XXIIVV

Taking advantage of today's abundance in computing power to prepare for a future in which infrastructures have collapsed.

Collapse computing prioritizes community needs and aims to contribute to a knowledge commons in order to sustain the practice of computation through infrastructure collapse, it is the practice of engaging with the discarded with an eye to transform what is exhausted and wasted into renewed resources.

Failure Scenarios

A large abandoned room with old computer terminals lining the circular perimeter. The floor is covered in debris and partially-disassembled computers. Three people dressed in black investigate the scene.
Scene from On the Silver Globe (1988)

A post-collapse society that has eventually lost all of its artificial computing capacity may still want to continue the practice of computer science for various reasons.

Four Concepts Of Resilience
Agility The capacity to adapt or respond rapidly to a changing environment.
Preparedness The ability to reflect on past threats, and bouncing forward by enacting new ideas for development after a crisis event.
Elasticity Increasing the exchangeability and flexibility of relationships among people and things within an organization and a wider ecosystem.
Redundancy The intentional duplication of critical components with the goal of increasing the reliability of a system.

Designing for Descent ensures that a system is resilient to intermittent energy supply and network connectivity. Nothing new needs producing and no e-waste needs processing. If your new software no longer runs on old hardware, it is worse than the old software. Software should function on existing hardware and rely on modularity in order to enable a diversity of combinations and implementations. It is about reinventing essential tools so that they are accessible, scalable, sturdy, modular, easy to repair and well documented.

Two silhouetted children playing with a ball. And one voice, with sublime disregard for the situation, read poetry aloud in the firey study, until all the film spools burned, until all the wires withered and the circuits cracked. Ray Bradbury, There Will Come Soft Rains

incoming permacomputing obsolescence