September 1, 2005
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Where are the pictures?

Intriguing email from Kathryn Cramer, who is fielding email from all over the world because she's one of the few contact points for answers to a simple question: "My family was at this address on Tuesday. Is it underwater? "

That's a simple question. "How deep?" is another question. It's a matter of life and death, obviously. I want to know, how come a science fiction editor is the world's contact point for this question?

In the email, she asks another good question:

Where are the pictures of the levee break?

It's an obvious shot, a shot that's got to be high on the list of every camera crew and freelance photographer and blog reported with a digital point and shoot. I haven't seen it from closer than a satellite. It's been days. (How long before we had cameras on OJ's SUV? On Britney's belly?)

Doesn't anyone think that's strange?

Other shots seem missing, too.

At the very least, we're going to have hundreds of thousands of filthy, soggy basements. Each is going to need to be inspected; where are we going to get those home inspectors? Each is going to need to be disinfected: do that many dehumidifiers exist, or are we going to make them?

Suppose you'd like to volunteer to lend a hand. Where do you go? Suppose you're already in New Orleans and you're fit and healthy and would like to make yourself useful. Where do you go?

The government's response appears to have been shameful and incompetent. But the blogosphere has not acquitted itself well, either.