We had a power outage in Rockford about two weeks ago, which left us without electricity for approx. twenty six hours. What does this have to do with politics, one might ask? A large majority of contemporary disaster planning has focused on attacks on buildings, water and sewage, and the fabled dirty bomb exploded in a large metropolis. These types of threats are legitimate and should be planned against with the greatest diligence, but sitting there in the dark I realized that a terrorist or rouge government would not have to go to the trouble and expense of nuclear, radioactive material or other means to inflict mass chaos on the United States. All a terrorist organization or lone wolf terrorist would need to do is to gain control of an electrical grid of a major American city. There have been suspected incursions into electrical grid and cyber arenas by state governments like China among others.
I can picture it now…Americans so plugged in with their cell phones, AIM’s, IPOD’s, laptops etc. are rendered stupefied without their Facebook, and Twitters. Within days, full technological paralysis sets in as we exhaust our supply of battery backup power and are forced to read this squarish blob of bounded text that old people used to call a book. But the black printed text proves traumatically over stimulating to eyes blissfully glazed over from staring at screens all day long. This technology withdraw begins to take a toll on a generation whose never been without computers and cell phones and they take to the streets armed with the lifeless electronics that revolve their lives and a distant glazed over look on their eyes, in search of any light. Without their technological lifelines, they become combative and war-like. Cars are overturned and smashed, stores are looted, and mobs take on the names of their martyred technological goods. As the IPOD mob encounters the unsuspecting populace, they take on a vampire like quality and attack with untold destruction.
I’m being a bit of a smart ass of course, I’d like to hope humanity is better than that. My larger concern is the technological nature of society. We’re so plugged in that I question the horrors that could occur should we be left without electricity for an extended period of time.