This ’n’ That by Nicky De Lange
Question of the week: are you as tired of hearing about Pokémon Go as I am? Or are you one of those people addicted to the latest video game?
This fad seemed to spring up overnight and out of nowhere. It appears to be hyper-addictive. Just look around – you’ll see people wandering aimlessly, their
eyes locked on their cell phones. According to news reports, one Pokémon fan, seriously focused on this new game craze, walked off the side of a cliff. Another stepped on a poisonous snake because he thought it was just a branch until it bit him. You can’t really blame the poor snake. No one enjoys being trampled on because someone isn’t watching where he or she is going.
I won’t attempt to explain how this mobile game works. It’s too complicated to describe it in a column and, to be honest, who cares?
(Not I – Ed.) If I actually tried to do that, your eyes would probably start crossing after a couple of paragraphs.
If you’re thinking this is some sophisticated big-city form of entertainment, think again. In just the past few days, I’ve seen several folks wandering around our local parks, staring fixedly at their cell phones. They remind me of the zombies on my favorite TV series, The Walking Dead. The only difference is that these people are in search
of a Pokémon character. The zombies are just seeking victims to snack on.
Hmm, I wonder if the folks who develop these games could create one in which players search for Pokémon zombies. Never mind – the people addicted to this fad are already zombies.
Big warning: drive and walk carefully. You don’t want to go to prison for knocking down a Pokémon Go player. Can you imagine being sent to prison for that? Your cellmate would ask you what you’re in for and your answer would have to be: “Knocking down a pedestrian who was playing a Pokémon Go game.”
That would be more embarrassing than falling off a cliff or stepping on a snake, right?
Last but not least this week, I want to recommend a book I read recently. Ted Koppel, a 42-year veteran of ABC News and anchor and managing editor of Nightline for 25 years, has written Lights Out. This is a truly terrifying account of what could happen if a major cyber attack were to knock out America’s power grid.
It won’t, he explains in great detail, be simply an inconvenience similar to a power cut caused by a hurricane, lasting just a week or so. Millions of people spread out over several states will be without power. There’ll be no running water, sewage, light or refrigeration. Food and medical supplies will run out in no time at all.
Banks will close, looting will be rampant and law and order will be challenged as it has never been challenged before.
Koppel interviewed a large number of experts in government offices and public companies, probing for answers to what would happen in the event of a massive long-term power cut. He digs deep into the possibility of such an event actually occurring, searching out how – or even if – America is prepared to deal with such an enormous catastrophe.
The answers are pretty terrifying. Solutions are much more limited than you might expect. It would be apocalyptic, to say the least.
Lights Out is a gripping read, in some ways much more frightening than anything Stephen King could come up with. It gives you a lot to think about.