The recent heavy snow and icy conditions has been making me realise how vulnerable we are to forces much bigger than our ability to control, despite our sophistication and technological advances.
In fact has our reliance on computers and technology made us more clueless in a crisis?

There was the same feeling way back in April when the volcano that I can’t pronounce the name off erupted in Iceland and grounded many flights around Europe. Suddenly we didn’t look so clever as we engaged in ‘Train, Planes and Automobiles’ type escapades to get home from our European destinations.

Then this last couple of weeks icy conditions have made our normal ways of transporting goods around the place not so clever. Various major retailers have refused to guarantee that online orders will be fulfilled by Christmas.
A man in Scotland bought a condenser microphone from me last Monday and I posted it that afternoon. Yesterday he emailed to say that it hadn’t arrived yet.
Which is all well and good when we’re talking about things that don’t really matter. But what happens if oil tankers can’t get to homes to fill up tanks with home heating oil, or what if lorries can’t zip up motorways as per normal and bring in deliveries of bread or milk?

There seems to be a reluctance among BBC Radio Ulster presenters in particular to believe that the forces of nature can’t be tamed. They can put a man on the moon but they can’t grit the pavements and that sort of thing.


4 thoughts on “vulnerability”

  1. I agree. We are so comfortable that we forget how fragile our existence is. We do not need to claw at the earth anymore, and we forget that it is only so for the few. And no longer is there a thirst for understanding mechanics and agriculture. Instead we thirst to entertain and be entertained. Then we simply expect it all and blame our keepers when it gets uncomfortable.
    I would love an estimation of the area of footpath in Northern Ireland. The geek in me wants to estimate the time to grit it all. I am assuming it would be ridiculous and then someone would mutter that we would not need to grit them all. But what of equality?
    I remember one day the radio was interviewing residents and they were aghast that nobody was taking responsibility. My friend and I listened, and we both thought at the same time, why are they not taking responsibility themselves. Then he shared a story of last year’s cold snap when he gritted the entirety of his cul-de-sac. All the residents complained to him and he was enemy number one as the children could no longer slide down the road.

  2. that sounds very like Seamus McKee interviewing the man in charge of the CIty Airport and wondering why they had to close the airport last Monday after a few inches of snow had fallen especially since they knew it was going to happen.

    You would think that if its hard for a human to walk on a pavement without slipping that landing a huge passenger jet on an icy and slippy runway would be something that isn’t that easy and they should be careful with. Yet Seamus was wondering why they just didn’t get people home on time.

    Yet can you imagine if the Flybe plane had gone of the runway killing people all because they wanted to get people home on time?Can you imagine the indignation of the Radio Ulster presenters that they didn’t take care in terrible conditions.

    You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t sometimes.

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