2012: The End of the Internet

According to research that’s supposed to be published later this year, growing demand for Internet use will soon outstrip the stamina of the infrastructure supporting it, and the Internet will cease to be reliable by 2012. Complete anarchy will ensue, and the world will essentially end along with the Internet we created for it. Perhaps this is what the Mayan prophecies meant?

Reasoning from a Respected ‘Think-Tank’

Despite tens of billions of dollars spent on upgrades, expansions, and renovations on networks throughout the continents, it seems that this isn’t enough to tide the hungry connected world at large. Aside from the high demand for entertainment such as YouTube, the demand for Internet service is growing at a rate of 60% every year. The statistic, which was drawn up by the University of Minnesota, didn’t take into account the percentiles of India and China, comprising about a third of the world population.

According to experts at Nemertes Research, “a respected American think-tank,” the Internet’s existing infrastructure in 2012 will not be able to cope with the exceeding amount of bandwidth. It’ll become overloaded and essentially… end. They predict that problems will already begin to show as early as next year, and they blame (specifically) YouTube, BBC’s iPlayer, and the amounting crowd of people who are working from home, utilizing the Internet. It’ll begin with users’ Internet connections becoming nonfunctional for several minutes at a time, but within just a few short years, there’re going to be vast brownouts where “PCs and laptops are likely to operate at a much reduced speed, rendering the internet an ‘unreliable toy.'”

I thought laptops were PCs? And wait– how does the speed of the Internet affect the speed of one’s computer overall? Hmm, this writing sounds a bit naive to me.

Reasoning from a Lowly, Humble Editor

In my ‘professional’ opinion, this is about as worrisome on a worldwide scale as the swine flu is (scary, yes; going to kill tens of thousands or even thousands for that matter? I doubt it). The fact that the author of the original article seems to be under the impression, whether told by the interviewee from Nemertes Research or of his own genius, that personal computers themselves are somehow going to “jitter and freeze” of their own accord and then the Internet brownouts will occur, just triggers some defense in my mind– a voice whispering the words “fouled up disinformation” perpetually. Perhaps I need to see my doctor about that.

The idea that the Internet is under a great strain is something I believe is true. More and more are people not only relying on the Internet for news, communication, income, and (mostly) entertainment, but they’re becoming addicted to it, spending hours upon it every day, and using a high amount of bandwidth month to month. I can see the backbone of the Internet bowed in several years, with some minor outages in areas that haven’t yet fully upgraded the infrastructure in lieu of demand, but I find it very unlikely that the Internet will one day permanently snap and become an un-fixable, unreliable mess with a mind of its own, sometimes working, usually not. I especially can’t see myself hitting my head on my computer until it’s a bloody mess because the mysterious 2012 Bug reduced my processor speed to an irreversible 133MHz, rendering it useless.

That’s just me, though. What’s your take on it? Is the Internet and civilization as we know it doomed for an ignominious death come 2012, or is this another Conficker Worm (knock on wood)? If you’ve any Armageddon Preparedness Plans, please list them below for the community to build upon.

When the Internet really does “break,” I’ll laugh as we slip into worldwide anarchy because we’ve been so connected for so long, and then you can send me hate mail for it– assuming you have access to your email. We might have to resort to stamps again.

43 Comments

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