Technology is changing the world at rapid pace. Less than 10 years ago the mass market Technology we have today wasn’t available.
You can bank from anywhere in the world. Deposit a check by just taking a picture from your cell phones This fall, you can tell Alexa in your car to turn off the lights and lock the doors in your home.
Some cars don’t require a key to enter or to operate, all you need is your cell phone in your pocket and as you approach your car , the doors unlock and once in ,you simply put the car in gear.
The young, has rapidly embraced the new technology and some cant function without out it. There are millions ,incapable of making change without technology. Cant read a map, or give directions without a clear signal. But grandma can, she still have a phone book, and several pens and pencils in her purse. Grandpa’s memory can retain directions , “when you get to the Standard station next to a coffee shop turn left and when you see church with white steps turn left again, and it will be across the street from a McDonalds. Should that fail, he has a few old maps in the glove box.
The primary difference between old school and the latest and greatest is the power button. Younger people readily embrace new technology where boomers may approach it with caution.
On October 17th 1989 at 5.04pm the largest earthquake in over eighty years, struck the San Francisco Bay Area. Within seconds the power was out all over the Bay Area. A small section of the busiest bridge in the area the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed ,forcing thousands of commuters to find alternative routes home. Cell Phones were out due to power outages and downed cell towers. I watched drivers crying in their cars as they were scared and unable to make calls home.
Some communities in the Bay area the power returned in minutes. However in San Francisco in neighborhoods north of Van Ness Ave, Downtown, the Financial District,and the Fisherman’s Wharf was without power. My neighborhood and the surrounding area was without power for several days We relied on information from our battery powered AM Radio as most of FM Station were off the air. We were surprised when the phone rang, it was our friend from Germany, he assumed the worst as images of San Francisco burning appeared on the news there. It never occurred to us to try the phone. Our phones were old school, they didn’t require a power outlet.
My wife called her mother, who assumed there wasn’t phone service. We were unaware of the images of San Francisco, we were aware of the freeway collapse in Oakland from the radio ,but we were unaware of the fire and devastation that was less than a mile from us.
San Francisco is the second most densely populated city in the nation, behind New York City.
Gas and Water lines burst during the 1906 earthquake, resulting in a fire that burned for several days burning more than 80% of the city. After the earthquake the City of San Francisco, bought fire boats that could pump water from the bay. Through the years, many leaders questioned the need for fire boats. The cities has two reservoirs ,new fire hydrants and pipes throughout the city. By 1987, city leader wondered why the city needed fires boats, so they talked about decommissioning them.
In the 1989 quake, a fire broke out in the Marina District. despite the new pipes and new technology, the water pipes broke and the hydrants couldn’t produce water. Leaving locals to attempt to put out the massive fire using water buckets. The fire depart summonsed the Phoenix fire boat. Firefighters and citizens connected several blocks of fire hoses from the Phoenix fire boat in the bay and the fire was put out using saltwater.
The what if’s are unthinkable. My apartment was less than a mile away. Thousands of people in wood framed multi story buildings without power in every direction. Thirty years after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the city’s has new three fire boats.
The earthquake is one of the reasons were in Sacramento. Not that were afraid of earthquakes. We were considering moving across the bay. But I clearly remembers the images of people crying in their cars creeping along Lombard at less than two miles an hour. Now having to drive a distance out of their way and unable to communicate it family and love ones. With both our jobs in San Francisco, would the people charged with caring for our children, wait for us?
The earthquake changed me forever. Things I relied on, took for granted like electricity failed. Most the new tech is a piece that relies on something else to function. I had $27 dollars at the time of the earthquake, there were no working ATM’s. Today, I have rainy day currency. I did have batteries, and a battery powered radio as I do today. Can goods and a manual can opener.
I’m excited by the new technology, at the end of the day it cant replace old school. Matches can keep you warn and sterilize water. Maps and battery power flashlights can guide the way and a land line and with a fifteen dollar corded phone and a paper address book can keep you in touch with the world.
Given a choice in a disaster, while the kids are fun, without a power source they are completely helpless . I think I’d rather hang with Grandma and Grandpa, he has a crank or battery powered radio and somewhere in her pantry their are some cling peaches.