As some of you are aware, I recently had big boy internet installed at home, so I'm no longer depending on a measly little Jetpack for my internet needs. Since my house is old enough to be wired for antenna only, not digital, it involved having the Comcast guy drill a hole through my wall and add to my wiring in order to support said big boy internet.
As I watched him do this from below (he had to climb a ladder to the second story to do this), it felt kind of odd knowing that he'd just drilled a hole from the outside world into my bedroom. How unusual that must be. And then I looked around and saw all of the other wires that ran from the poles in my alley into holes in the brick of my building. I was suddenly awed because I've lived here for about 25 years, and I have probably seen these wires all of my life, but I never noticed them until now. I looked at the insane amount of wiring to each building connected to the alley out back, and I wondered how much planning and effort had gone into this project so many decades ago. I was dumbfounded, mostly due to my complete lack of understanding when it comes to infrastructure, the world that exists below the world we casually observe. I imagine it's like fitting a puzzle together, only to realize that it's a part of a vast network of other puzzles, something I just can't wrap my head around.
No matter where you are in the city or suburbs, there is a world behind the world you see, and that world is what makes this world function. How many residents of my hometown Elmhurst know, for example, that the downtown area (in particular the York Theater) is connected to the quarry through a subterranean maze? I wonder how many bootleggers made use of this during Prohibition.
It's staggering to think about, but at the same time, it's kind of ordinary. So before I start wondering how magnets work, I'm going to shut up.