foreseeable future, at least until the bioweapon has been identified and dispersed. We’re going to staff the racks and keep the networks up. This is critical infrastructure, and it’s our job to make sure it’s got five nines of uptime. In times of national emergency, our responsibility to do that doubles.”

Cory tells the story of what happens when sysadmins try to keep the Internet running.  They consider their own form of government, they collaborate with other sysadmis across the world, and they keep pulling up Google’s home page to see how long it stays online.

Few authors write hacker fiction like Doctorow.  He has a deep understanding of geek tech that I’ve only ever found elsewhere with Daniel Suarez.

This will take you 30 minutes to read.  Worth it.

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