A "natural" technology disaster

16 Aug 2003|Davis Masten

My daughter Kelley, an assistant fashion editor at JANE magazine, called me last Thursday afternoon from New York. She said the lights were out in and all around her office so she wanted to know what was going on. “The lights flickered in the elevator and I got off immediately otherwise I would still be in there. Those poor people who stayed on.” I’ll leave the Blackout stories to those who were closer than 2,500 miles. (I was in Silicon Valley.)

Kelley called my cell phone from her dark office building in Manhattan from the only thing that was still working, her landline phone. I had not heard a thing so I got on the net. I searched Google, CNN, ABC News and only found a couple of paragraphs of vague description on each. When I hit MSNBC, they were streaming video with voice over. I held the cell up to the little speakers on my VAIO laptop and let her hear the voiceover saying that Mayor Bloomberg was calling this a natural disaster not an act of terrorism.

My take away: 1. I found it amazing how I could help out from so far away with a mix of technologies that barely existed in the consumer world a mere 10 years ago. 2. I found it amusing how “natural disaster” applied so well to describing how a technology had broken down.

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