Inter-connected by Wi-Fi

Trial of Unavoidable-Unknowable Vulnerability

By naykdhodlr | naykdhodlr | 3 Oct 2022

Since the advent of global `connectivity’ whereby via one’s computer and mobile cellphone, access to the world has become limitless; however, as long as you had a reliable Internet or Cellular Server connection.

First some background for those born after the start of this millennium:

In the late 1990’s a typical connection involved a dial-telephone-line, and a  hard-wire connection between the desktop computer and modem which by current standards, was horrendously slow. Though too, computers themselves were not all that powerful with slow process speeds, a random access memory (RAM) of less than a mega-byte, and onboard storage capacity in the low mega-byte realm. Jumping forward to where we are today, these values have been easily exceeded a thousand-fold by the everyday, fully mobile personal cell-phone, computer/laptop and tablet.

But, beyond the hardware, the most exciting advancement that has propelled `connectivity’ has been Wi-Fi – wireless, high frequency communication. The freedom of affordable, mobile access to the world’s information highway, at your fingertips, whenever, where-ever.

Taking full advantage of the opportunity the advent of Wi-Fi and cell–phone technology has created, software developers produced, and continue to develop a plethora of software applications, commonly referred to as `Apps’. The variety and accessibility to these applications offered either free or at minimal cost, have become a mainstay of human interaction on platforms adopting the reference as `Social-Media’ platforms. 

Since the start of the 21st century communication technology has advanced in leaps and bounds such that children born by mid-decade 2000 know of no-other form of communication, having inter-acted with the steady growth of the technology as to become second-nature, and principal part of their daily activity as any other utility such as electricity, or flushing the toilet. To be without it, or have interruption to connectivity becoming almost traumatic, and emotionally devastating.

Now, at the start of 2022, communication technology is permanently ensconced in the psyche of every individual on the globe. Access for those in the remotest parts of the planet being increasingly made possible by arrays of low-orbit communication satellites proliferating near space by the likes of Star-link, and other burgeoning communication ventures, servicing low-cost satellite dishes virtually every where.

Developing nations are most advantaged by these progresses by being able side-step the time and great expense of research, development, installation and administrative maintenance undertaken by their developed nation neighbors over the decades. The need for expensive hardware installation of telephone lines, its administration and maintenance made unnecessary and going directly to wireless, cell-phone communication links instead. A tremendous fast-forward opportunity and financial benefit for all developing third-world nations.

Needless to say: what has transpired in this realm of communication technology, and its peripheral opportunities has, and continues to benefit global humanity tremendously; and, as to where it will lead is left only to the imagination to speculate. However, equally left to the imagination to speculate; given the advancement and global proliferation of these electronic, frequency-based technologies being vulnerable to service disruption due to a variety of known, and unknown causes: what potential impact will such an incident of any duration of time, have on social order given the high dependency of their access?

In the late 1980’s the upper eastern United States, and parts of Quebec and Ontario, the electric transmission grid was lost, a total blackout. Its cause speculated to be equipment failure due to a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun. A condition when a massive plasma pulse of energy surpassing the Earth’s magnetic shield’s ability to totally prevent hitting and penetrating the atmosphere. The loss of power lasted for a couple of days. Fortunately by today’s standards, the disruption though expensive in terms of work closures, food spoilage was nothing more than a nuisance reasonably accommodated without significant social or economic upset, or incident. The Internet and Cellular communications as yet not developed for consumer consumption.

As stated earlier, there are a couple of generations of individuals who have known no other means of existing other than to be on-line or on their cell-phone. This has rendered them free of all the typical, mundane challenges and activity of daily life. These being easily, quickly, and to a high degree, reliably accommodated by one Internet supported application, or another.

To speculate if such an occurrence as that of the 1980’s were to happen again is comparable to looking into a soothsayer’s crystal-ball: who could know with certainty? However, the Earth does experience well documented Solar and galactic derived cyclical events that could impact its electro-magnetic protective shielding as to result in interruption, if not total loss, of low-orbit communication satellites and ground-based transmission, and electrical systems.

All access to digital savings, daily purchase transactions, cell-phone communication would immediately stop. Electronics of late-model automobiles would grind transportation to a halt.

It would not be an extreme to suggest many would not be competent enough to find their way home without their on-board, navigation application telling them when to turn right, or left at the next corner, and the loss of cell-phone connectivity to be devastating. Essentially everything will come to a sudden, screeching  halt! Likely leading to sheer panic, and loss for what to do for many, if not most.

Much like humanity’s attitudes toward the potential of an extinction level asteroid or comet striking the Earth: it’s left to the minds of screen-writers to speculate how humanity would respond. The same might be said if the loss of Wi-Fi, Internet, and cellphone  communications happened: no one can really know until it ultimately happens. However, the prognosis of such an event can easily be speculated not to be a positive, constructive outcome.

The foretelling of this dismal, speculative conclusion is written in the global, human response to the Corona-Pandemic,

From its inception in late 2019, and still present in early 2022, speculated to finally ebb as a significant, pandemic-level pathogen by Summer– 2022: the Pandemic illustrated the weakness of national governments’ infra-structure essential for efficient, and effective response and management of a global, population-level disaster. In the initial months of the spread of the contagion, governments were literally panicking in efforts to secure materiel essential for public health worker’s safety, and methods and protocols to retard further public spread. Hospitals were found to be under-staffed, ill-equipped and supplied to respond to a sudden flood of cases into their wards, not to mention mortuary facilities to accommodate hundreds of the suddenly deceased. A catastrophic experience that should have long been well prepared for given the real, high potential for such an event, or other on the same scale.

There are undoubtedly measures, and protocol national governments are undertaking that are not disclosed for national security reasons in preparation and readiness for potential, life-threatening and extinction-level catastrophic events. However, though a satirical comedy, the recent release of the movie titled: DON’T LOOK UP, the humorous, though worrying plot-line involving the clumsy government, media and general population’s response to an extinction-level collision with a comet being imminent might just be a true reflection to what would take place in reality. What is unfortunate: not knowing either way.

Humanity by its nature has experienced, and obviously, survived prior `earth-shattering’ catastrophe over the millennia, but has it ever involved upwards of 8-billion peoples, coddled into servitude, and spell-bound by the Internet, rendering their personality to become fully reliant to the likes of AMAZON, FACEBOOK, TIC TOK in the chore of daily survival?

Pessimistically, one could speculatively conclude a likely: NO! At least for a significant percentage of the global population. In fact it would be the Peoples of western and eastern block, developed nations that would most easily submit and succumb under the weight of unforeseen challenges to survival without all the conveniences they have been born to, and to no fault of their own. It’s just the way it is, and has become.

Ultimately, there is no real conclusion of certainty to this projection, to what may unfold in the future, in light of the potentials that lay ahead for humanity’s furtherance, un-encumbered.

But what is certain, the impetus to the writing of this essay has been the loss of Wi-Fi connection rendering me at a loss; how to expend the days time in view of sub-zero outdoor temperature making foray into the streets less desirable than this effort.

The end!



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