What About the Net Post-Y2K?

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I had asked Ed the following question during his chat session today (it never came up) and am still wondering, "what is the likely status of the Internet post Y2K, assuming a depression-level scenario? How soon and/or how central will it remain? Will its role as an aggregator of commerce and communications accelerate quickly after 1/1/2000 (ie, will it be one of the first things fixed) or be retarded for years?"

Actually, this is a bit more complex than the question I posed, but not much.

This is a pressing business and technical question for me, as well as personal, of course. It also ties into the entire decentralize/recentralize scenarios that some of us have been discussing.

Ed? Others? I have opinions but will jump in later, if the thread draws some debate.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 12, 1999


This is a good question BG.

I'm also wondering, given the threat that the WWW seems to represent to government and the media priesthood, if any re-built WWW would not be more controlled or more exclusive.


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), February 12, 1999.

The technical stance of the Web is not my expertise, but since we're all batting around the notion of international telecommuncations failure and brownouts/blackouts, I'm pretty certain that this top tier of technology prowess probably lends itself to the most risk. Particularly if Y2K turns out to be a stringent government-led effort to control, having this maverick (the Net) inspiring anti-patriotic murmur just won't do. So I agree that greater restrictions would be placed on what gets published if it were running.

-- Brett (savvydad@aol.com), February 12, 1999.

There will be problems with mobility. The shortage of fuel will limit the ability of people to get to work. I think the net will become the default highway to the office. This could be exacebated if many of the buildings suffer embedded chip problems. With hoteling and working at the home office standard fare these days, it would not be much of a reach to see the net become even more important. This would force the government to help keep it up but the price may be more regulation.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), February 12, 1999.

While telecom has to be up, of course, the Net per se is remarkably redundant and able to "route around" breakdowns, albeit with frustrating bandwidth problems. If one assumes islanding, at first, those who still have Net access could be in a remarkably powerful position vis-a-vis those who don't.

I'm wondering to what extent Internet could be centrally controlled, at least at the beginning, 2000-2002 if central government systems are themselves crippled or broken. IMO, Internet might give we the people at least a short-term opportunity to rally communities we might actually be proud to be part of.

Yes, simultaneously, efforts at control will also be proceeding on these same islands, but it might be an interesting chase back and forth, no?

The power leverage for those who have Internet access far from merely political, BTW, though political ultimately: rebuilding commerce, overcoming psychic isolation, etc.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 12, 1999.

Point being, Harlan Smith has said that too many of us are focusing on a return to agrarianism as though there are no other options (including for 1999), including options that still include computers!

Suppose being a local, small potatoes ISP (or in cahoots with one) in 2000 turns out to be a massively smart, if dangerous, idea for the good guys? Even if Y2K > 8, but SOME telecom up or coming back up, better than ham .....

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 12, 1999.

I don't think the 'net is "all or nothing". TCP/IP (the technological underpinning of the 'net) was designed by ARPANET with nuclear war in mind. The goal was a communications strategy that would continue to work even if some portions of the network were destroyed.

It works.

When we bombed IRAQ, Sadam's TCP/IP network was reported to hold-up quite well, even though much was eliminated. In Y2K, even though there will be failures, some portions of the 'net will survive. For those whose access survives, it will be like a few years ago before the 'net gained wide acceptance. For those whose access fails, well...

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous.com), February 12, 1999.

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