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Captain’s Log, year 2000 and Info-Society development

Captain’s Log, 2000 supplemental:

Finland Losing the Grip in Info-Society Development

by Jukka Paulin (18 April 2000)


This text is a historical reproduction, vis-a-vis from the year 2000 homepage writings. I was then a systems programmer on a Java security project, and
blogging about the Possible Future scenarios in IT.

Introduction

I was purely amazed at the news, when I found out that the state of Sweden is strongly supporting the building of a fixed internetwork to the country, while Finland is not.

When I discussed the matter with my friends, I got
answers like “Well, we Finns are a people who like
to drink beer a lot and not care about things so much
anyway, it’s not so important to build an ubiquitous
Internet…” Can you believe that?-) Excuse me,
maybe I am a bit techno-freakkie, but this sounds like
a poor excuse.

Connecting every household with a fixed line would bring a whole new array of services and possibilities at hand.

I personally experienced this when I recently moved out from Leppävaara to Otaniemi campus area and am now
happily connected with a 100mbit/sec line. Compared to the often-disconnecting 56kBps modem, I’m in heaven now 🙂
There is no threshold for accessing a certain service anymore, as there was with the phone line. For example,
the Helsinki City Guide Map is a very handy site, as are the various timetables I can access from the web.
I can read the news of the day, communicate with friends across the globe, read foreign news and expand my
world view, etc. I couldn’t manage without the net anymore, now that I have it. You don’t automatically have to be
a Net Junkie, it’s there when you need it and that’s it.

Finland (in year 2000) is no longer a steam and paper -run society, wake up! The infotech is actually the only thing we
got, and we better hang on to it. It will benefit us all, like the coming of electricity did. Can’t you see patterns
in the history?

Reasons?

Who needs reasons when you got… ignorance? There
certainly seems to be some sort of attitude problem
among both the computer science students and personnel
in HUT. People have not realized the true meaning of being
open and helping others to learn things.

Computer science is seen by some as a
secret trade which shall never be revealed to outsiders
.

These people, unfortunately, seem to take pleasure in seeing that someone else
doesn’t know how to use an awkward, cryptic computer system.

I recently posted into a newsgroup (tik.opinnot.trak)
and complained about the bad user interface and unreliability
of a certain home assignment returning system, and what I
got as an answer was totally unsatisfactory. A student
told me basically that Java is a totally useless language,
it is good only for crashing machines, and Graphical
User Interfaces (GUIs) are not useful, they “belong
to schools of lower level”. The teacher said
that the graphical user interface is just an add-on, and
people should use e-mail as the true means of returning
their assignments. We are talking about an algorithms
and data structures course. By reading countless A4’s
you learn nothing.

By visualizing the algorithms you would definitely boost learning, I’m pretty certain of this. I just can’t sometimes believe
I am actually hearing these sorts of bad arguments from the “futuremakers” of Finland.

I am sometimes pondering whether the teachers have a true interest in seeing their students learn things
or is it just that they’re waiting for their next salary.


The government of Finland makes a big mistake in
not investing in fixed internet network, as Sweden does.

Incomprehensible excuses are offered why this is not sensible, like that
we’re actually concentrating on wireless stuff. Well of course, but still, that shouldn’t be mutually
exclusive with the fixed line project, should it?

Simple corrective action

In My Humble Opinion, (and this applies still as of 2010),

  • cut down the unbelievable spaghetti of bureaucracy in Finland.
    A friend of mine has gone through the process of putting up
    his own company, he surely knows what it is. People are not
    the least supported in making their own living by determined
    action, individuals are flatheaded in this passive system
    called social security, which in addition to devouring
    huge amounts of money produces no activity.
  • less restrictive laws governing just about everything
    There are too many forbidden things conserning eg.
    Internet domain naming, advertising (don’t people have
    a thing called brains to decide what is good for themselves?)
    and copyrighting.
  • cut down the prices of simple electronic transactions.
    WAP and other services will never become popular
    at the current prices. I see a future of ubiquitous
    electronic services at affordable prices.
    It would surely make life easier, why try to make quick
    profits by keeping high prices? Electronic services
    should be affordable for even the less well off.

Articles covering the topic

The Abcnews Technology Section

2 thoughts on “Captain’s Log, year 2000 and Info-Society development”

    1. At least what exists, are several future scenarios (each one of us can have one’s own). When I wrote the
      article 10 years ago, in 2010, I felt strongly a crisis ahead. It was back then specifically about the
      – in my opinion – wrong solution of not having the government accelerate significantly the
      broadband cable solutions in Finland.

      “Futures”, the scenarios, always interest me. I know that in the next 5 years from now on, we’ll
      have cybernetic (but not necessarily called with that name) extensions to the body which will
      be exactly as natural as nowadays carrying a cellphone is.

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