: Our collapsing global bridge
DOI link for : Our collapsing global bridge
: Our collapsing global bridge book
I write these words a few days after a highway bridge a few miles from my house fell unexpectedly into the Mississippi River, taking with it 100 vehicles, while killing 13 people and injuring over a hundred more. People who survived the collapse, passers-by who saw it, and nearby residents and students who heard it, all rushed to the aid of others, helping people out of the river and off of the collapsed structure. The rescuers did this without being asked and without expectation of reward, and the survivors of the collapse have
expressed their gratitude at the help they received and at their simply being alive, shrugging off the loss of their vehicles or other property into the river. The tragedy has attracted attention all over the world, in part because of the millions of people who travel over similarly high bridges every day and who are justifi ably worried about their own safety. But the collapse of that bridge has also come to symbolize for many people the sense of vulnerability and uncertainty just below the surface of our lives right now. The whole superstructure of modern civilization, seemingly so stable and secure, has started to feel as shaky as that bridge just before it collapsed. We may think that there is no way our civilization, with all of its technological might, could crumble, but as we have learned from that Mississippi River bridge, dismissing the possibility of collapse and not paying attention to signs of distress is the surest route to failure.