Spending four days without power last week left plenty of time for quiet reflection. One thing I thought about during this lull was our society’s reliance on critical infrastructure and the products and services we’ve built around it. There was a great write up last week musing, among other things, about our willingness to pay high multiples for essentials in times of crisis. I could have made a similar case about hot water and cell phone service, but as I thought about it more, I kept coming back to the same question:
What defines critical infrastructure, and how do we come to rely on it so much?
Note: I am in NYC, and I am fine. I wrote this before Sandy came to town and couldn’t post it until now.
Here is a confession. I’ve never been entirely comfortable asking others for help. I know, I know I am not the only person who feels this way. After all, to ask is to obligate someone to answer. And feeling obligated to respond is the last think I would want other people to feel.
For the longest time this has been my modus operandi, even though in my heart of hearts I understood that this position was silly and untenable. Now I think I am finally free of these notions, and I want to share what got it out of my system. Continue reading