The Daily Bell
Issue 457 • Saturday, October 31, 2009
"A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving."
- Ayn Rand
Pig Plague Could Crash Internet?
A severe outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic could overwhelm internet providers' capacity, according to a report submitted Monday, which called on Department of Homeland Security officials to develop contingency plans to avert such a crisis. "Concerns exist that a more severe pandemic outbreak than 2009's could cause large numbers of people staying home to increase their internet use and overwhelm internet providers' network capacities," according to the report, which was prepared by the US Government Accountability Office. It went on to warn that the congestion might be so acute that stock brokers and other securities market employees would be unable to telework from home. The authors said the DHS, which is responsible for making sure critical networks remain operational during emergencies, needs to consider ways to mitigate the threat and held out the rationing of customer bandwidth or the blocking of websites as possibilities. "Private Internet providers have limited ability to prioritize traffic or take other actions that could assist critical teleworkers," the report stated. "Some actions, such as reducing customers' transmission speeds or blocking popular Web sites, could negatively impact e- commerce and require government authorization. - The Register
Dominant Social Theme: Panic sets in but worry not. The Department of Homeland Security will save the day.
Free-Market Analysis: Here is another example of a dominant social theme at work. Let us call this dominant social theme "plague" or "pandemic." It has all the hallmarks of the kind of meme or theme we like to present to our readers, especially those that doubt such themes exist. In our humble opinion they do, and this is an obvious one. It is broad-based, promises social catastrophe and must be attended to by equally massive government interactions.
Not only that, but the theme - or meme - is being utilized to suggest additional control of the Internet, which is of special concern to the monetary elite we think. It is a somewhat startling jump to contemplate that something like swine flu could end up being a justification for an emergency takeover of the Internet, but that seems to be what the article is implying.
Certain countries (Iceland is one, we believe) are actually scaling back on peparedness for swine flu because its symptoms seem mild and there is no evidence of a mutation that would make the virus more deadly. It is always possible of course that a mortal plague could sweep humankind but from a biological perspective, this does not seem likely. Viruses perpetuate themselves just like any other organism and a virus that kills its host will not long survive. That's why the bias for most diseases is toward less rather than more mortality.
Conclusion: We do not find much to fear in swine flu currently. We note that the dire predictions for Mexico and South America have not thus far come to pass. It does not seem that swine flu is even as deadly as regular flu. Nonetheless, the big pharmaceuticals have likely already made a killing off this disease as several are even now creating vaccines that are being purchased in large numbers by Western governments. There is controversy about the disease itself, about the vaccines - but one thing is certain. The specter of a plague continues to be utilized to create wealth and advance control.