Globalisation through cyber connectivity
By Shahidul K K Shuvra
Nowadays understanding globalisation is vastly connected to the Tour De Force of cyber connectivity. Every thing can be done within World Wide Web, WWW, and acts outside the cyberspace are almost worthless to influence a state and individual. A new world order was being on the way after the rise of internet and its dominance across the earth is going unbridled.
Invasion of the west in Asia and the Indian Ocean from the 15th century has been narrated as a part of globalisation. Besides the context of businesses in 1930s it was used in the human experiences regarding peoplesâ€™ education. Since 1980s the term went through many conflicting definitions.
Literarily globalisation is known as the unification of the world's economic rules by reducing barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, transit levy and import quotas. It is the course of expanding wealth, goods and services with integrating international division of labours with facilitating international relations, specialisation and competition. Regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through communication, transit, corridors, transportation and trade.
The transnational circulation of ideas and views, linguistically connection via practicing foreign languages or textual translation, all sort of cultural exchanges and dissemination also belong to the term globalisation.
The disputes of the cold war had been sparked since the end of the two world wars. The nations belong to the communist block were fostering socialist economy against the capitalist countries. After the breaking up of the Soviet Union and knocking down of the Berlin Wall globalisation started getting focused. Especially Information Technology, IT, is defining globalisation with a newer outlook after 1990s.
Three times Pulitzer Prize winner author Thomas Friedman went into in-depth study of globalisation in which he found internet is backbone of the coinage word globalisation. The on going globalisation is powered by cyber connectivity has taken the place of the cold war. His books â€˜The Lexus and the Olive Treeâ€™ and â€˜The World is Flatâ€™ lucidly discussed on globalisation and about the world navigating ability of the people.
Before the idea of cyberspace some historical components were controlling the destiny of human beings. At present internet fuelled globalisation is determining the fate and fortune of them. Dialectics in society and class struggle theories are yet to be updated with the outlooks behind the internet. People are stepping back from calling themselves historical determinists. The course of technology involved globalisation is re-naming the flow of history differently as technological determine.
Innovative individuals are going ahead with the info-tech to defeat traditional methodology of businesses. A revolution can be kicked off from a garage wherein few boys are developing new software, even dropout students who acquired expertise in software manoeuvring can revolutionise the world and they can be richest persons before the age of 25.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are not academic, at all not scientists, not from business background but they got all the aforesaid tittles with the innovations and adopted technologies.
Facebook was invented by Mark Elliot Zuckerberg to connect his friends on a website and Linus Benedict Torvalds enriched his personal operating system Linux by sharing on the web. At the beginning of their mission they never imagined the world knocking success that they have achieved till today. Their background in technology and innovation didnâ€™t only make them world influential persons also they changed the way of communication. 25/26 years old Jawed Karim, a Bangladeshi German American, is one of the three who founded You Tube that catapulted tools of video and music sharing.
Professional hacker Julian Paul Assange became a hero for his Wikileaks site that revelled many direct truths and hidden secrets. His acts instigated cyber and social thinkers to rethink about computer ethics and related issues. So far posted information on his site turned to be a treasure for historians, politicians, journalists etc.
Scientific discovery is a result of individual imagination and it canâ€™t be universal until appreciation comes from the public. Its development dependents on widespread application. At present cyber communication is set on more interactivity and it is stronger than the traditional e-mail system. This is surprising that e-mail is going to be a traditional cyber media.
In 1969 Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the US Department of Defence planted the seed of Internet for connecting computers at some universities. The networking mission called ARPANET was set up for creating a large computer network with multiple paths. Computer scientists of the military and secret services wove their networking formula to save data and information from nuclear attacks and other disasters. As a back up mechanism on the site was to safe from attacks or damaged by other occurrences. During the attack all the information would be saved and passed to the undamaged part of the network. Later the internet technology came out from the military periphery and since 90s it is reshaping economics, social ideas; and cyber disconnected individuals are out of the track of the development.
The definition of a super computer is continuously changing and a handheld device like mobile phone may behave like a super computer. Data storing capacity of a computer is rising day by day, once the information storing space of a huge computer of a big research lab was only 5 to 10 GB (gigabyte). Currently a personal PC and even handheld device are able to store information of several labs and archives. This makes a technologically sound and innovative person more change-maker than, to some extent, collective workers of a laboratory and such person can be stronger than a state in the third world.
Urgency to outsource works to the developing countries by the richer West is necessary if they want to survive in the severe capitalist competition. This is the second recession blew the western economy. To rescue themselves from the economic turmoil they have to outsource works and adopt new technology for cost minimisation.
Investment is on the click, it can be done from anywhere of the world. Your location isnâ€™t a matter when you are logged on to the internet. One can access information and set up communication from a village of a remote region with a friend doing the same from Africa. Anyone can be well connected in the cyberspace and can explore oneâ€™s resources from anywhere in the world.
International terrorists are associated with cyber terrorism which is a great threat to the world peace. According to some thinkers terrorist attacks by fanatics is also connected to globalisation where internet played one of the prime roles. Devastative attack on the Twine Tower in US reportedly was done after cyber analysis.
Cyberspace is the place to disseminate information; 100 gigabytes file of a nuclear power station design can be passed to another nation. Formulas of the weapons of mass destruction can be sent to the terroristsâ€™ inboxes, trans-border terrorists can keep communication via the cybernetic tools. Border strain canâ€™t slow down their communication.
Privacy is under a threat for making citizen data based, going personal information and record of telephonic discussions to the servers of the mobile phone operators. Social networking sites are gripping surfersâ€™ information; hackers and intruders can bring havoc to the cyber commuters. To crack down on terrorists the richer nations are patronising citizen data development. Anyone can be tracked down on even from other nation.
Still it is out of the focus that within a decade cyber war will be headache like recent war on terror. Hackers can collapse a nuclear reactor, transactions of financial institutes could be stopped for virus attacks, spy software could kill a system after stealing billion dollars worth information etc. Bankruptcy in the era of the globalisation is one of the common phenomena and internet fraudulence will boost up the cyber criminals to precipitate more bankruptcy.
Physicists and engineers are somehow involved with military researches. As a result internet has been developed by Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the US Department of Defence. It is almost inevitable for the military establishments of the developed nations to focus with a big fund on cyber technology and warfare. Cyber attacks on the developing nations can be intensified when the system crackers will find security loopholes are available in the east than the west.
After the cold war, for globalisation, states are strengthening and confining their borders. Communication among some nations is getting harder. Imposed restrictions and fears of terror attacks limited free movement of the people. So cyber communication is the alternative to reduce the distance. It is an opportunity for the investors and creative people, and also terrorists can accomplish their mission through the internet.
Connecting all the parts of the world with lowering trade and political barriers and adding digital techs in doing business can confirm a desired development. If the citizens want to survive in a densely populated country they donâ€™t have any other way than setting up a well-built cyber society. Penetration of Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs, at the grass root level can change social and economic conditions. There is a prevailing reverse interpretationâ€”with better ICT infrastructures a nation in which no content, no innovation and no info-management are available can invite multinational companies and parasite culture to create market and businesses. Cyber exploitation can be started in that way.
It has been said that globalisation is inevitable for Bangladesh but the country couldnâ€™t occupy a minimum cyberspace. However, the country already branded as a Digital Bangladesh in the last election pledge of Awami League without ensuring uninterrupted electricity, still it is following traditional IT education, failed to connect industry with education system, just for lack of policy bandwidth is unutilised etc. Gigantic multinational software companies are getting here businesses without investment, only a few staffs of them and partners are selling their products of Crore taka, neither they are investing nor employing our software engineers with handsome salary. Mobile phone subscribers have no scope to escape from the ill-net of telecommunication companies, they are trapped in.
Politicians in the cabinet are talking in favour of transit, corridor, free flow of information, free economy and trade zone. But accessing the global villages through the internet is not getting infrastructural and policy supports. Very lately and limitedly Bangladesh Bank introduced online payment gateway. Full-fledged e-Commence yet to be popularised so that freelancers can subscribe some sites and take the outsourcing works. Even a story writer canâ€™t participate in an international story writing competition with paying two dollars reading fee. Still it is out of calculation that tech-based freelancers in the country are generating much revenues than the software industry is supposed to create.
Generally conceived distance between day and night has been removed because it is not possible to sleep half of the world when another hemisphere of the world is working. Data entry company and call centres are acquainted with working at the same time of the two hemispheres of the world. Mobile phones and internet penetration are spreading fast but the gap of the digital divide is also widening much. Despite the spreading connectivity it seems navigating world becoming harder for those people who lag behind in right technology adaptation and managing it with required savvy. http://www.theindependentdigital.com/index.php?opt=view&page=56&date=2011-11-23
Anniversary Supplement of The Independent
Shahidul K K Shuvra