Monday, May 3, 2010

The Downside of Progress

With a break in a water pipe, no water for 48 hours in Boston. That happened to us when we first moved in to this house, with a broken pipe near the well head and I can tell you it sucked. I can’t imagine the whole area being without water.

As we grow, and concentrate people in smaller areas, we get more dependent on services like this. While we need to build economies of scale in some areas, like water treatment, we don’t want to get overly dependent. Remember the East Coast electrical blackout in 2003?

A disastrous weekend, with flooding in the SouthEast as well. It’s a balance between having people grow together and get more dependent on each other and services, and spreading the risk. I’m not sure we do a good job of balancing, and this is where government is needed. Private companies will seek to maximize profit, which isn’t necessarily the best thing for safety.

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