The recent power cut at Atlanta Airport and the major problems that it led to for both commuters and authorities is not a case that we can easily forget. It reminds us of our over dependence on technology and our incapability to function when technology fails us. Is the future of humanity all about over indulgence and the lack of agency amidst technological abundance?
Kavya Thomas | The New Leam
The constantly functional elevators in plush malls and sleek airports, the availability of electricity around the clock and the assurance of power back up when it happens to fail, the computerised and dehumanised operationalization of banks, transportation networks, public offices, the constant bombardment of the digital age through mobiles and the internet have made us feel that the world that we creating can seldom have a moment of helplessness or failure.
We are made to believe that we are living in a world that is so perfectly technologized that errors that human beings are capable of making are seldom possible now. However what we often do fail to realise is that the technological age has its own problems and when we tend to get overly dependent on its infrastructure, any short failure can prove disastrous for us. Have we not experienced the endless waiting with the server in the bank is down or the lift in our skyscrapers stops working? When we become totally dependent on computers and machines and distance ourselves from the Nitty-gritty of work and from the life that we led when technology had not become indulgence, we face a major crisis when technology happens to fail us. The Atlanta Airport in the USA is the biggest and busiest airport in the world.
This airport went completely without light on Sunday when there was a major power failure. The reason was that an electric fire in tunnel under the airport crippled both the main power system and the backup too. However experts say that another major problem is that airports in America don’t seem to be prepared for such issues. The incident caused a major disturbance for passengers and airport authorities and lead to disruption of regular work. It had caused 1180 flights to be cancelled on Sunday itself while many more continued to get cancelled throughout Monday. The Atlanta Airport is central to the America and when a major crisis like this takes place, people suffer immensely and there is a major loss of both time and money. The lights and the backup have now been duly restored and the functioning of the airport is now slowly coming to normal.
However what this incident does teach us is the fact that our civilization is becoming overtly dependent on technology and completely helpless when it fails. Our sense of lost agency and enslavement to technology and machinery are perhaps our greatest shortcomings. Whether this is the kind of man that the future conceives of remains to be seen.
However given this crisis we must rethink our own day to day existence in a deeper sense and ask ourselves whether technology should be enabling or disabling and whether our over indulgence can prove disastrous for us in the long run. The collapse of the power in the Atlanta Airport is not just a symbol of technological failure but a reminder of humanity’s enslavement to technology.
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