Letters and Editorials 3044 Views by Joseph

The Looming BIG Crash?



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There is a growing potential for a globe-wide CRASH that has the ability to so profoundly impact social-order, it would conceivably surpass even that of a global financial melt-down.

With the advent of the personal computer, be it a Mac or otherwise, the spawning of inter-connectivity with the introduction of the Internet, the reliance on mass communication and data transfer has seen an exponential growth in the number of personal electronic devices since the mid-90‘s.

A leading barometer to the health and growth of the consumer electronics industry one need only look at the Semi-conductor industry. Without going into technical detail understand that semiconductors are the building blocks used to make integrated circuits/computer chips, flash memory of most all consumer electronics, including PCs, mobile phones, MP3 players, etc.

As of 2008, the $250B semiconductor industry generated over $1,200B in electronics systems business and $5,000 billion in services, representing close to 10% of world GDP. According to analysts from the Consumer Electronics Association, consumer electronic devices are projected to grow 10 percent for 2011 to reach $964 billion and could approach or even top $1 trillion.

One can see given the growth, and infusion of personal electronic devices in modern day society that these devices have become an integral component to the functionality of daily lives of most individuals, regardless of age or demographic. Therefore, the question that one needs ask: What if from one moment to the next, the functionality, the ability for these devices to perform as they are designed to do, just STOPPED?

The breadth of subject matter that most affects the potential for such an occurrence is considerably complex, technical and beyond the scope of this article however, suffice it to say the most relevant of these has to do with the state of the Earth’s magnetosphere (the magnetic field that shrouds the Earth) and the Sun which emits clouds of massively charged particles or cosmic dust known as coronal mass ejection or CME’s.

The relevance of CME’s and the state of the Earth’s magnetosphere to electronic devices ranging from Wi-fi reliant devices such as tablets and cell-phones to the GPS (global positioning) equipped in many automobiles is their reliance on Earth orbiting communication satellites and the myriad of micro-wave communication towers as well as the electrical-grid that powers them.

A detailed exploration of the inter-connectivity of these factors will divulge a wide-range of scientific perspectives, and arguments, as to the degree of potential and vulnerability to some form of cataclysmic interruption on their continued functionality on a global-scale. However, what is important to understand, is the scale to which the global population, its industries and commerce have become reliant on their uninterrupted availability. This represents the `weak-link’ in the chain to harmonious, civil order and functioning of modern society.

In conclusion, to fully appreciate the potential of the chaos and dysfunction that has a real potential to manifest, and how it will impact individually and more critically; globally, perform this simple test: Turn off ALL personal electronic devices: computers, cell-phones, Mp3 players, etc,, etc. and track how long it takes until anxiety of being disconnected is felt. GOOD LUCK!

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