Still think the Internet will be the new economic centre, replacing traditional brick-and-mortar business?
I ask this after the major DDoS attack by hackers on Friday, which crippled the online sites of multiple corporations and made it impossible for millions of Internet users to conduct business on such sites as PayPal, Amazon.com, etc.
Who did it?
It could have been a foreign country. It could have been a certain well-known Robin Hood-type group of hacktivists. It could have been a bored teenager messing around in his or her parent’s basement.
Does it really matter who did it? The fact that hackers can cause such disruptions with relative ease speaks for itself: the virtual Internet’s foundation is as shaky as a house supported by stilts in quick sand.
But if houses on stilts fall down in heavy winds, the damage is limited to a small number of buildings. When the Internet goes down, millions of houses are affected.
Then, there are natural occurrences like solar flares, which can negatively affect the Internet. It is only a matter of time, according to a report I saw on TV recently, for the Earth to be unfortunately aligned with a massive sun solar flare, resulting in major, long-term telecommunications and power grid disruptions in North America and around the world.
Yes, how fragile our Internet system is, how fragile we are . . . as a species.
Still, we march blindly on, as in blind faith. Thousands if not millions of jobs are being wiped out as corporations turn away from traditional brick-and-mortar operations.
True, jobs have wiped out by technological advances many times before. But it is different this time. No Internet and no brick-and-mortar business equals . . . nothing.
Take the newspaper industry, for example. Print editions are being phased out, printing presses are being sold to scrap metal dealers. Publishers are turning to digital-only operations, desperately (and unsuccessfully) trying to earn enough revenues there to stay alive. Take away the Internet for any length of time, and those newspapers no longer exist. Period. End of story.
You get my point. Society is dismantling much of its traditional economic foundation and rebuilding on the quick sand of the Internet. Smart companies, of course, are using the Internet to complement their brick-and-mortar operations. But too many companies are putting all of their eggs in the Internet basket.
P.S. Yes, I know it seems contradictory to be referring to “newspapers” when there is no actual paper involved. I guess that word will soon be filed in the Old English folder.
Photo: From Jpulickeel, Wikimedia Commons.