So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013
All the Eggs in one Basket
The Internet is such an efficient and useful tool that just about everything is making their way to it. There are economic pressures to do so. Doing things over the Internet is extremely cheap. Companies that do not optimize business by using the Internet are at a disadvantage.
Systems that get optimize for efficiency have one major problem. They are fragile. It's that way all throughout nature. An ecosystem may have a number of critters that perform a specific role. Over time, the most efficient critter dominates and pushes out the others. That's all well and good, until something unexpected takes out that one critical critter. The whole ecosystem suffers.
The Internet has become that most efficient critter. It's easy to use it in ways never intended by the original designers. It's growth has not been managed at all. That's not a bad thing in itself, but the old ways of doing things have disappeared. One small example, many businesses could not send out a paper bill by snail mail if they had to as they depend completely on electronic payments.
We faced a potential problem years ago with the Y2K bug. Yes, the date rolled around and problems were minor. Sure some of the potential problems might have been overblown, but don't forget that a lot of money went into fixing code and replacing equipment.
Think of how much more dependent we are on the Internet now. The Y2K bug was an oversight. No harm was ever intended. These days there are bad actors, rogue companies, cyber warfare programs, and hackers actively causing problems. There is the very real potential that someone could break the Internet.
Even without ill intent something like a massive CME could take down critial parts of the system.
It wouldn't be impossible or even all that hard, for governments and businesses to have backup plans. It wasn't all that long ago that we functioned just fine without the Internet. (hard to believe, I know). Should the Internet go down, it would not be the end of the world, but it would be hugely disruptive. We have placed all our eggs in one basket -never a good idea.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.