Tomorrow we will not have internet access. Evidently, THE cable, yes, that is singular, that runs under the Caribbean sea from the USA to Venezuela has been damaged and is in need of emergency repair. This cable must be a wonder indeed. Millions of people linked into one mass of apparently vulnerable wiring all at the mercy of the tides and hopefully accommodating sea creatures.
Wednesday has been designated as repair day and the engineers will head out to the middle of nowhere large body of water and begin, what one can only assume must be, the painstaking process of bringing THE cable back to full life. During this process which supposedly will consume merely 4 hours (don't expect to hear from me before Friday) the entire country and surrounding region (i.e. Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago etc.) will be without internet service.
The questions I have are 1) how was the cable damaged...I envision a very large anchor falling in precisely the wrong spot or a pod of mischievous whales wreaking havoc?; 2) if the repairs are so urgent why has service not heretofore been affected?; 3) since when does the government of Chavezland have the courtesy to report problems of this nature in advance? Which leads me to 4) is the world at last coming to an end?
This situation has given me pause. Of course I know that internet doesn't just appear in my house by magic or because I click my heels together and fervently wish. I know there is no Google Fairy or Firefox Sprite...but, I always just assumed there was more to internet service than just a big 'ole cable and hundreds of millions of little cables all snaking their way to the fiber optic mother ship. Is there no redundancy in the system, one wayward octopus and we short circuit? And, really, even if there is just the one cable, wouldn't we all be better served to pay the engineers overtime to fix it on the weekend than to shut down several economic systems in the middle of the week? Economics is not my forte by a long shot, but isn't this sort of like not preventing a pilot's strike at Christmas? Of course, "this is Venezuela" where nonsensical is de rigueur. I have to remind myself about the former bus driver who is the current foreign minister and his common law wife who is head of the Senate. I have to remind myself that we have been without sugar, in a country that grows sugarcane, for more than 2 months. I have to remind myself that last Friday Chavez nationalized the ports and then handed them over to the Cubans to run. I suppose with these conditions in mind I should be grateful that there is a cable at all and that we aren't expected to make sacrifices to Yahoo! in the hopes that he will feel magnanimous and grant us access to Amazon.com.