Limits to online

Photo courtesy Pixabay
Photo courtesy Pixabay

THE EDITOR: The current thinking and present trend is to collapse things as much as possible in favour of channelling more and more through the internet. This is foolhardy and should be abandoned. Internet is unreliable, it is always dipping. It is also a foreign power and a nation does not surrender its civil affairs to foreign powers. It is not secure.

As we have been seeing, hacking for hijack and ransom hits the most well-guarded systems. But more than that, it is always going on in the background and information gets reappropriated; and the background hacking is the more insidious long-term problem with no cure.

Parallel with the wireless mindset is the idea being promoted to "go cashless." E-money brings its own set of irreconcilable complexes and inconveniences too variable to go into now. Suffice to say that it makes everyone subject to arbitrary interventions and we have had a couple instances already of lost accounts, etc.

In case you haven't caught on, online means "providers" recede out of reach along with their behaviours, while hacking, whether by "bad actors" or "good actors," is more receding. This picture of danger and dependency is acute, obvious, irremediable; so why the fixation on "e?" Finally, online should be just another option, one of many.

Civil society should both preserve multiplicity of infrastructures and optionalities and multiply them. Cash should remain. Copper-wire phones should be available to those who want that. Paper filing should be maintained as the basic norm, not the exception. What these things provide is defensive mechanisms for ordinary functioning and oversight; and they are great for generating employment and sustaining the labour force.

People stay empowered by them and keep government, banks, businesses, institutions, etc all in check the more easily that way – precisely as that should be.


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"Limits to online"

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