My response to this which was a response to this . It is about "Swarm Power" and Instapundit got the ball rolling.
For more on this (beyond the comments below) see "Your Personal Digital Dictator" and "The Emergence of Revolution"
I have to disagree, I think it (swarm power) IS an advancement. I don’t entirely agree with the notion of “swarm”, but I do strongly advocate any system that results from most individuals being self-sufficient and many of them producing enough to create an exchangeable surplus. That kind of emergence market is ultra-redundant and nearly fool-proof. As opposed to national or international monoliths which serve as centralized generation and distribution systems. Doesn’t matter much what the essential thing is that is being produced; desired results as the consequence of self-organization and individual self-sufficiency always trump centralized production and distribution.
Bringing this back to the grid: we know that in response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, States have mandated electrical consumption reduction percentages and deadlines. And so was born the Smart Meter and along with it an increase of the cost of power used during peak times, and the remote shutoff capacity. Increased cost of electricity used during peak time to “incentivize” voluntary consumption reduction, and remote-shutoff to simply shut you (or an appliance selected by the utility) off, if the price increase doesn’t give you sufficient incentive.
Centralization is not ultimate goodness, and a completely centralized civilization is no utopia. Instead, centralization of most, if not all, major essential systems (power, food, economy, government etc), is really the midwife to an emergent advanced network civilization where the hubs of production and distribution are very many and much much more local.