A Month! A Whole Month!

February 4, 2008

Yes, this is the longest I have gone without updating this site. Yes, this is the longest I have gone without writing some of you individually. But, I now have an excuse for at least the last week.

Have you heard that the pipeline for much of this region of the world was cut last week? An underwater cable that handles phone, internet, and other types of digital traffic got severed, which is severely limiting an entire portion of the world’s access to the rest of the whole. This amazes me.

Now, initially, since I’m in the Armed Forces, I thought, “Terrorists. Obviously. Lets find them and shoot them for taking our internet!” but I was, thankfully, proved wrong. That’s just a knee jerk reaction to the years of training I’ve had so far. It turns out the situation is much more pedantic than I initially though: it was cut by some boat dragging something. Of course, it is hard for me to confirm it since the American news they pipe in here hasn’t mentioned it yet, and any other resource I would use is limited by the line being cut, so I may be wrong.

When I tried to call my parents, or my wife, all I got when I actually got in contact with someone, was a skipping record type of conversation. This was worse than cell phone static, because we couldn’t even understand if each other were even talking or had said anything half the time. It was frustrating, to say the least.

With my fears stayed for a while without internet access and all this additional free time since I wasn’t calling home, I came across a troubling thought. “Hey, Good-Looking,” as I call myself, “what would happen if terrorists or someone else did cut the lines on purpose? What kind of economic, militaristic, and social effects would that have on things?” I decided it would be a bad time, if one line being cut affects this much of the world.

Economies could be disrupted since shipping and deliveries could be delayed, or notifications normally handled digitally or in phone calls could not be verified. Any decent military has its own set of cables and satellites, but placing undue stress on satellites would mean a possible loss in traffic information since re-prioritization would have to be done quickly. Socially, people wouldn’t know what could be affecting them, lose contact with family and friends for a while, and their constant attempts to make sure people are ok could flood the system, as has happened with cellular networks in the USA during natural disasters, or 9/11.

Of course, the personal application is that I didn’t ever think of something like this until it already happened to me. I’m not blaming myself, or anyone else, but events like this have led me to believe that life, in many ways, can be a bit scarier and sillier than fiction.

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