Flipped A Bit

DoYourBitNormally I am not an alarmist. However I am quite concerned about our rush to be part of a virtual world. Soon even paper money and metal coins will be gone. Instead we will have a super computer on a chip embedded in some device that provides a gateway to our money. That is to say it will be electronic and thus virtual.

I first thought of this as I am observing the large corporations desperately trying to convert us to be paperless. Receive all your statements in your email! Why they are even offering each of us a whole $5 to do so. The corporations would love for us to be only online. They pretend to care about the ecology. Save a tree. But truth be told even if it cost the earth more trees to feed the fuel of making a bigger profit, the soulless corporations would do it. You know they would!

I am having to face these issues because my accountant is officially gone. She is leaving for the east coast in two weeks. She has handed me my boxes and now I am responsible for getting the checks in the mail.

Additionally my wife wants to get a better rate on our mortgage. I understand the reason but I am not always motivated with spending valuable time trying to save pennies. Even if as in this case it could be several dollars.

Getting back to the thought I am trying to capture in this blog entry. When we were more material, any loss would come from a local source. That is to say if someone were to rob you they would have to do it in person. They would inevitably leave a trail. Eventually whatever was stolen would appear somewhere nearby. Even a simple thing like misplacing your keys can be resolved with a search of the vicinity they were last seen. But now we are entrusting our lives to the protection of encryption. All of our information is online. All of our money is online. We went from a local threat to a global threat, just by accepting the dictates of the corporations for whom it feeds their bottom line to place our lives in such jeopardy.

How much of our really important information comes down to storage as one bit? The most important one I can think of is Alive or Dead. Store a 1 if they are Alive or a 0 if they are Dead. Along comes an energetic particle from outer space, sometimes in what is called a cosmic ray, and changes that bit from a 1 to a 0. Suddenly you are officially DEAD. Being that the world is now online it matters not that you are locally alive, you are officially dead. It is already happening due to human error. But then it could happen just because our chaotic universe flipped a bit.