Wednesday, September 08, 2004

dinos to masticate dust?

Sprint, the most ironically named company, says it might get around to restoring telephone service to my house as of Sept. 13, the one-month anniversary of the hurricane that knocked it out.

One odd thing: telephones were still working the night of Charley, after the storm had passed. It was the next morning that dialtones went away.

Comcast has also been out since Charley, leaving customers (of which I am not one) feeling abandoned at first. Then everyone ran out to buy dishes, (many of which got blown away by Frances). Then one heard comments like, "At first I thought I was going to die without cable. Now I'm like, 'Who needs all that crap on TV anyway?'"

The point is, these companies appear to view their communication infrastructure differently from the way Florida Power & Light treats its electrical infrastructure, and from how the US Postal Service operates. FPL got electric back to most of its customers within days, largely through a massive influx of subcontractors who seemed well coordinated and efficient.

The local post office in Punta Gorda is out of commission, after a six-ton air conditioner, among other things, blew off its roof. But the Monday after Hurricane Charley, the mailman came around, checking his route, with biscuits for dogs. The next day, he was back delivering mail, via a temporary facility set up to handle the flow.

Is there some way in which Sprint and Comcast view their role in society, which facilitates voice and data communication, as less essential, less of a necessary utility, than the PO or FPL? More like a commodity, perhaps?

Meanwhile, I access the Net from the public library.

Maybe it is really time to be thinking about the virtues of a wireless infrastructure. You know, little antennae, like leaves of grass. So, they get blown away in a hurricane. The Air Force -- or somesuch, as in Afghanistan -- drops replacement bundles on the area, people go around sticking them back up, and pretty soon, without lots of trucks and poles and wires and boxes and switches, we're reconnected.

Oh, and the kid and I saw Zhang Yimou's Hero last night. Un. fucking. believable. Aeschylus would have approved. Interesting to compare with Kill Bill un et deux, given world enough and time. One thing, though: Where Tarentino seems to feel the need to create the world first, then follow the characters and story, Zhang's world is his character, and his character contains his world. As the final scene, in which Broken Sword's 20th variant for "sword" is brought into legibility. Anyone see a bit of Kleist in this film?


Blogger jon said...

While searching for new goodman air conditioner info for my house I stumbled onto your blog. I totally agree!


10/02/2005 9:51 PM  
Blogger jiri said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

10/03/2005 8:46 PM  

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