I hate it when I learn about something from Cracked, but not as much as I hate not knowing everything there is to know about undersea transcontinental communication cables.
When as a kid we went to the beach, I’d stare at the vast expanse of ocean and think, “So there must be cables somewhere under there, huh? Unreal.”
I just couldn’t imagine something that long that was man-made and durable. I mean, seems like utility stuff broke all the time on our street, but they — and by “they,” I mean The Collective of Humans Who Make Stuff I Don’t — could string a cable across the ocean floor and keep it working? (This all sounds sad, but I did look at other things on the beach, too. A kid has lots of free time, though.)
And this was all well before I spliced shilled for a telephone telecommunications company, of course.
(Ah, memories: “That massive blackout sucked, huh? Even cell towers were out? Well that’s why you need a landline, which is independent of the power grid. It’s the safe choice. So c’mon, pay us. … Oh, P.S.: About that plugged-in cordless phone you have connected to your landline…um, yeah, whoops.”)
Anyway, the best part of that Cracked write-up is this map of all the world’s undersea cables, which I could just stare at for hours and hours because it’s so beautiful. (I almost wish I were joking.)
I guess the second-best part was phrasing like this:
If enough of these high-pressure porn hoses were compromised, international Internet communication could collapse entirely.
Great capture of the spectrum of the Internet right there.
Sometimes I wish we had Internet-Free holidays or something, just so people would step outside for air and maybe look up from their phones mobile data devices for a moment. Then again, I don’t much like people talking to me, and I guess that’s what would happen if the Internet turned off.
To cut that off at the pass, I’d probably start talking about undersea cable.