Friday, January 22, 2010

A point: he makes one

There has been a certain amount of turmoil about how quickly help has arrived for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. In the local newspaper (the Billings Gazette) this morning, there was an article that I thought was a damn fine explanation of the disparity between people's wants/expectations, and reality:
In the space of a single generation, ours has become a world of live video chats, one-click online ordering, overnight delivery, on-demand movies and instantaneous electronic fund transfers _ including sending aid to Haiti via your cell phone. It becomes only natural, in such a society, to bristle at any delays.

Trouble is, the physical world can't move as fast as the virtual one and, barring the invention of a "Star Trek"-style transporter, probably never will. Unlike medicine and food and water, information no longer has to travel via plane and boat and road and foot. News can arrive immediately. But doing something about it? That's another thing entirely.
Even pizza places want a half-hour to make a delivery, people. How long you think it's going to take to move thousands of tons of relief supplies? You think the Navy's hospital ship USNS Comfort moves at warp speed? Get real.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Knowing my luck, if I were to ever live long enough to use a teleporter I would end up like Jeff Goldblum's Brundle-Fly creature.