The Harsh Reality of Power Outages

Civilization has come a long way since humans first settled down to build houses and make pottery and brew beer. Now, we have become stronger. We have created tools and systems that our ancestors could have never imagined. Yet despite our technological ascendance we are sometimes reminded how inherently weak our civilization really is.

There are few things that can ruin a modern person’s day like an electrical blackout.

In this time of convenience it is difficult to fill our most basic needs without electrical power. It is tough to find things to eat that don’t require power to cook them. I have eggs, and bread, and cheese. And nothing but an electric stove to cook them on.

Of course, the machines are still there. They are just useless. Without power my house full of fancy gadgets and entertainment portals becomes a house full of junk. I might as well hold my computer over an open flame to try and get the precious metals out. Once the batteries are dead the computer will be worthless, but I could barter for food with the silver and gold inside.

Of course, this would be an extreme reaction to a simple power outage. It will be fixed soon enough. Unless its not.

When the power goes out it makes us face a harsh reality. It is like going back to a time not so very long ago when people worked to keep from being bored and went to sleep when darkness fell.

Losing the electrical grid is like a mini apocalypse. Most people are trying to calmly get through the situation, but from the very beginning of the outage you can see society start to unravel.

People start to grumble when they can’t buy gas or food or anything else with their now-worthless pieces of plastic. Without power, a credit card is has no value. There is no record of the credit. Upset people take their frustrations out on others, who in turn spread the frustration even farther. So begins the cycle of discontent that turns minor inconveniences into horrible disasters.

If the power doesn’t return quickly, it is not difficult to imagine people fighting in the streets, looting stores, and all out rioting.

And we wouldn’t even be able to upload videos of the crazy action to our beloved YouTube.

Even writers, who ostensibly need nothing more than thoughts to write down, can be affected by a power outage. I am wrote the first-draft of these words in a poorly lit room with a stub of a pencil so blunt it hardly made any marks at all.

I suppose I have become too reliant on my electric pencil sharpener.