Saturday, 28 September 2013

Communications, Contact And Control

Turning on the TV instead of the expected picture of David Attenborough stalking innocent insects and the like there was a terse, indeed peevish, note telling me that the Skybox was not connected to my broadband router.

It is permanently connected to the landline telephone as instructed to receive all the benefits and updates, and I expect for them to keep a running check on my use.  But I am reluctant to let Sky into my broadband.  Mr. Murdoch will just have to pay an expert hacker like anybody else.

The Calvin cartoon above is from 1993.  This is not a long time ago by ordinary historical standards, but in terms of computers, communications and the rest is the equivalent of the Bronze Age to archaeologists.

There were many who felt and said, "Garn, it will never happen" believing that the organisational, political and financial obstacles would be too great, or that it might be far beyond what ordinary people could afford or be capable of handling.

Yet as I wander about, take trains and the rest all about me are people in continuing communication with others, looking for information and using the media.  Whenever I photo-bomb an unwary tourist with my Appalachian Flat Foot dancing I know that it might go world wide in an instant.

Yet once to be the first to get the football results meant an anxious wait outside the corner newsagents for the Saturday Sports Special local newspaper to hit the pavement.  The BBC then did not stoop to football results, you had to make do with the latest Board of Trade Export figures.

What is clear is that hardly anyone in government or politics in 1993 or even now had or have any real understanding of what there is and how it might be used for the benefit of all.  The catastrophic losses on IT provision, use and access by the UK government testify to that.

We have had a revolution in knowledge, contact, communication and understanding yet our governors and top managers seem oblivious to the implications.  Quite what this may lead to is anybody's guess.

But as in 1993 most of those guessing, especially those doing the planning for the future, unlike Calvin, will get it hopelessly wrong.

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