In the last 10 years or so, our lives have become more and more dependent on technology. The PC, the World Wide Web, blogs etc. have all created this new kind of human being, that has 3 parts of the brain: namely, the right side, the left side and the wired side… It is the wired side that I’m concerned about. There are ways to determine how right-brained or left-brained one is. The outcome of such a test can help you decide whether you are better at creativity or logic. This information can then be used by an individual to decide, in everyday life, which situations one is best equipped to handle and more importantly which situations one is not as apt at handling. So, if you are told that you are left-brained, creativity is obviously not one of your strengths and if you’re right-brained, you’re not going to be as effective at reason and logic. Most people commonly accept this theory. I wish there was such realization about one’s basic aptitude for technology, a sort of a test for the wired side of your brain so that we humans could respect the limitations of our aptitude and use technology more responsibly. If that made you wonder why something as profound as that needs to qualify as a treatise on technology and why somebody like me wants to categorize the human race into several levels based on technological aptitude, allow me to explain. Most of us find ourselves extremely comfortable using a PC and basic functions like browsing the web, accessing electronic mail, installing our favorite applications and so forth. In the information era, most of us also pride ourselves on our knowledge of viruses, worms, Trojans, phishing and the like. And still, when was the last time you met somebody recently who has complained about spam, viruses, worms and dangerous attachments, someone who worried about their identity getting stolen and their bank accounts emptied? Even though I spend the most part of my day in a technology-centric environment, and even if I discount all the people I meet in my line of work, I still meet such people constantly, approximately, at the rate of one every couple of days. Though I understand their concern, and appreciate their level of awareness, I constantly find myself frustrated at what they themselves were doing (or not doing) about it. If you owned a weapon, would you limit your knowledge to understanding just how to use it, or would you also want to know ways to prevent it from being used against you or others? Why, then, do people find themselves not practicing what they know and preach about responsible computing? Somebody tell me why?
This post is for anyone who likes talking of a new virus that’s spreading across the world when forwarding a nice looking screen-saver to his entire contact list… anyone who writes a blog slamming spammers and leaves his email id on the web for comments. If you think N*****M as the umbrella organization for software-oriented companies in India would be responsible about safe computing, dismiss those comforting thoughts, the N*****M website is super spammer-friendly, just don’t ask me how! This post has it’s origins in several tons of frustration I have accumulated in the last few months watching people unwittingly fall prey to hazards of the wired world, precipitated by watching a well managed (apparently) 100 PC network, collapse before my eyes to a measly worm that is happily spreading around the place under our noses.
[Disclaimer: This is one of the posts from my first ever blog, that is now defunct. Though amateur, and in some cases silly, I did want to retain an archive of everything I have ever written in the blogosphere. Thank you for your patience]