A pale NYSE day-trader looks away from his darkened laptop screen and tentatively steps out into the sunlight. Thousands of retirees simultaneously call their grandchildren for tech support because the Wall Street Journal homepage won’t load. At an overcrowded boarding area, a group of frustrated United travelers are stunned into silence as, for once, they’re given a reason for the flight delay. Is this armageddon? Or do we simply need to unplug the Internet, wait thirty seconds, and plug it back in? At just about the same time this morning, the NYSE halted trading because of a technical issue, United flights were grounded because of automation problems, and the WSJ was inaccessible. It appears as if none of the events were related, but the confluence of outages provides a stark reminder of how dependent we are on technologies which are beyond our grasp.

+ In Fusion, Felix Salmon argues that you don’t need to panic about the New York Stock Exchange or anything else. (If you can’t access this article, run for your life.)