I see it’s based on the book by Hugh Howey, who also did the Silo series which I really enjoyed the TV adaptation of. I’m wondering if it’s any good as I don’t have a lot of time for starting too many TV shows at the moment.

  • @CountVon
    107 months ago

    OK, I can do that. For the record I think the books are pretty great, though I do admit they stretch the bounds of believability at times.

    Major spoilers, lore dump
    Are you sure???

    OK then, here’s the details.

    What’s the deal with their technology?

    Technology in the silos is kept deliberately primitive for a number of reasons. First, simpler tech is easier to maintain and repair. While the silo inhabitants can manufacture many things, only so many CPUs, monitors, hard drives etc. were placed inside each silo. Second, simpler tech makes the silos easier to control. I don’t remember if this is mentioned in the show, but in the books they mentions that porters carry paper notes up and down the stairs because computer messages are expensive. There’s no reason for them to be expensive, except that the powers in control of silos don’t want its inhabitants to be able to effectively coordinate and organize resistance across the levels (this is also part of why the silo has no elevator).

    The inhabitants are given enough tools and knowledge to build simple things and maintain mechanical devices, but anything involving high magnification is outlawed because if someone looks too closely out how the electronics work then they can start figuring out things they must not know. For example, all the radios in each silo were placed there when they were constructed and were tuned to communicate only within that silo. If someone breaks down a radio and figures out how it works then they might be able to retune it and pick up broadcasts from other silos. Much like the builders didn’t want inhabitants coordinating between levels, they definitely don’t want them to even be aware of the other silos, much less start coordinating with them.

    Why are the restrictive and nonsensical rules in place?

    Again, control. In order to keep the populace confined and healthy, there have to be strict rules on who can procreate, who needs to do what job, and above all that no one can simply open the doors and let death inside. Humans aren’t inclined to thrive under such conditions, which tends to lead to uprisings that have occurred multiple times in the history of each silo. The rules, the cleanings and the memory-wipe drugs are all part of an effort to keep the populace contained and safe.

    I can answer your other questions are well, but this further lore doesn't get revealed until much later in the books. Be sure you want full lore spoilers before you click.

    What was the ecological disaster?

    Self-inflicted genocidal nanobots. Read further to understand why “self-inflicted.”

    Who built the silos?

    The silo project was the brainchild of a US Senator. Through extensive political horse-trading, leverage, dirty tactics, you name it, he was able to secure funding for the silos and oversee their construction. There are 50 or 51 silos in total, outside Atlanta. The cover story of their construction was that they were to provide deep underground storage for nuclear waste. In actual fact they were long-duration isolated habitats to preserve humanity from the fallout of a nanotech war. The initial population of each silo came from a big ribbon-cutting ceremony / political rally / Democratic convention, where reps from each state were in the area around each silo. Atlanta was nuked to provide a reason to get everyone underground, at which point each silo was sealed.

    This is the other reason magnification is verbotten in the silos. If the inhabitants got really good at magnification then they might find the killer nanobots outside their door, and then there would be some very difficult questions with no good answers.

    The Senator’s thinking went like this:

    • Nanotechnology is reaching a point where someone could use it as a weapon to kill entire populations based on genetic markers.
    • Such a weapon would be almost impossible to stop.
    • It is inevitable that someone somewhere will attempt to use such a weapon to wipe out their rivals. No nuclear fallout, no lingering poisons, no destruction of infrastructure, just whole countries depopulated and free for the taking.
    • If the weapon will inevitably be constructed and cannot be stopped then we must build it and use it first, before anyone else does.

    Nanobots were actually released by the silos themselves after they were first sealed, as well as being released worldwide to kill everyone not in the silos. Whenever the silo doors are opened, additional nanobots are released to keep the area around the silo uninhabitable so that the inhabitants are strongly motivated to stay inside. There’s actually one silo not like the others, Silo 1. This silo’s inhabitants work in six-month shifts, monitoring the other silos and going into cryosleep between shifts. Silo 1 works with the heads of IT of each other silo, reading them in on part of the history so those IT heads understand the stakes. Of course, the heads of IT are not told that the inhabitants of Silo 1 deliberately caused the disaster in the first place.

    Every silo is rigged to blow so that if it looks like its inhabitants have completely escaped control, Silo 1 can remotely detonate and pancake every floor in a silo down to the bottom of its pit. Silo 1 also has bomber drones as a backup, in the event that the inhabitants find and disable the remote detonation capabilities. This is why the head of IT is so frantic to prevent an uprising. He knows that he has to maintain order at all costs, or Silo 1 can literally pull the plug on their silo and all its inhabitants.

    So why the head of IT? Because the other part of the plan is the servers in each silo. They maintain records for every silo inhabitant, and Silo 1 has backdoor access to that data. The silo project is also an attempt to prevent a repeat of a nanotech war, by reducing humanity to a homogenous and unified population. At some future date when each silo’s supplies are running out, one lucky silo gets told where to find the digging machine at the bottom of their silo. The chosen silo would be the one with the most cohesive population and the best chance of long-term survival, according to computer models and simulations. All the other silos are to be destroyed.

    • @[email protected]
      47 months ago

      This is a really good summary of a very good set of books. Anybody who has not read them really should.

    • @[email protected]
      27 months ago

      Thank you so much for this, I don’t really read books so I’m enjoying reading and re-reading your comment. There’s some really cool sci-fi in here after all! I wish they could have gotten to this more quickly in the show. I didn’t need a whole “jump the shark” episode of “will the hero fix the generator before everyone dies?” when I know that’s the main character and there are more episodes in the season lol.


      Insane that that he would kill everyone on the planet save for a hundred thousand or two.