[Aside] Sometimes the best way to see the effects of a medium are to take it away for a while. A few thoughts on the electrical blackout from Toronto:

In the electric age we wear all mankind as our skin.

But when we lose grid electricity (and thus our umbilicus to the global village), we retrieve the city as our extended skin, and actually get outside to socialize.

When we lose grid electricity (and thus the ability to pump dinosaur juice into our cars), we retrieve biking and walking, thus shrinking our effective space-time potential, but also slowing down the pace of the evening.

When we lose grid electricity (and thus essentially the ability to use the television or networked computer), we retrieve battery-powered radio from cars, walkmans, or transistors to get the news.

When we lose grid electricity (and thus the ability to see, if it's too hot to light candles), we notice how comfortable it is talking to someone on the telephone that we cannot see, but that same conversation becomes odd/uncanny/disconcerting when it is face-to-face in the same room with someone that we cannot see.



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