Time For Upgrade?

Let’s start with THE NEWS of the day. Biden has won the elections in the United States of America today. Depending on which side you support, you are either relieved or disappointed. For the most part majority of the population is happy that the election rigmarole is all behind us. A few of my peers, friends and even my husband had a few rough nights with the stress of vote counting dragging on.

The techie in me wonders in this day and age why are we still operating in such a manual fashion. How hard is it to develop software that lets you vote online? With fingerprinting, iris scanning, face recognition and numerous ways to recognize an individual – it should be reasonably straightforward for software developers to come up with a digital voting system. Think about the benefits – no paper, much less labour, people can vote from the comfort of their homes AND faster results and probably more accurate. And for people who do not have that facility, we can use cyber cafes, mobiles. Yes, I understand that there is the threat of hacking, but the threat exists now with claims about social media influencing voters anyways.

This leads to me think about the interview on antitrust hearing that big tech CEO’s had to go through, which also highlighted their limited understanding of technology. For example, how they confused Twitter with Facebook in this interview short. Some would say that even a child would know the difference between Facebook and Twitter. I know other snafus happened before as well. 

Given that importance of technology in our lives today – we are truly headed to a digital age. How that age will pan out, we will have to see. But, the question is the governing bodies around the world capable of leading us in that age? Do they have enough understanding to make and pass laws/policies about technology? Most, importantly will they make decisions that impact the population of this world, keeping the tech lens in their radar?

I will leave you to make your own decisions – I do not have to spell it out. For most of the jobs in the entire world be it a janitor or a teacher or a VP or a CEO – there are basic qualifications you have to satisfy before you can even apply. But, for politics, there is no basic set of qualifications. I know of politicians in India who are not even that highly educated but rule their state and are a part of the governing body.

Now, the people sitting in these seats have to pass the law about themselves. How many of them will be willing to pass a law that says unless they clear these technical exams they cannot govern? There is a disconnect between the governance structure and the rest of the world. I do wonder, would we have thought about Coronovirus differently if we had a different set of mindset and attitude in the governments around the world?

What do you think – Is it time for Government 2.0?

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