Wednesday, December 27, 2006

internet blackout - a time for reflection

i live in a house of cards. or an island. as of 4 am this morning major internet service providers in different countries in asia experienced major disruptions to their services. this is a result of the earth quake in taiwan late yesterday afternoon. the underwater cables connecting us to the rest of the world sustained damage during the quake.

woke up this morning to snail paced broadband and inability to access certain sites. my initial reaction was to check things on my side. everything was as it should be with ubuntu. since i was running late, i went to the office and ran into the same thing with winxp. well at least it was nothing to do with my pc.

came home and things were the same. tried my backup dial-up account and read about the outage from a local tech forum. suddenly i was thrown unceremoniously back to my pre-broadband days of surfing the web at 5.0 kb/s. worse still was the fact that some sites were just inaccessible. if i was distressed think of what major corporations were up to their necks in. i can't imagine the amount of money they are losing every minute without internet access. this outage will have far-reaching implications that they may take years to recover from.

this brings to light the frailty of this modern age. it only takes one natural hissy fit to bring the world to its knees. a result of living in an accelerated society of quick fixes and instant gratification. we are so obsessed with high speeds that the concepts of longevity and sustainability are left behind on the wayside. when was the last time you took a leisurely stroll through a garden of flowers? when was last time you stopped to listen to the birds sing in the trees? the flowers and birds will probably outlive us all.

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