One of the most popular memes in the early days of widespread Internet availability to consumers was the notion that the ‘Net would empower free-speech movements worldwide because “the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”
Which raises the question: How does the Internet interpret damage? I don’t know of a good metaphor for the answer, but unfortunately, the routing-around? Not so much.
Worse still, apparently it’s entirely possible that what happened in the Bay Area was a deliberate attempt to try to map choke points by which widespread Internet service disruptions could be created with relatively little effort.
This is scary because, on a number of levels, the Internet has become as important as the electrical grid. And it highlights the need for a significant upgrade in ‘Net infrastructure, an area that deserved a far bigger chunk of the stimulus package than it got (which, as far as I can tell, was essentially zero).