View­point

Business monthly (Egypt) - - INSIDE - ANIS A. ACLIMANDOS

Imag­ine that some­one went into a coma 30 years ago and woke-up only to dis­cover that some ma­jor changes have hap­pened in his/her ab­sence! It would be hard for any­one to ex­plain to that per­son that you no longer need a pa­per ticket to travel, that you can take your phone on the street and talk as you go prac­ti­cally any­where in the world. It would also be chal­leng­ing to in­tro­duce the con­cept of the in­ter­net and re­search on the Net… and it will be even harder to get into the med­i­cal field, DNA has rev­o­lu­tion­ized po­lice men­tal­ity and has made many se­crets im­pos­si­ble.

Dig­i­tal has killed the film and the de­vel­op­ing and print­ing in­dus­try!

I can go on and on about what hap­pened and the pace at which it hap­pened. It used to take cen­turies to go from hu­man and an­i­mal strength to steam, and from steam to elec­tric­ity and in­ter­nal com­bus­tion; but since the in­ven­tion of the mi­cro-chip, hu­man­ity has been float­ing on con­stantly mov­ing clouds. Slow­ing down is a lux­ury no one can af­ford, you blink and some­body, some­where on the planet earth, has passed ahead of you! The con­cept of buy­ing durable goods that will sur­vive you has be­come a fal­lacy, buy what­ever does just the trick you need to­day and get the new ver­sion cheaper in six months.

There are still many things that will be­come ob­so­lete and dis­ap­pear shortly, we know for sure that pa­per checks will no longer ex­ist. Their cost and the lo­gis­tics sur­round­ing their is­suance make them im­prac­ti­cal, plas­tic cards and on­line bank­ing will lead to the demise of this in­stru­ment. The post of­fice will never sur­vive the ease and se­cu­rity pro­vided by email and courier ser­vices, all you get in the mail to­day are ads, coupons and the even­tual hol­i­day card from your grand­mother or old com­pa­nies that still be­lieve in per­son­al­ized, signed wishes. I still en­joy them but will soon talk about them to the next gen­er­a­tions, as a thing from the past.

It is in­ter­est­ing to ask young peo­ple about the news­pa­per they choose to read. Very few read news­pa­pers ex­cept on planes if there is no WiFi. So much is ac­ces­si­ble in an or­ga­nized se­lec­tive form and for free that you al­most won­der why would some­body need to buy what we can all get for free.

The same ap­plies to printed books, our tele­phone land­lines and mu­sic.

Ed­u­ca­tion and an open mind are the only sav­iors. They em­power in­di­vid­ual cre­ativ­ity and al­low adapt­abil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity. As soon as you be­come rigid, you break or die.

The one thing that we are los­ing that scares me to death is: Pri­vacy. The con­cept is in real dan­ger. All I de­scribed above means that we talk pub­licly, we think pub­licly, our move­ments are ob­served and con­trolled by some you know and some you don’t. We also get our in­for­ma­tion from the same sources and re­spond ac­cord­ingly. Ba­si­cally, the brain driv­ers, be­hav­ior con­trols and on a lighter note, the body searches we must go through for se­cu­rity pur­poses, the way we pay our tolls and the sur­veil­lance cam­eras are all con­spir­ing to get rid of the very es­sen­tial con­cept of pri­vacy.

We don’t know yet what we don’t know, so we’d bet­ter get used to full ex­po­sure!

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