Sunday, August 4, 2013

Will Technology Be the Enemy Within?

A few common-sense observations about computer technology:

1. Any task computers are used to simplify, malfunctioning computers can complicate.

2. Any computer can be made to malfunction by exposing it to the right sort of electromagnetic energy.

3. Most of our high-tech gadgets are made in other countries.

4. When people build their lives and work around gadgets that can easily be sabotaged, especially by people in the not completely friendly countries where the gadgets were made, immense destruction can be wrought just by sabotaging those gadgets.

Logical conclusion: If you're one of the people, like me, who expect power outages every week or two, stock up on canned instead of frozen veg, at least try to print out everything you've done on the computer so you'll be able to work on it without relying on the computer, have a way to get water out of your spring or well that does not depend on an electric pump, keep your woodshed full and your chimney clean, and generally maintain the ability to survive completely off the electric/electronic power grid, you're more likely than the average American to survive the next national military crisis.

I'm not saying "Go Amish and don't take advantage of the Web." (Though I am saying that it might, in case of a military crisis, be prudent to use communally owned electronic gadgets that are stored in a place that is nobody's home.) I am recommending that everybody out there make a regular practice of unplugging everything, going totally wireless/disconnected/e-free, I mean not even a refrigerator, say one weekend a month...just to motivate yourselves to structure your work in such a way that you'll be able to survive an attack on the power grid. Or a plain old power outage caused by plain old wear and tear.

And, need we mention? We do not want a "smart grid." For home safety purposes a dumb, slow, oldfashioned power grid is better.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton has some of the discouraging facts that support this conclusion:

I'm not suggesting that we all go into panic mode and interpret every power outage as an act of war; I'm saying that, if we're all prepared to carry on with hardly a blink when an ordinary broken tree limb or playful squirrel causes a power outage, it'll be less tempting for malcontents at home and abroad to try creating power outages as an act of war.