Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The modern world strikes again

AOG, Madrid

I have just heard on Spanish radio the story of a woman in New Zealand who has died after her electricity company, Mercury Energy, turned off the power to her home because the light bill had not been paid.

The woman in question was connected to an electric oxygen pump to breathe, and although her family tried to stop the power being switched off, the engineer who had been called out only responded that he had to do his job.

It is reported that he even went inside the house to see the situation for himself. And that he switched the power off anyway. This strikes me as completely inhuman, though I don't have all the facts and, as they say, there are two sides to every story. Nonetheless, I can't help but wonder about what was going through that man's head when he carried out his orders.

Here is a link to the story as told in Australia. Not many European papers carry the story yet. It is only 13:12 right now. It may change.

According to her family, she owed Mercury Energy 168.40 New Zealand dollars (US$122).

Folole Muliaga, 44, a schoolteacher with four children aged 5 to 20, had been off work since February with an illness and fell behind in her payments to Mercury. Her husband had taken time off from work to care for her.

The company are said to be "devastated by the woman's death and was conducting its own investigation to determine what happened", according to Mercury Energy's general manager, James Moulder.

Well, what do they think happened?

And already, modernity has begun to exude impunity left, right and center:

Auckland University professor of law Bill Hodge said manslaughter charges could potentially could be filed, depending on what information Mercury Energy had and how it was expressed to them.

Well, how does Professor Hodge think Mercury Energy were informed? Smoke signals? And what information does he think the company will admit to having if this goes to court?

Unfortunately, by this weekend, this poor woman's death will be old news. Until the next time something like this happens.

Once again, a life has fallen by the wayside in humanity's attempt to reach complete modernity. What's a life when faced with corporate greed, inhuman call centers, robotic taped messages. In order to better the lives of our species, we have lost the human touch completely.

Once our species achieves modernity, will there be anyone of us left to see it?

No comments: