All Systems Are Broken!


Systems

The distance between nature and humanity is increasing, with most of humanity living in a separate existence to nature. We seem to have forgotten that we are a part of nature but have gradually become more and more distant from it. We have a one to one relationship with it. We are nature and nature is us..

Our deepest heartfelt feelings to anyone affected by any of the issues written about in this article.
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Internet Systems.

Introduction.

This article looks into the world's reliance on the Internet and what this entails for society. The Internet is the World Wide Web, which is primarily accessed on a computer or phone with a web browser or app; The Internet can be accessed on many other devices; Smart TV's, IoT devices, and so on.

Who has power over the internet?

A handful of companies survived the dot-com stock market crash, some of these dot-coms are collectively referred to as "US Big Tech" organizations. These organizations have established interests in many areas of the internet, in the form of computers, software apps, and networks. If big tech companies do not directly own businesses, they provide a lot of the infrastructure and tools to promote the presence of other businesses on the Internet. Related article: Big Tech. More recently, large U.S. technology organizations (Big Tech) have faced competition from similar organizations from China. Fewer than 10 organizations have the most power on the Internet.

This theme of big organizations is repeated in other industries: Big Pharma, Big Ag (Big Food), Big Oil, Big Finance, and Big Retail.

Big organizations are getting bigger.

Big tech expanding into all sectors

Traditionally, large tech organizations have stuck primarily to the services they were originally associated with. The issue is, when large organizations have saturated the markets they're known for and want to continue growing; they expand into other industries. Initially, big tech companies specialized in a particular service. In roughly a decade, they have expanded their services into other industry sectors. The expansion into other industries is usually done by acquiring already successful businesses in various sectors and sometimes rebranding or eventually rebranding. The other way big tech expand is through internal innovation, taking away business from traditional products & services. Big tech, with billions sitting in their bank accounts, can snap up other businesses very easily and also spend billions on research and development, without much risk. The ultimate concern society should have is a handful of large organizations that control every aspect of our lives and the prospect of these large organizations working closely with governments.

Leaving behind an entire generation.

An entire generation of seniors either do not use Internet technology. Many elderly, don't know how to use computers & The Internet, don't understand the processes of modern systems, or have no interest in using it. As with everything, there will always be exceptions. For example, elderly people that are fortunate enough to have someone to help them understand and use modern technology. Today's Internet is not the Internet that the original creators envisaged. For those that want to participate, new internet systems and processes shouldn't mean leaving behind an entire generation because they have difficulty adapting to it. Side note: The Internet is one of the less important areas the elderly are left behind in.

Related links below.

Some articles were authored during the government enforced pandemic lockdowns, for many elderly, enforced pandemic lockdowns meant enforced loneliness, a time when the elderly would have benefitted from knowing how to use computers & internet technology, especially for video-calling with their friends and family. In reality, the senior generation would have benefitted from free government incentives to learn about these technologies and the skills a long time ago, regardless of the circumstances.

Leaving behind most of the world's disabled people.

Making internet technology accessible and affordable to disabled people is essential. Internet technology is primarily targeted to abled bodied people, with some thought to disabled people. If big tech companies looked at it from a purely compassionate point of view, their approach would be: "let's make internet technology a priority for those it would benefit the most, the disabled and elderly." Big-Tech organizations may participate in welfare projects, but the overriding objective is to achieve big revenues. Where there is a big revenue stream, Big Tech will not be far behind and the market for disabled & elderly Assistive Devices is huge. The key point is, it needs to be "Accessible and affordable" to the people that require it, otherwise, it merely helps the wealthy. It should also be effortless to use. Side note: Computers & The Internet is one of the less important areas where disabled people are left behind.

Leaving behind half the world's population.

The digital divide between developed and developing countries is wide. The developed countries are known as the "rich countries." Most people in rich countries consider access to the internet to be like other utilities, for example water and electricity; however, on the lower end of the financial spectrum, there are still people in rich countries that struggle to gain affordable access to the internet. In addition to this, unlike other utilities, internet connections are not as reliable as other utilities. Related link: Nearly Half of World’s Population Excluded from ‘Benefits of Digitalization’.

 

Image on digital divide

 

For factual reasons, financial inequality is the underlying theme in this series of articles. See our article on Financial Systems. Individuals on the high end of the class system that are elderly or disabled have significantly more options available for a better quality of life.

What's wrong with current Internet Systems?

Dependence on The Internet for services is growing, but it's still fragile.

Online banking systems work fine as long as everything needed for authentication is readily available and functional (phone, email, etc.). If you no longer have access to one of these things, the process of identification with the service becomes a tedious process. This process involves long phone calls and resending identification documents and this equates to long-wait times on the phone calls and the identification process. Part of the re-identification process may involve resending sensitive information; some businesses expect you to send the most sensitive information you own, potentially over an unencrypted (insecure) communication channel.

In the past people cautiously guarded their most sensitive paper documents now almost every online service you use is asking to see them.

As in other areas, making money is the number one priority for businesses; any security issues that result from this are handled as they occur. Security is one of these areas that has gradually improved over time, but it remains a major concern.

Organizations requesting sensitive information do not use a consistent methods to obtain it and this creates mistrust and uncertainty. All kinds of companies request identity information, but they do not care if people send their most sensitive documents insecurely, how consumers send sensitive information is not of much concern for organizations; organizations merely want to tick the boxes saying all of our customer's have passed the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes. By doing so, organizations can say they have successfully been audited and comply with government/financial regulations and quickly move onto getting your business.

Some companies are better at requesting sensitive information than others, but a few companies being better does not matter when there's no consistency. Today, it feels like having to go through KYC to get a loaf of bread, sarcasm; may be a little. In fact, individuals need to do KYC and AML checks when opening bank accounts, and if you use some kind of payment card, all merchant codes are recorded. Many companies know your spending habits already; store cards/loyalty cards/rewards card provide businesses with a complete record spending habits. Is your data shared? check the privacy policy/statement.

The way consumers send sensitive information is of great importance. Increasingly, online services are requesting sensitive information and many companies are potentially requesting it using insecure methods. Many consumers are not aware they are sending information insecurely. Organizations do not take responsibility if sensitive information is sent insecurely; they just want to complete their process. Keeping your ID secure is your own responsibility and companies that ask for it don't care if you're sending it using insecure methods. Online businesses just want to tick the box that says the customer has gone through KYC and AML first, so they can swiftly move onto generating their profits. The system is broken.

A major concern is, when a large organization reports stolen customer data, what's the organization's response to customers? Sorry! Followed by a big marketing & advertising campaign to transfer the attention away from the data breach.

Organizations request a great deal of information from individuals (your data), many request various forms of identification from you, and what can organizations do if your data is stolen? In most cases, Nothing!

Even after large organizations data breaches consumers will continue to want convenience and entertainment, largely because of the dominance of some organizations and the number of users using their services. Consumers generally continue to rely on it because most people they know rely on it. Consumers are mostly unware of weak security practices companies use when selling products and services online, until it make news headlines. The system is broken. Related link: (Apr 2021) 533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online.

What do customers deserve? Compensation relative to the revenue of the organization. If government regulation on organizations started on that premise, we would see less data breaches. Organizations have made a lot of money by using consumer data, and on top of this, if that data is stolen, currently the consumer is left helpless; people deserve more. Government regulations could hold the organization accountable for reoccurring data breaches, and make regulations that could prevent it from operating after several data breaches. This would incentivize organizations to make security the main priority. Related link: Marriott Just Got Hit By Another Data Breach—For At Least the 7th Time Since 2010.

Online shopping - online convenience for them, not you.

The exceptions in this context are online businesses or making individuals making an online revenue stream, for example, fashion influencers. Many that come under this area manipulate the returns rules to their advantage. The paragraph below refers to consumers outside of online businesses & influencers. Related link: Bracketing: Fashion’s hidden returns problem

Everyone talks about how convenient it is to order things online, and most of the time that's true. Every year, we see traditional brick-and-mortar businesses move online, and that number increased rapidly in 2020. The inconvenient thing is returning items, often the painful part of shopping online which in many cases is no different than going to the physical store, but worse. They should call it is "Online shopping unless you want to return things" because when returning something; consumers partly become the postal service: To begin with you need access to a printer to print the label, then you need to find the appropriate packaging to return the item, and then you need to drive to the local drop off point and back. The drive could also mean sitting in traffic jams to get to your drop off point. Related link: What makes consumers grumble most about returning online orders?

When things are going well, the online shopping experience is convenient. Online businesses only provide door-to-door deliveries, but not door-to-door collections; in reality, online businesses only provide a partial online shopping experience. Anyone that has returned a lot of items knows it's not always a smooth experience. If businesses want to push their operations online, they should provide you with a convenient and seamless experience for the consumer, including collections from your home at a time that's convenient around the consumers schedule, not theirs. Most people know why online services operate this way; it's to keep their costs down, and profit margins up. The additional effort to return items is undertaken by the consumer. Some services provide a few ways of returning, but it's still an big inconvenience.

Online shopping = Not good for the environment.

Online shopping has given consumers some convenience but all the extra packaging, deliveries & warehouses, have added to environmental problems. Related link: Online shopping is polluting the planet - but it's not too late.

People returning goods have to drive to the drop-off location and they don't all own EVs, which means online companies are not entirely promoting a cleaner environment, by having consumers return the goods. What happens if people have to use their own packaging to returns goods? they use paper materials if packaging is not provided, more paper means more trees needed. Recycled paper is mainly saving landfill space and not saving trees. What about printing the label? Unless using environment friendly ink, printer ink is toxic, the printer requires extra electricity, and plastic tape needed to seal packaging is bad for the environment. Considering how much corruption there is within many organizations with things outside of the environment, It's hard to believe organizations are following through on all their green promises. For example, why should anyone believe online businesses are using recycled paper? Generally people assume its recycled paper or plastic if the business display a certain label. This is where Blockchain technology can help, providing verifiable traceability from the source? From all the suppliers of the raw materials to the product. Related link: A blockchain tool that helps track sustainability, from palm oil to plastics.

When online services think they've added a small piece of value to their service or product, (nothing that's going to transform your user experience) the cost will go up. Online services realize consumers want the convenience of ordering products online and a few big organizations monopolize the market, hence consumers are limited for alternative services. The practice used by online services is the gradual increment in price of the service or product over a period of time. Most of the time adding very little value to the service. Customers Calling to 'Cancel' Amazon Prime After New Price Hikes Announced. Online services readily find reasons for increasing subscription prices, but never find reasons to reduce them, even if they are making huge profits. There's no sense of customer loyalty what so ever with these businesses, businesses are well aware the consumers are struggling and trying to keep up with the cost of living; online businesses will increase prices. They simply don't give a ____ all they want to do is find a ways to keep profits up for their big shareholders. The system is broken.

The Internet blues.

During the 2020 pandemic lockdowns, more people suffered from issues associated from being online for long periods of time, for those that were new to it, it was more of a novelty, at first! Most people quickly realized it was fine for short periods of time and missed face-to-face social interaction. Online experiences and automation minimize face-to-face social interactions and this trend is likely to continue. Humans are inherently social beings. In the past, you might have visited to 10 local stores and had many conversations with people; now people can shuffle through superstores with little or no human interaction or do all their shopping online with no human interaction.

Unsocial media.

Social media has its uses in times of crisis, but long-term use and reliance on social media, it effectively becomes unsocial media. If being online is the only thing people have for long periods of time, e.g. pandemic lockdowns, it becomes a soulless experience. We lose what makes us human.

Where's the compassion.

The trend of watching content using Smart TV (A TV with an internet link & apps) will continue to grow. Along with this trend services are looking at ways of generating revenue through advertising. However, the streaming content now comes with online ads around sensitive news topics this shows a lack of compassion. When watching sensitive video content for example on war, famine, and disasters, consumers are subjected to advertisements about pet food, tourism, and other kinds of consumer products and services. This desensitizes people from the content that matters. From the consumer's perspective, online streaming & video services realize ads are an annoying disruption to the viewing experience and do this intentionally. Businesses use it as a sales tactic: if you don't want the ads, pay more (get a subscription.) For streaming services the ad revenue is a win-win situation, they receive a revenue from businesses & influencers that use advertising and receive a revenue from consumer's that pay subscription to not have ads. Streaming services can easily survive without an advertising revenue and make revenue on subscriptions alone. Their employees are are getting paid, their customers are happy, but large organizations don't want to just survive, they need to keep their major shareholders happy and will continually look at ways to do this. Happy in this context is helping major shareholders make more money.

Your life, your data, their money maker.

If you have read some of our other articles you will know that your data is YOU. Internet companies use consumer data in a ways they're not unaware of. If you agreed to the Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) and Privacy Policy, which hardly anyone really reads, the consent part is given when you agree to these policies. If consumers do not consent to these policies, they cannot use the service. In fact it could said online services use these sneaky ways of just writing clauses in those policies to allow them mask transparency and if consumers complain, they are referred back to the policies, stating they agreed to them. There's no transparency when using Internet services whether it's online shopping, returns policies, and your data. Online services know precisely what the consumers want to see upfront before starting to use a service, but this information is rarely given up-front in crystal clear plain (non-legal) language or some businesses do write clear simple statements upfront, but also include hidden statements in the T&Cs that say, it only applies or does not apply, if you meet one of these 100 conditions. What consumers receive instead are hidden terms, in technical language and policies that many people don't read, the myriad of conditions that must be met before something is allowed or disallowed. Of course, online services also have to protect their interests too, but most online services only do that. As long as consumers are absorbing the products, entertainment or convenience, they're happy. The system is broken.

We discuss the digital you, your data, and automation our article. The Digital You & The Automation Of Everything.

They all said it was fantastic.

The entire advertising and sales experience is marred with fake reviews of products and services. This is misleading and disappointing for consumers. The incentive for the seller becomes an act of getting anyone to writing as many reviews as possible instead of providing high quality products and services regardless of reviews. Again, mistrust in the system.

Blockchain Technology

Recently, there has been a lot of excitement around Blockchain decentralization; it is difficult to achieve true decentralization when a handful of organizations control what makes up the physical network, The Internet/The Cloud. If governments have power to switch off networks and Web3 projects are sitting on these networks, does it make it decentralized? These things are something to take into account when projects claim they are Web3 compliant and decentralized. Related link: Shutting Down the Internet to Shut Up Critics.

Web3 business ethos at present is generally, a new way of doing things with the same old mentality of the past and the same old mistakes.

Decentralized Blockchain technology & Artificial Intelligence can bring back a certain level of trust to systems as long they are created for the equal benefit of all people that want to use them and not to exploit them. A big mistake self-claimed Web3 businesses are making, is they claim to be a service built around Blockchain Technology, but continue to exploit the people in the same way existing online apps do, and continue using the same old horse____ sales and marketing approach; without even a hint of the ethos behind the original creator of The Blockchain Technology. The creator of The Blockchain, created something revolutionary, what most projects that are doing on top of this, is not revolutionary.

The number of projects around Blockchain Technology have been compared to the beginning of the dot-com era, where just having a ".com" website name attracted big investments. Most dot-com era projects did not succeed, and many years later, the same is happening with blockchain projects. Greed out powers the need to design something revolutionary. In "most", but not all blockchain projects the "revolutionary" part, is just a concept, in the minds of the project owners. In reality, in most cases, the entire project is not thought out meticulously and many projects are rub their hands with the prospect of making huge amounts of money, even before the service is fit for public use. In many projects there's no meaningful function or use, just an idea or image that has gained popularity, this does not refer to genuine artwork in the form of NFTs. Many blockchain projects will not succeed. Even the ones that do succeed, do people want to see less than 10 projects that dominate, similar to the big tech businesses that dominate the landscape now?

Into the unknown.

What happens to the failed blockchain projects people submitted sensitive KYC documents for AML checks? What about the rest of your data? Are you going to be physically there to oversee it's correctly removed? People presently just trust projects and organizations to do the right thing. In actual fact, the way is works is, it's usually one business putting their trust in another business, that puts trusts another business, that puts trusts another business...and so on, with no guarantee that anywhere in the chain that data removal is being carried out properly at each interaction in the chain.

Conclusion.

Web3 is not a reality at the present time. It's just another one of those feel good technology words. For Web3 to really work, business X should use only Web3 technologies, and every other business that business X interconnects with should also use only Web3 technologies. Anything less than this it's not entirely Web3 and should not be classed as such.

For years now many companies on the internet have been harvesting "your data." Your data, is your possession, it can be considered as valuable as a physical safe full of expensive things. Companies are making vast amounts of money from using your data without you knowing. Various online application forms ask for vast amounts of information, a lot more than is needed for the service that is being provided. The upshot of all this is, data is stored in more organizations than consumers realize, and they don't knowingly agree to share it. Shared with the countless partners that almost every organization has links with, this information is usually tucked away in privacy policy, the one most people skip over to use the service being provided. In many cases the data is stored with organizations insecurely and the more places it is stored the greater the probability for it to be stolen.

Organizations are making money from people's valuable data, individuals are getting no benefits in return, on the contrary people's privacy is being taken. Edward Snowden highlights the extent and methods used to take people's privacy away. He may not have been the first one to say it, but he was the first to open people's eyes through first hand account of what is being done. He is definitely a citizen encouraging goodness in humanity.

 

The Internet today...

Today we have an internet that as become a tool for organizations to make money from not only the product they are selling, but also people's data. It's one thing taking the physical purpose of an organization online, but to also collect people's valuable data, that's gone too far. Consumers don't walk into a retail store, purchase an item, and then go into another retail store and have the shop assistant say, "we noticed you recently purchased this item, would you like to buy these other similar things." If this happened, individuals would be shocked the other retails stores knew about their buying habits. These type of things are happening with online experience all the time, and most people don't even consider it as a problem.

If the internet is being used a tool for governments to make all public processes on the internet in order to gain more control over people its borders, then this is not the vision of the original creators.

Internet is still evolving

95% of new technologies are big marketing hype; the imagery gives people the perception we're living in a mega-high tech world. Many new advancements take 10-20 years to mature and develop, if they ever make it, the rest only certain people dabbling with new technologies, that make new headlines. Many compare science to science fiction as a loose indicator of how fast technology is advancing in society. Let's just say if science fiction is anything to go by, we're nowhere near close to keeping up with it. The network speed, computer processing power, and storage capacity have improved & grown exponentially. Many other new technology people hear about are still in the early stages.

Large companies & governments work on technology that is kept confidential. Certain companies & governments could have advanced technology that's is not known about publicly and being protecting from competitors.

When new internet technologies and services becomes available, it is only available to the connected part of the world and much of the developed world. The internet connection into homes and certain part of the world encounter a lot of downtime. An unacceptable amount of downtime, for a service that is becoming a necessity. In effect, its unreliable in proportion to the increasing reliance people have on it. Combined with this massive congestion, vital internet services that people rely on can also be slow. Essentially, people still cannot rely on the internet as much as other utilities (e.g. water, electricity). It's not reliable enough to be classed as a general utility; especially if governments have the power to make the internet unavailable under certain circumstances, then it definitely cannot be classified as a general utility.A few related links are listed below.

It's one thing for governments and businesses to move to online-only businesses; making people more and more reliant on the Internet, but the reliability needs to improve considerably. Reliability of the internet connection & the services. For example how many times do hear reports about people unable access their online banking.

Other than a natural or climate change catastrophe, people in developed countries will hardly notice interruptions in water supply or electricity. We need at least that kind of reliability before pushing for greater reliance on the internet. With the caveat, natural & climate change disasters can cause disruption to all services. In developing countries the story is different, there's a greater divide accessing any service.

For critical uses and eventually everyday use, the internet needs completely disaster proof; lost connections need to be a thing of the past. Connection should be available from any part of the world. This will immensely help people in emergency situations. Related link: Washington emergency responders first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet in the field: ‘It’s amazing’ Ventures such as satellite internet network is good when it is creating new innovations to help humanity and not if it can be used as a strategic tool to help government defense ministries.

World Inclusive.

The Internet should work for all the people; it should be a benefit to all of humanity, including the largely forgotten indigenous peoples. The Internet should be free, open, available to all parts of the world, and not used as a tool for governments and big-tech companies to control and take advantage of people. The use of the internet or any other technology should be a choice. For example, if Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC's) are established by governments will they be an unrestricted choice or made compulsory? Related article: Central Bank Digital Currencies pose danger to individual privacy. It's likely that governments will eventually make CBDC's a mandatory requirement.

Side thought: To end this article just imagine the internet didn't exist today, and someone said, we're going to create this thing and privacy isn't going to be an issue?? Now think about CBDCs and who is going to administer them?

We're not the only ones saying it - check these links.

 

 

Next Time: The Light...

The emotions you feel when looking at these pictures, this is what a mind without human created systems feels like. As nature intended.

Picture of ocean

Picture of ocean

 

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August 2022

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