Powerless

It was one of those ‘Oh crap!’ moments… Having spent the best part of the day on the train, with little else to do than write up a couple of blog posts, surf the .net and play a few games. Both my phone and tablet took quite a hammering over the course of the journey Then half an hour on the bus, with more time to kill online and, when I finally arrived at work, there were calls to make, maps, timetables and bookings to check.

So, high on the list of priorities once I finally hit my hotel room, some twelve hours after leaving home, was to dig out the charger and rejuvenate all those flagging batteries.

You can imagine my dismay when I realised my charger was currently (pun absolutely intended!) still sitting on my desk at home… Not exactly where I needed it! I did have a power bank with me, but it was never going to be up to the job of charging my phone, tablet and headphones, and once discharged, I was stuffed for the the rest of the week, and this was only Monday.

Thank goodness for Amazon! Thankfully, a new charger would be winging its way overnight for me to collect from the local post office – genius!

Trust me, it won’t be artificial intelligence, crazy presidents and dictators playing with their nuclear buttons, or killer asteroids that finishes humankind, it’ll be somebody flicking the power switch to ‘off’ and just waiting until we all grind to a sedate and inevitable halt. We’ve become so completely dependant on a reliable supply of electricity that without it, we don’t have a hope. That’s something that’s only going to get worse in time as we develope electric vehicles, smart everything, and become ever more reliant on power hungry devices. That’s not to say that we’re incapable of adapting – my experiences spending time in the bush in Kenya, with an electrical supply rationed to just a few hours a day, required careful planning and a lot of restraint, but it was indeed possible to keep camera batteries charged, although occasionally a bit touch and go! However, had there been no power at all, it would have been a matter of resorting to good, old-fashioned manual film.

Today’s experience brought to mind a recent inworld conversation. I forget the context, but the suggestion was made that it might be cool if SL had been around a hundred years ago – it was interesting to wonder how we might have approached such technology at a time when electricity itself was still something of a mystery.

And then reality hit home: We might well have had electrical power back in the day, but with no internet, no computers and – even if we had computers – you can bet that we wouldn’t have a suitable plug to fit whatever sockets might have been around at the time. A bit of a lost cause, really.

It just goes to demonstrate that an incredibly complex web of inter-dependencies and allied technology has to be in place, come together, and work seamlessly with each other in order to permit the very things we take for granted every day, just for them to work at all. All of this incredible tech and science collaborating; and for what? To allow people like you and me to enjoy spending our time essentially playing a glorified game.

You have to wonder if we did have the benefits of all this technology a hundred years ago, in those more serious and strait laced times, would SL have even existed? Would we instead be far more interested in how to unlock the secrets of universe, explore the planet and take a more philanthropic approach to what could be achieved by the .net in the service of people around the globe?

And, if that had been the case, where on earth would we be now?

That’s a question I can’t even countenance considering – I simply have no idea how the world might be different in consequence.

There is one thing about which I am certain, however… We’d be just as stuffed, if not more so than now, if the damn batteries ran out!

s. x

She’s electric
She’s in a family full of eccentrics
She’s done things I never expected
And I need more time
Oasis – She’s Electric

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This entry was posted in Philosophicalisticality, Rants, RL, SL. Bookmark the permalink.

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