Degrading with Improvements
February 15, 2014
Ron Crider's Opinion
There are certainly a lot of malfunctioning parts of our infrastructure. It seems that rarely a day goes by that the Internet does not go down for a few minutes or as much as several hours. Since our phones and TVs are connected to this marvelous pipe, that leaves us totally at the mercy of just old fashioned conversation. Don't get me wrong, conversation is good, but how do you look-up anything to prove you are right during the conversation with no internet?
I am writing this during one of these outages. Last week I traveled to Chicago, Denver, and Las Vegas. At the Orlando Airport the moving sidewalk between the parking garage and the terminal was not working. This seems to happen frequently to that one. Several of the Southwest stand-alone boarding pass ticket stations were not functioning. The flight was delayed because they had some problem loading all the baggage on time. In Denver, another moving sidewalk was not functioning at the airport. My Avis Car was in the wrong spot and then when I found it there were no keys to drive it away. At the Marriott Gateway two of the elevators were not functioning.
The next day I had to drive to Gunnison, in a bad snow storm. The windshield wiper on the driver's side was so worn I had to find an auto parts store to purchase one and replace it myself. In Gunnison the cable system went down for 5 hours at our radio station, taking out our internet, phones and on air computers causing us to give the wrong time and temperature over the air. On my rerun to Denver 5 of the 8 gas pumps were not usable and the credit card reader malfunctioned requiring me to go inside to pay for the fuel.
I recognize what a major contribution Vice President Al Gore made to the world society by inventing the Internet. Doesn’t it seem sometimes we have “degraded with improvements”? We, here in America have a marvelous infrastructure, when it works. Many of the modern conveniences we have become so accustomed to on a daily basis render us virtually helpless when not usable. When the water is turned off or not usable, Wow! What a disaster, no dishwasher, laundry, disposal, toilets, showers. No, our ancestors generally didn't have this problem unless the well went dry. Our ancestors didn't have any problems with the electricity going out, they didn't have electricity. The big event of the week for them was church on Sundays. Today the big event is what was the best restaurant or club we went to this week. Obviously our priorities have changed a great deal.
The divorce rate in the 1800's was 3-5% now it is over 50%. “Degrading with Improvements”, you bet! We are far more educated, have a great deal more money, and conveniences we never dreamed of in the 40's, but it appears we don't seem to be excessively happier. We are just moving at warp speed to invent new things to make life even easier. I think we need to prefect what we have and work on inventing a way to become more healthy, happy and content. Isn't great health and happiness the ultimate goal here on earth?