Sunday 19 September 2021

Is FINLAND Hooked on Digital HEROIN?

Money shot by Thanasis Papazacharias / Pixabay

CASH is king. But that's so "yesterday". Today Finland is digitalized. ATM machines are almost impossible to find. If you lose your phone you're up shit creek.  My accountant said she couldn't work without it. The Shark was in her hometown and wanted to stash some stuff in a train station locker – she wondered where the hell she could find a two-euro coin. Eki says he never has more than 20 euros in his pocket. I took the risk of getting caught by the tram police because I couldn't pay with my phone and forgot to buy tickets at a kiosk. If you don't have an online bank account you're cooked - long queues for cash at the few banks that have it, look like wartime ration lines.

I asked a taxi driver what would happen if there was a ransomware* attack on the banks, or even one bank, he said, "Oh, we're too small for the bad  guys to pay attention." Yeah. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I thought my new iPhone was secure – they installed a bunch of private info and my fingerprint. I was wrong.

If you CALL for a taxi instead of texting, you pay – Helsinki taxi charges 2.90 per call plus .60 per minute, while a recorded voice tells you this in Finnish, Swedish, and English and you wait for a real person to answer.  Finland's over-sixties population is approx, 200,00  and growing. As eyesights dim will they be able to cope with texting for just about everything? And then there are those bad guys, who lurk in the shadows ready to pounce. It might be smart to stash some CASH under the mattress just in case.

* Ransonosmware attacks on US cities have cost millions. (Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2021)

Sources: personal experience, friends, the net, Washington Post, the Economist

Next week: That DAMN WATER: what if the mighty COLORADO RIVER dries up?


Yep, we've become kinda sorta cyborgs. 

The phone is an integral part of our being. Running out of battery feels almost as if you suddenly lost hearing or eyesight - or your memory. You're missing a sense, your world just shrunk from a global presence to your immediate surroundings and your pool of knowledge got reduced to whatever you currently happened to hold in your meaty think box...

Sure we're hooked, but I'm not sure it's a bad thing. The lure of technology is based on the actual real-life benefits it gives.


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