Surviving the Collapse of the Internet – Is the Web Already Broken?

You’re reading my words now because the Internet exists. But as you and I continue to prepare for an uncertain future, we must consider that the Web may not be around one day. Or it could be changed dramatically from what it is now. Either way, our normal routines will be disrupted.

But what about the disruption to society and the economy which the Internet itself has already caused? There’s a bigger picture than the one you and I see every day as we surf online, do our banking, order from Amazon, do Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. The Internet has become a seemingly indispensable part of our social fabric.

George Ure, author of Broken Web: The Coming Collapse of the Internet, talked about these notions yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio. Before the show, Steve, the producer, asked me if George was the author of How to Live on $10,000 a Year – or Less. Yes, he is. But his current book–and related topics–dominated our conversation yesterday.

 

Curious About George

I’ve been blessed to have a number of guests on DestinySurvival Radio with impressive credentials. George is one such guest. In the next couple of paragraphs, I’m borrowing from bio info he sent me.

He has been a big city radio news director, international airline vice president, college president, software strategist and accomplished sailor. He has an MBA and multiple competencies in flying, sailing, construction, farming, and research.

George takes preparedness seriously and is a drop-out from “big city life.” He now lives with his wife Elaine on a secluded 29-acre ranch in East Texas which features solar panels, a well, a garden and shooting range.

 

Book Notes

My impression when reading George’s book and a few of his blog posts is that he’s wonderfully negative. He’s not a fear monger, but he has a realistic perspective on larger issues. He brings out things we preppers may not have thought of.

This is important because, as I’ve said numerous times before, we need to know what’s going on in our world. It’s because of that crazy world that we’re prepping, isn’t it?

While George tackles technical issues, I don’t think you’ll be baffled. However, if you miss some of the technical info, you’ll still come away with the overarching concepts he shares. I appreciate his historical perspective. Have we created our own worst nightmare? You’ll get caught up in his book as you read.

Issues he tackles include…

  • Economics, globalism and socioeconomic changes
  • Surveilence and its dangers
  • Viruses, worms and other malware
  • Cyber war and terrorism
  • Systemic vulnerabilities, including EMP threats
  • What the future might look like, including 3D printers and desktop manufacturing
  • Limits of complexity
  • A few solutions for you and me
  • Planning for life without the Internet
  • …and more

 

Our chat About Big Ideas

The first question I asked George was whether he took Y2K seriously. I was gratified to find that he did. As 2000 rolled in he was on a well supplied sailboat outside Seattle. Nothing noticeable happened then, but that didn’t mean big problems weren’t lurking behind the scenes.

But the problems with Y2K were largely programming and software issues. We face greater, more complex threats today.

One such threat is electromagnetic pulse (EMP). What if it comes from nuclear attack? Or what if it comes in a different form from intense solar activity? Either way, when it’s over and batteries and generators run out of fuel, life will be much different–maybe like the 1800′s.

What’s the greatest threat to the Internet? Could it be a terrorist attack? Or will people back away from the Web because it’s no longer seen as useful or productive? Will people get tired of being spied on by marketers, employers and the government?

Is there an Internet “kill switch?” Why might such a thing be activated? What might happen if it’s used?

Are we too hooked on what George calls “digital cocaine?” Have we become mentally imbalanced? What’s happened to our relationships and morals? Does everything follow a business model of some kind now?

The impact on the labor force is huge. We’ve imported so many jobs overseas because so much can be done online from places like India. And what has been the impact of robotics?

The nature of work has changed. One example is photographs–taking them and distributing them. George and I reminisced about that a few minutes.

Other large questions come to mind. What has happened to the quality of information and news we get when everybody’s broadcasting events to the world by using their smart phones? What about copyright laws and intellectual property infringement?

The Internet has changed our language and how we use words. Can following such changes predict the future?

And in that future, do you have the necessary job skills to survive? What changes will you need to make to your lifestyle to develop and use those skills?

 

And finally…

George is quick to say he’s not anti-technology. But he is skeptical of where things are headed. And what he does in his greenhouse is more important than what he does on Facebook.

Hear my whole interview with George Ure when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for December 6, 2012. You get a bonus half hour because we were given the luxury of extending the show. I applaud George for holding forth in spite of recovering from the flu. It’s my hope that he’ll be a guest again in the future because there’s so much more to talk about.

Check out George’s sites at www.UrbanSurvival.com and www.peoplenomics.com.

George’s book Broken Web: The Coming Collapse of the Internet is a DestinySurvival Pick. He says it’s only meant for people who use the Internet. If you’re reading this, then his book must be for you.

To get your copy, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. You’ll be taken to the Amazon page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process. It’s a Kindle e-book, but remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, get Kindle for PC free from Amazon.

I’m interested in your comments. Are you preparing for the day when the Internet won’t be around? Or do you hold a more optimistic outlook?

 

 

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