More evidence this month that the digital world is a scary place and getting scarier all the time. Delta Airlines had to cancel thousands of flights when the company’s computer system crashed big time. They believe it was triggered by a power failure at the airport in Atlanta, but not very many people are really buying that story. Donald Trump hasn’t yet pointed a finger at the Russian hackers, but it’s early yet, and he’s busy reading the second amendment right now in case there’s a quiz during a campaign debate.
Chances are there are nerdy guys somewhere in the aviation world who know exactly what caused the meltdown at Delta, but the truth is probably so worrisome that they don’t dare say what it is.
Most of us Boomers have learned the basics of navigating the digital world by rote, but we don’t pretend to understand how it all works. As every day passes, computers control more and more of our lives, and it seems Murphy’s Law still applies .. whatever can go wrong, usually does. Just ask those thousands of federal employees who are still waiting to get their paycheques sorted out. If you really want a downer of a read before Labour Day you might want to pick up that book that Ted Koppel wrote a while back called Lights Out. It’s truly a horror story about the danger of cyber-terrorism. The scariest part is, virtually no one who matters has even tried to refute any of what Ted had to say. Meanwhile, the technological revolution is not slowing down. If anything, it’s accelerating.
Given what has happened at Delta and other airlines, it might be timely to ask yourself this question. “Do I really want to ride in a vehicle which is completely controlled by computers?”
Enjoy the rest of the summer.
I’m Roger Currie