Coordinating the Digital Chaos


Remember Hal, the computer?

His full name was HAL 9000 and in 1968 he was the latest of the dazzling new machines called ‘computers’ that were only then a tool for academics and an extravagant possibility for science fiction writers. HAL was a projection of where computers would go in a movie about evolution, so the sky (and even outer space) was the limit. HAL was a computer so advanced that he (it was given a male voice) had run of the spacecraft that was headed toward Jupiter in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The film based on an Arthur C. Clarke novel not only revolutionized science fiction movies, but it gave us some indelible images, including the moment the murderous computer is unplugged by the surviving astronaut on the ship, while singing “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do,” which was, apparently, an early training program used while HAL was in construction.

Any-who, good old mutinous HAL. It turns out he was a bit too all-knowing and all-seeing, managing to read the lips of astronauts there were trying to talk in secret about him (or it). But, like it or not, HAL certainly did one thing that is serious bragging rights among science fiction stories: He managed to predict the future. Computers, as predicted, have infiltrated life in a close to omniscient style. They are everywhere and they are doing almost everything.

The problem is, now they have to get coordinated. Too many computers spinning around in too many directions would make for nothing but digital chaos. How is the march of progress going to deal with that?

Operating systems

First, thanks to Microsoft, we basically have one standard operating system. It is hardly universal, but software developers around the globe recognize the benefits of universality here. A basic agreement between machines on the systems that make them run helps many machines doing different tasks at least talk to each other.


We tend to forget that English is becoming the global language of choice. Yes, just like Windows 8, it is not the one universal language out there by any stretch, but it does help when 914 million people speak the same language. Some estimates are a touch higher, but one linguist estimates the number of non-native speakers of English outnumber native speakers 3-1, making it the global choice of language in the world of commerce.

Cloud Technology

Cloud technology is all the rage and it simple means that individuals and individual companies will have so much information stored in their networks that they will have to have remote servers to store it all.

Think of the possibilities for global chaos if all that data gets mismanaged somehow? In contrast, think of that one visit to a doctor’s office in which a patient needs to have diet, allergies, childhood illnesses, current medications and economic information all at the ready for doctors to decide on treatment options.

One overlooked allergy and doctors can get a treatment plan very, very wrong. But there is a less dramatic option, which is that doctors can get it slightly wrong. But when it comes to health, optimum is considered the only choice.

Just ask a company like VitalSpring how complicated and how critical it is to coordinate up to date Ehealth care data. New cloud systems allow doctors, patients, insurance companies and other stake holders to stay on the same page. Even going to the gym or time spent on a treadmill can be recorded and shared instantaneously.

A patient’s results at the gym could indicate tiredness. Cloud data allows doctors a look at this if the proper system is put in place.

Finance is certainly one aspect of life where coordinated records are essential, as is the world of education, the world of criminal record keeping, the world of real estate records and a few other social spheres. But the obvious, dramatic example is in the field of health. One overlooked allergy and doctors can get a treatment plan very, very wrong.

How much data does a news agency need to have at the ready? What is news without the proper historic perspective?

Cloud technology is how all this gets coordinated.

Digital Security

With cyber theft making headlines, business with consumer data stored on its networks are on the front line, whether they like it or not. If you’ve got confidential data, concerning health, financial or otherwise, you’ve got a security headache, pure and simple.

One Big, Happy Internet

Someday, your company’s IT department is going to realize that there are companies that specialize in security, data storage, coordinated access, intelligence solutions – the whole digital ball of wax.

In theory, it is one, big happy Internet out there and it runs far, far better than anyone watching “2001: A Space Odyssey” might have predicted in 1968. But the risks are as enormous as the movie predicted, it’s just that the moral of the story is different. In real life, there are no bad computers. This isn’t science fiction, so it turns out it isn’t HAL you have to look out for after all: It’s the humans.

Featured image credit: Business person pushing symbols/ShutterStock

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