After the the unknown events of late 2012 that caused the Pulse Phenomenon, most forms of technology go through periods of unreliability. Electronics go through periods of glitching, and machines based on combustion or steam based technology also go through periods of malfunction. In most cases, these devices and machines go back to normal after a period of time.

Why is Technology Malfunctioning?

At some point in the final weeks of 2012, technology started to glitch or outright break down at an accelerated rate. While older machines – ones that ran exclusively on combustion or steam power – were occasionally impacted, electronic equipment was greatly affected.

In the summer of 2013, researchers at Northwestern University found a correlation between an individual’s level of stress and the likelihood that technology will glitch around them. Studies were performed later that year to try to determine whether different types of stress have a greater impact on technology. The answer to that puzzle was found in an academic thesis in early 2014. Salwah Murad, doctoral candidate at John Hopkins University, presented research that concluded that stress based on physical and safety needs has a higher impact on technology than stress
based on social or self-esteem issues. The cause of this anomaly, per now-Dr. Murad’s research and testing, was that humans had started emitting electromagnetic pulses, and that the intensity of those pulses increased when a person was under duress. This finding is what coined the term “Pulse Phenomenon.” 

Numerous humanitarian and civils rights groups lauded Dr. Murad’s work and cited her research as a reason to provide additional support to impoverished areas. The pointed to the Pulse Phenomenon as physical evidence of the cycle of poverty, as those who were in need were more likely to have critical technology – like transportation – fail on them and put them in a position where they were unable to work. Further, activists noted that the technological malady had the
risk of becoming widespread and affecting the lives and livelihoods of those who were just slightly better off.

Lobbyists and fiscally conservative groups pushed back, naturally. At least one politician was quoted saying, “Poor people should not spend their money on tech toys to begin with”, never mind that such so-called tech toys included things like a working refrigerator. Some far-right media celebrities attempted to discredit Dr. Murad by making ad-hominem attacks because she was an immigrant, Muslim, and a woman. Others hinted that she was secretly an agent for the Daesh and that her “so-called research” was meant to pit America’s political factions against each other. Some of the more religiously devout alternated between claiming that the Pulse Phenomenon was God’s punishment for the lazy or God’s gift to free mankind from the false idols of technology.

As a result of increased public awareness about the connection between stress and technology problems, the use of anti-anxiety medications has been on the rise, especially among the middle and upper class. There are several street-drug varieties that have hit the market, each with its own slew of side effects. Pharmaceutical lobbyists have pushed for harsher drug laws, claiming public safety, in order to get rid of the unofficial and cheaper alternatives to their own products.

Remnants and Technology

As most Remnants were originally part of marginalized groups within society – those who struggled with physical and safety needs – they already have issues with technology from the moment of Manifestation. As their Tether erodes and they start losing a hold on Reality, that adds additional stress, and thus increases the risk of technology breaking around them.

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