As our monies, ideas, emotions flow through the digital infrastructure, our money (Money is the top trending item in India nowadays – black, white, banked, un-banked, cash, digital and so on) is essentially data. Britons found out an equation no less profound that E= mc*c that time is money. Today, time is not only money but data is money.
Money is needed by all as a medium of exchange because unlike a tree we cannot stand in a place and do all biological activities, including reproduction. It was once sea-shell,then metal diced, then paper printed and now a pattern of bits.
Money has no intrinsic value but our collective belief and trust on it. Civilization’s march has seen changes in the intrinsic aspect of money but the faith that money is backed by collective faith has remained unchanged.
Photo Legend : Infoconglobal Chairman Mr. Sushobhan Mukherjee felicitating the musicians of Surma Dohar
The rich and poor alike need money. The rich fear that their money may be stolen, confiscated, de-monetized or they may not be able to possess ( legally or illegally) the money in the future. The poor fear the same with the added irritation that rich have more money than what they have. This tension appears to be eternal as Nature Herself seems to be aiding it.
Since money is changing its material carrier from metal, paper to bits and codes in binary, the question rich and poor both ask is : how secure is my money in its storage and in its flow ?
In Wild West movies, we used to see ambushing a train carrying currency or gold. The “outlaws” were heroes in a sense that they absorbed the rich-poor tension and had a Robin Hood aura. Since rich are always lesser in number than poor, democracy must channelize this real, deep-rooted, intense and ever-present feeling to its own advantage, i.e. to have the greatest number of faithfuls. We are finding a Wild West type of heroes emerging in our times when money’s storage and flow are both in the form of codes and information strings.
This new species is called Hackers. One speaker in Infocon told that a brilliant young man in Banglore while being interviewed told that he was interested to become a hacker, work for few years and retire with millions. He is is not wrong in his judgement. If a train full of billion dollars worth of money moves in a dangerous terrain and a mercenary says that at 10% commission, he guarantees safety, the business makes perfect sense and the “owner” of the train will happily oblige.
If a poor man now finds that he needs to travel in the same route and if he pays a small “protection money” for the store and the flow, he will also oblige.
The power now lies not in muscle and feat of arms but in the domain of mathematics, statistics, programming, cryptography. One cannot point a gun to a cryptogram and ask it to tell its secret.
History has proved again and again that super-excellence of such skills cannot be trained or ordered by amazon.com. These kind of skills appear in extremely unlikely places. Hence a very rich man’s store and flow of money is threatened by the inner workings within the head of a young man in some classroom and in an unknown and obscure school.
The poor must protect themselves being careful and aware. The must educate themselves. For the rich, the same prescription will not be enough. They are too visible and they will be attacked institutionally. They must think in the future. They must contain and remain a benefactor to those “unknown enemies”. In plainer English, they must see the social contract in a different manner.
Infocon 2016 Team
Infocon 2016 has been a very successful event and great learnings. Here is the photo essay of the Event