The power suddenly went out at work today about 11:30am. There was a technician who was running wires, standing on a ladder next to us, who disclaimed all responsibility. Since the wires were Ethernet cables, we believed him. It quickly became apparent that it was not just our office or even our building, but many blocks of downtown Seattle that had lost power. One person was trapped in the elevator in our old Pioneer Square building. Within half an hour, everyone had left the office. Although most of us have laptops, no electricity meant no Internet. I drifted up to Capitol Hill and spent the afternoon working with two colleagues in a coffee shop.
The power came back after an hour. Meanwhile, it had become very apparent how fragile our infrastructure is, as tens of thousands of people lost power in downtown Seattle. Everything ground to a halt, including traffic, as the stop lights stopped working. Lots of people had to walk down many flights of stairs in tall buildings. Although it was lunchtime, restaurants and coffee shops were unable to serve customers.
What a mess.