Excuse the lack of updates, good old Karoo – the delightful ISP with a complete monopoly of Hull – did something which left me unable to access the majority of the internet and took a week’s worth of telephonic badgering to set straight. Less a case of a spanner in the works than the whole damned toolbox.
I’ve talked before about how I like to think our increasingly symbiotic relations with technology aren’t an inherently bad thing but if they’re going to be this unreliable without alternatives or temporary solutions then I can’t say I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. There’s been an inexorable rise in online purchases, banking, film rental, job applications and management systems in the past decade with many proposed to completely replace their predecessors in the near future. When I’m essentially dropped for a week by my ISP it’s hard not to feel a little frightened by what this could mean when things go wrong.
Being cut off for more than few days is a humbling, eye-opening experience as to just how much the internet has revolutionised day-to-day life, back in the 56k era I doubt I would have felt it so acutely but now a downed connection feels disturbingly like being left to drift out at sea. No matter how incredible the speeds and functions of a network are, things can and will malfunction leaving the meatbags at either end to their angry ctrl-alt-delete rituals and call centre music.
It’s not like I’m trying to deny the progress we’ve made as a result of the internet age – I’d be a hypocrite to write such a thing on a blog in the first place – but it’s at times like these that I wonder if we might be racing forward just a little too eagerly, perhaps forgetting that for all the brilliance and convenience the technology offers the hardware is still based in the physical world and so are we.