I wasn’t going to write. No, I wasn’t going to. I didn’t intend to, at least. Of course, until it hit me.
It is now night-5 of the power outage following Sandy’s onslaught that crippled much of New York and New Jersey. And the noble rationale of “well, its part of the process and were lucky to be alive” cliché has now turned into an ugly sense of annoyance.
High-tech failed. It failed big time. I know some heads claiming to be sensible will say otherwise but this is a fact that it is true to me at this time.
It has failed.
Why so? Put it in these contexts.
I live in a building, recognized with a restoration award, having an old, pre-war or so identity, transformed into one of Jersey City’s better alternatives in condominium living without the downtown Jersey City price. Some people I’ve known had professed coveting the place during prior open houses, before the 22-unit condominium was filled.
Why not? While we don’t have the amenities of a gym or indoor pool, the building has:
A virtual doorman– who needs an overly-paid man in suit to hail cabs for you when you have a virtual doorman? A nameless, faceless person to open the doors (which, by the way, uses a FOB, not a key— you know, the key that you can make duplicates with at LOWES) when you need them or one to receive your package from your UPS guy;
A robotic garage– who would think from outside that our minute door of a garage can actually hold about 30 cars? Yes, that’s the magic of our Park Plus system, which allows cars to be parked above or under another. Another reason why you don’t need a doorman;
A tankless water system– why do you think I can manage to shower for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time with full blast heat? Yes, our tankless water system does that for us, which allows water to be filtered hot into those heavenly spouts, something like the process of osmosis (only there’s no area of greater concentration).
Of course, these are just some of the good stuff.
But fast-forward to this day. Ack!!! Now I am an invalid amidst all the technology.
The door to the building had to be literally opened with a key. I didn’t even know I was in possession of that key in my key chain until this outage!
Today, I had to wait at the lobby for close to 2 hours because, yes, the virtual doorman could not work without electricity nor does the high tech door bell, therefore, there was no one to buzz in my dear UPS guy for a package I was eagerly awaiting.
And while I am thankful we didn’t lose water supply (I would’ve hanged myself) I had to shower with cold water. Need I say more?
And wait, the story gets better…
While the whole of the Tri-state is scrambling for gas, we didn’t really need gas because being married to a former military officer, we were prepared— from gas to canned goods to rechargeable charger. We also filled our gas tanks prior!
But then, here is where the story sounds sweet. While the husband’s car had a tank, full of gas, he couldn’t use his car, at all!!! Why? Because it was trapped in the robotic garage, which wouldn’t budge because— there was no power!
So while I like to whine about having to walk 3 blocks to get my SUV out of the outdoor parking lot, paid for every month with 80-freaking bucks, I still consider myself lucky that my vehicle is in a quasi-medieval parking.
And yes, consider our family luckier! Most tenants here only have one car and most of them had their cars in our dear Park Plus system.
So what is the lesson here? What is my point?
Not much really. Except that high tech fails. It failed big time.
Before iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Facebook, and everything else technology that required electricity of some sort to work, people lived. People were happy, content.
Growing up, a joke I learned about the far-from-civilized mountain regions in the Philippines would go like this: when there was no electricity, people made babies. Lots and lots of babies. Babies who grew up to become farmers, who didn’t have electricity, who then made babies, who then grew up to become farmers, who didn’t have electricity, who then made babies…
A vicious cycle, to us city kids.
Yes, they were poor. Yes, they caused over-population. But they were content. With being farmers. With being without electricity. With only their transistor radios that played dramas (you know, like tv soap operas, only, they’re aired through AM radios) at night. With making babies after those radio dramas.
I don’t know what happened here. I don’t know what happened since then.