The scene in Atlanta last night and today is worth talking about.
Thousands of children stranded overnight in schools. Or worse, stranded for hours on schoolbuses!
Thousands of adults (and children too) stranded for hours, or all night, in traffic that’s frozen in place on icy highways. No food, no restrooms. When the car runs out of gas, no heat. Thousands sleeping in any big-box store or impromptu shelter that will open the doors.
It’s chaos. Now, imagine such conditions continue for a few days. A few weeks? I suppose that’s what the early days of Dystopia will look like.
The temperature will rise in Atlanta in a day or two, and the ice will melt. The chaos will be short-lived, not much harm done, hopefully. A week from now, Atlantans will look back on it as a great adventure. A generation from now, it will be legendary. Grandparents will tell grandchildren about it. The grandchildren will think the old folks are exaggerating.
Atlanta last night and today is a wakeup call, a teachable moment.
Millions of people are always skating on the edge of chaos in our complex, interconnected metropolitan areas. We depend on responsible governments and private organizations to maintain function and order. All it takes is one or two wrong decisions (no need to salt the streets. no need to close the schools), one technical breakdown, one storm, one neglectful agency or public official, and . . . chaos.
How many weeks of chaos would it take before . . . Dystopia?
— John Hayden