Thursday, July 12, 2007

Episode 2 - Helpless Without the Internet but we Can Still Get Herring From The Hanseatic League

On July 11, 2007 a fibre optic cable was cut somewhere between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury ON. Well we are in the Sault, and that meant no long distance, no cell coverage, no ATMs, and NO INTERNET. This was very distressing. Well in troubled times like these, friends come together and draw strength from each other. OK, we couldn't get online so we had to interact with real people.

Well this seemed a fine topic for TC episode 2. Going offline. There are many examples in Sci Fi and history of people being on and offline. Of course there are always a number of Star Trek references in any of our discussions as well as Battlestar Galactica. Historically one could think of the so called Dark Ages as a time when much of the West was offline. However, there were still networks, but they were slower than dialup...

Enjoy.

Direct episode download

7 comments:

Rachel said...

Hi, guys!

I feel very reassured; you have your emergency kits all prepared. (You have duct tape and sheets of plastic as well as alcohol, right?) Safety first!

I don't use debit cards, but I know that ATMs were not working in New York on 9-11, because the telephone lines were so overloaded. Actually, the whole phone system just failed to work, between the cell transmitters on top of the World Trade Center coming out and the tremendous overload on the land lines.

Somehow, the conversation made me think of the fact that in 1814, communications were slow enough that the Battle of New Orleans took place two solid weeks after the Treaty of Ghent was signed, a real bummer for those who died or were injured in the battle. Not to mention that poor runner who dropped dead after the battle of Marathon--he WAS the communications network, I guess you'd say. Which is not as much fun as a Star Trek parallel, but I can't think of one. Although if you want science fiction-type examples of communications failure, there's all that post-apocalyptic stuff that I don't read.

I guess I'm sort of a dinosaur, but if I know I have the right reference book, I'll look there before Googling, because I find it faster to actually find what I need that way.

Thanks for the fun conversation!

Dave Brodbeck said...

As always Rachel, insightful and thoughtful.

Amazing we missed the Marathon reference. Perhaps it was the vodka I was drinking.

The thing here in Canada is the dependence on debit cards. We use them more than any other country as mentioned. I NEVER have more than a fiver in my pocket. OK, so today I had a 10, but it was hidden behind some old business cards in my wallet.....

The post apocalyptic stuff is ok, I like the recent CBS show Jericho, even if it is somewhat cheesy...

Rachel said...

I don't think American's use debit cards as much as that. Credit cards, yeah. But if a credit card is stolen and you report it (or if someone starts charging on your number), you are only liable for $50, which the credit card company never charge you. If a debit card is stolen, the thief can drain your savings account down to nothing, and you have no legal protection. So I don't own a debit card. And most small purchases here are in cash, anyway.

I stopped reading the post-apocalyptic stuff back in high school, it was too depressing (and pretty much was all the same, all cryptic and pseudo-meaningful). And after Babylon 5 was switched to cable in the middle of its run, I decided not to watch any more shows with multi-year arcs. I'm more of a read-the-last-chapter-first kind of person, I can't wait years to see how it comes out, assuming it's not canceled first. So, no Jericho. (Also no Heroes and no Lost. I can find plenty of other stuff with which to rot my brain. There's always America's Next Top Model!)

Dave Brodbeck said...

It is almost sad, a boy scout comes to your door on apple day, or a girl guide or brownie selling cookies, and you say ' do you take Interac?' (our national debit system, as Ken mentioned, out banks are all big and inter related).

B5 was to my mind, until BSG, the best sci fi ever ever on tv. OK, B5 and BSG are tied....

I used to boot up my computer to Kosh saying 'and so it begins...'

Oh, you may not have learned this in school as a Yank, but umm, we won the war of 1812....

Rachel said...

Actually, I don't think we learn much about the War of 1812 in the U.S. So far as you can tell from US high school textbooks, the War of 1812 was fought so that we might get "The Star-Spangled Banner," and so that Dolly Madison could save George Washington's portrait. One might think it would be safe to infer that if the national capital is burned down all is not well, but this is not stressed.

It was my understanding that the War of 1812 basically ended up by our promising to stay out of Canada and Great Britain promising to stop arming the native Americans. I'm not sure who won, if anyone, but I'm really sure the native Americans lost.

Dave Brodbeck said...

I think it is a gimmie that the Aboriginal people lost yeah... In the end it solidified the position of British North America and yeah the idea of the US keeping out of here was agreed upon. At least that is what I remember....

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