Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too dependent on technology

PART THE FIRST: This is when I know I'm dependent: I can't get on the internet because all my modem can get is a busy signal. I'm thinking that my ISP is down, so I call the ISP in another state that the computer at my mom's house is connected to. Also a busy signal. So I try to call my cell phone: busy signal. So then I think, OK, there must be an outage, I'll use the cell phone to call Qwest. I get no bars even though I usually get 5 bars. What good is the dang cell phone now? My feelings: a bit of panic because I can't get in touch with anybody. Not that I need to get in touch with anybody right now.... AND I can walk to a neighbor's house if I need some help. Well, probably several neighbors are at work, but I know that one 1/2 mile away is home because she works at home. OK, I'm fine. Besides, there are two cars in the garage that work.

How long will this technology breakdown take to fix???

Maybe when I travel to Africa in November I'll experience some healthy withdrawal. We've been calling two cell phone numbers there every week, unable to reach our friend.

PART THE SECOND: I went to the hardware store where the owner told me that the company building the four lane road cut the major fiber optic cable. She said we can call other people with the same first three digits of our phone number. But there is no 9-1-1 calling. And the hospital has no phone service at all because their whole phone system depends on the internet. McDonald's employees are having to use calculators to figure out the charges. (Yes, we have McD's in this dinky little town.) She said that phone service for about 75 miles is out.

Questions: Why is CELL PHONE out when it supposedly uses signals that travel through the AIR???
Why is the hospital's internet system out since it is high speed, not phone line internet?

Doesn't this illustrate just how easily someone with evil intent could disrupt our way of life? Just think of the calculator shortage that would occur when cash registers don't work, because kids haven't been taught how to add tax to a bill without a calculator.

PART THE THIRD: When driving to the hardware store, I became aware of funny noises coming from underneath the car. No I hadn't hit that wayward fiber optic cable. But I did stop at the Ford Dealer. "There are funny noises coming from the car." "Oh, like ha ha hee hee?" "No like tong pong pong tong." "You better let me drive it........Yes, that doesn't sound good. Something is broken." Sharp diagnosis there.

PART THE FOURTH: I drove (different car) to another town 30 miles away to do some errands. The cell phone received a signal there, and I received an important phone call....which I couldn't have gotten if I had stayed home.

PART THE FIFTH: The sun came out. That isn't technology however.


And what do you think?