Since the beginning of the prevailing digital age, I have used a computer. I admit that it and the Internet have made many tasks easier. But I am not a convinced fan to the extent many people see them as such marvelous boons to mankind. A current cyber attack that closed down many major websites is just the most obvious manifestation so far of our vulnerability to the black side of digital charms.
I have spent thousands of hours of my life conducting the endless battle of getting hardware and software to collaborate peacefully while I would have preferred to using my time doing what I really wanted to be doing. What a time I still waste today with computer support teams. Every day, some company changes how their software or hardware operates, and I must spend yet more hours learning how to use their latest brainchild before I can accomplish simple tasks I had happily mastered yesterday.
Imagine how destructive it will be if ISIS learns how to shut down major sites in the manner just accomplished by unidentified hackers. The real potential problem with the Internet is that practically all of us now have to use it simply to exist in the corporate lawyers’ and banker’s dorky world.
Competing Internet providers of all stripes are pushing all of us all the time to use the Internet for tasks that used to be done by people, individually and in groups, personally supporting one another. Becoming so dependent on a single communication vehicle (used by those nasty predator corporations seeking to rip more money from our bank pockets) to the extent we have, are we not tempting real trouble?
The current breakdown of major Internet sites by as-yet unidentified hackers should be a wake up call to us all. What would you and I do if another unidentified source were able daily to break into and disrupt the Internet in such major ways that suddenly we had to communicate without it? The lawyers would, I am confident, find a way to make us pay the bankers more for our disruption. That is, after all, how they earn their opulent livings.
Might we not soon find that disruptive control of the Internet is a far more effective weapon than any bomb, drone, battleship, airplane, or submarine? Blocking communication of millions of users worldwide, the Internet becomes a startlingly dangerous offensive tool of war, does it not?
On the positive side, we might return to fighting with sticks and stones and simply punching each other in the nose. That kind of thing could force people into talking to each other again.
Interesting idea, huh?