In the Daily Express today, Tom Parfitt writes:
Martha Lane-Fox urged Britons to vote to stay in the European Union.
Dame Martha Lane-Fox, the co-founder of lastminute.com, said quitting the bloc on June 23 would erect “barriers” to a connected world.
The businesswoman worth an estimated £400million, added: “Overwhelmingly, internet entrepreneurs want to stay and we should listen to them.
“As a technologist, the digital single market would lead to enormous rewards for us as a country.”
Such a statement must be challenged. I wish I could have my challenge published in the national press but, on each occasion I’ve submitted an article it has been dropped neatly and efficiently in the trash can (waste basket to older folk like me).
As an expert in digital information systems (computers to the average person) and an internationally recognised expert in data centers, virtualization, cloud and big data systems, I am in a position to make that challenge.
Let’s first clear up the jargon. In my industry acronyms and jargon rule. In the public world this weird and geeky language only serves to confuse and baffle. The digital world is simply anything that is transmitted and received across computer networks. It’s a binary world and it’s based on 0 and 1. So, when people talk about digitization of companies and the way they operate, all they mean is that they use computers. The rest is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) and is used to create a fog that enables the ‘experts’ to bamboozle the rest of us, and themselves most of time. Well, not me because I’m on the inside and understand the language. I know just how disingenuous they can be.
Dame Martha Lane-Fox says in her first sentence that BREXIT will raise barriers to a connected world. What on earth does that mean? Simply, it’s FUD, plain simple, old fashioned, down-to-earth FUD. It is IMPOSSIBLE to raise barriers to a connected world. The Internet, which is what she’s alluding to, can’t be interrupted. Nothing can create a barrier. The Internet is a Mesh network with multiple redundant paths to each and every endpoint. Your computer, cell-phone and tablet are all endpoints along with every datacenter on our planet. Her statement is nonsense. If she is implying that someone can go into an Internet HUB, (a HUB is where the international fiber backbone connects a country to the Internet) and pull a switch and disconnect the UK she needs to go and sit in a dark room for a while. That is another total impossibility. To suggest it is abuse as she clearly believes that we would accept this ridiculous nonsense because we are simple folk and she is one of the elite who know about such things.
Her second sentence, within which Tom informs us she is worth ‘Loads-o money!’, states that an overwhelming number of Internet entrepreneurs want to stay and that we should sit up and take notice of their opinion. I work with Web entrepreneurs (and it is “Web entrepreneurs” actually. You can’t be an “Internet entrepreneur” as you have no control over the kit and the networks. The dear lady is clearly confused) regularly and I can report that most don’t give a damn either way. Some may well be keen to Remain in the EU, others will be motivated to leave for reasons not connected with their business. Her statement is sweeping and silly. She produces no statistics to support her assertions. Like most Remain devotees she uses FUD.
In her third sentence she says that she is a technologist and that the digital market leads to rewards for us as a country. Usual technobabble from someone who has no idea what she is talking about. The digital market is where I work every single day. It is simply data passing between points. 0s and 1s again. She is implying that this digital market could be disrupted by BREXIT. Totally, utterly IMPOSSIBLE. Can’t happen, won’t happen. Dame Martha Lane-Fox’s dotcom company is simply a Web site that is hosted on a bunch of servers in some datacenter somewhere. Her Web site will still be there the day after a BREXIT vote and so will the millions of other Web sites. The Internet, the hardware systems and networks that host the World Wide Web (www is an application that sits on the Internet), is out of the control of governments, people, organizations, companies and, well, everyone. It functions as a highly redundant network that no one body owns or can ever own. Yes, there are governing bodies and groups but, they can’t disrupt it. The Web is a ubiquitous application that you use when you launch a browser. Your browser is a simple HTML, (Hyper Text Markup Language: a language that is globally understood by Web systems software and browsers), interface to the World Wide Web and you use it to access Web sites. It’s all about international protocols that no-one can control. Dame Lane Fox’s business is identical to all other such Web based business. For her to suggest that BREXIT would cause this digital market place to even falter for a nanosecond is a pile of tripe.
Whether we like it or not the digital world is already with and has been for many decades. BREXIT will not, and cannot, change or interfere with this global exchange of data packets that race around the fiber and Ethernet networks companies, governments and each and everyone uses daily. So, don’t worry and recognise FUD when you hear it.