I’ve had my Blackberry for a few years now, and rely on its many convenient features.
It gives me access to emails, a browser for the Internet, and my favorite apps like Yelp. It’s my camera, video recorder, voice recorder and memo pad, which means I don’t have to worry about even having a pen and paper with me.
So when it started having “issues” the other day (as in the keyboard locked up and started to speak its own language), I suddenly had
- no phone
- no mini computer to access my email and the Internet
- no camera
- no video camera
- no voice recorder
- no navigation aid / GPS
- and now in need of pen and paper since I could not use my memo pad feature
Then it does not seem so smart after all.
A few days ago, over a million people in Southern California, Arizona and Mexico were affected by a huge power outage. It was caused by a short-circuit at a substation in North Gila, Arizona.
Worrisome to think that one botched repair job — on equipment the size of a car — could not be isolated, and ended up cascading and affecting other utility companies in the area. The San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Diego automatically shut down, reportedly due to grid instability.
Technology connects us…and our reliance on it also makes us vulnerable when it fails.
The Department of Energy, along with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is said to be working to find out the causes of these massive power outages. Click on this link to an article from the LA Times for further details.
In my small world and smart phone example, it is just an annoyance. In the bigger world, I have to wonder what other systems have been overlooked…and disasters-in-waiting, due to centralizing and connecting so many of these systems.
What do you think?