From the WordPress post-a-day challenge: As a specific topic to write about: How would you compare the importance of electricity with the invention of the internet? or the cell phone? Can this kind of comparison be made? If you had to lose one of these inventions, which would you keep? And why?
It must have been a young person who wrote that question. A rather naive young person. Look down behind your computer. Is there a cord down there? Is it plugged into the wall? Into an electrical outlet? Without electricity there is no internet. Period. Without the internet the world goes happily on, just as it has for thousands of years.
It is NOT possible to make a comparison. But, let’s suppose there was some magical way we could lose electricity and still have access to the internet. I would choose electricity without regret. Electricity not only powers the internet, it powers the pumps that bring us clean drinking water and a thousand other things we don’t even have to think about anymore.
I’m old enough to remember a rural home with limited electrical devices. There was a drippy, messy block of ice to keep our food from spoiling (for a little while). We walked out the back door and down a path several times during the day and night and there was nothing automatic to wash away what we left in that little house behind the garden. To wash up we primed the pump with a little pail of water left on the well top, turned the cistern handle til the big bucket was full, refilled the priming pail, carried the big bucket into the house, dipped out a tea kettle full, heated it on the wood stove, then poured it out in a wash basin.
No doubt the internet has changed the world in many ways. But it does not compare to the life changing power of electricity.