Monday, March 26, 2012


We have networks and networks of roads, bridges, highways, underground pipes, and underground cables everywhere, all over the place.
Plus we have, over the years, build everything on top of---and in-and-around---all of these networks.

What started out as a dirt trail or a railroad line progressed into more trails and lines
...eventually replaced by concrete roads and freeways.

What started out as a water main supplying two or more villages eventually turned into multiple water mains supplying a whole region...

What started out as an underground gas pipe extended into multiple pipeline networks serving every section of the country.

Then there were later underground cable lines run from coast-to-coast, initially for phone lines
---but eventually there were also the additions of television cables---then internet cables added later on.

Do I need to mention the networks of sewer lines?
All underground as well.

And all the while we would keep building more and more on top of all this:
More buildings; more roads; more shopping centers; more freeway extensions; more houses...

But everything is like a small child
---they need constant nurturing and maintenance to stay in shape.

And everything is like possessions
---they'll wear out from age and overuse and need to be repaired...or even replaced.

Likewise all of these underground networks are pretty much the same way.

The problem is:
With everything having been built on top of all these underground utilities getting TO them to repair, replace, or enhance and modify them is bound to be a-hat-trick-and-a-half.

Everything in this society has been so overbuilt it'll never be possible for utility crews to access themselves to any of these underground networks without disrupting numerous lives at a time
---often for weeks or even months at a time.

And where do you put dozens upon dozens of displaced residents?
(It's bad enough having to answer that question after a natural disaster.)
What kind of "back-up plan" is there for those who can't stay where they live due to inability to continue performing their normal everyday functions?
Would the cities, towns, counties, or states be able or willing to move said people into some form of temporary shelter until the work is finally finished and everything is back up and functioning normally once again?
...Most likely---NO!

And, also, with all of these underground networks, is it possible for any one utility faction to work on their own lines, pipes, or cables without everyone else's lines, cables,and pipes being in their way?

We spent so many decades building up all of these service networks as well as building everything else on top of (and in-and-around) them
...with no thought of how we might go about dealing with the eventual reality of having to access ourselves to any one of them when age finally catches up to them
...or if/when they might experience damage from natural and man-made catastrophes and disasters well as from the frequent shifts in the earth's ground surface, which is always the norm even in nonseismic regions.

Frankly, I think when it comes to this particular subject society has pretty much "painted itself into a corner"
...there's no easy way out of this dilemma.
...maybe no way out at all!

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