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US Needs To Create Non-Computer Back-Ups for Utilities

We just had 2 serious ransomware attacks in America. First the Colonial pipeline, with a multimillion $$ ransom paid to the cyber attackers. Then came an attack on JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company. All JBS-fed beef plants and regional beef plants were shut down.

It is bad enough that international cyber criminals are staging these attacks, and causing havoc among private companies, but what about terrorists ? These could be individuals, terrorist organizations, or even unfriendly countries. And what if the targets they hit are essential utilities like the electrical grid, dams, water treatment and sewage plants, traffic lights, telephone and other communications systems ?

Should we be living with question marks pertaining to things we fundamentally need, to function as a society ? The reason why we are in this mess, which is getting worse as time goes by, is that in recent years we have connected all these essential utilities to computer systems, and made them be reliant that way.

What the US needs to do is have non-computer systems operational, like those that existed for decades before computers even existed. I hope this doesn't come as a shock to anyone, but all our essential utilities functioned nationwide, completely without the help of a single computer. Two world wars were fought without any computers in use.

In the wake of the Colonial Pipeline attack, Biden issued an executive order calling for an upgrade to the federal government’s way of handling cybersecurity. He also created a new Cybersecurity Safety Review Board, led by a private-sector representative and the Department of Homeland Security, that would produce reports on cyberattacks, after the fact.

While these moves are helpful, they only address security from a computer controlled context, which if nothing is done apart from that, won't the whole country still be in serious danger of major shutdowns of just about everything ? Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are well old enough to remember the days before computers, when everything worked, and nobody had any worries about ransomware attacks.
It is time for these old systems to re-emerge, and provide back-ups to our current systems.

 

Spamature

President
So we are going to use typewriters, calculators, pencils, paper and the mail, to run the country after 60yrs of using the computers that replaced them ?

Seriously ?
 
So we are going to use typewriters, calculators, pencils, paper and the mail, to run the country after 60yrs of using the computers that replaced them ?

Seriously ?
Yup. Unless you prefer having no electricity, no TV, no radio, no telephone, no clean water, no food. And if you are referring to PCs, they have only been here 40 years.

Yeah, we got along just fine without computers. Won 2 world wars without them.

1623776027265.png

1623776263261.png 1623776448013.png
 

Spamature

President
Yup. Unless you prefer having no electricity, no TV, no radio, no telephone, no clean water, no food. And if you are referring to PCs, they have only been here 40 years.

Yeah, we got along just fine without computers. Won 2 world wars without them.

View attachment 63548

View attachment 63549 View attachment 63550
Yes a giant analog system that would be extremely slow and difficult to run by a generation that has no experience working with such on the scale that it would be needed, that would be ruinously expensive to create, and we have to do it with manufacturing capabilities we no longer have.

This is a country where we say we can't even afford to fix the roads.

Understand this. The internet we use was not created to be secure. It was a laboratory toy we jumped up and ran with, and had not considered the implication of this back then.

It would be better to redesign the network, software and systems around security from the ground up than it would be to try to fit ourselves in your time machine and go back to a long gone era.

PS
Computers were used in industry decades before the personal computer was even a thing.
 
Yes a giant analog system that would be extremely slow and difficult to run by a generation that has no experience working with such on the scale that it would be needed, that would be ruinously expensive to create, and we have to do it with manufacturing capabilities we no longer have.

This is a country where we say we can't even afford to fix the roads.

Understand this. The internet we use was not created to be secure. It was a laboratory toy we jumped up and ran with, and had not considered the implication of this back then.

It would be better to redesign the network, software and systems around security from the ground up than it would be to try to fit ourselves in your time machine and go back to a long gone era.

PS
Computers were used in industry decades before the personal computer was even a thing.
Millions of people HAVE experience with utilities when they were run without computers. About the easiest thing in the world is to run utilities without computers.

Computers make running these thing MORE complicated, not less. I have no idea what you could be thinking here. "Ruinously expensive to create" What are you talking about ? There is no creating. Everything is already in place. You just remove the computer, and do things without it. You think this is somehow a big deal ?

"Manufacturing" ? What manufacturing ? There is nothing to manufacture, and if you think there is, post it here, specifically.

The computer fixing is something that is ongoing all the time, and it is proving to nit be quite up to the task. Oh you improve. THEN THEY IMPROVE. The one thing they cannot touch or dismantle is the non-computerized functioning of the pre-computer era, and no it was not long ago at all. I remember it like it was yesterday. Everything worked like clockwork, and was nit hampered by computer glitching.

As for the computers used in industry decades before the personal computer, have you ever seen them. I have. Thousands of square footage of large machines with reel to reel tape, that you would laugh at if you saw them now.

Relax. Having non-computer utilities is easy, inexpensive, and a lot better than constant power loss, no TV, no radio, no telephone, no clean water, no food.
Obviously there would be a few associated issues to manage, but they pale in comparison to being without electricity, traffic lights, water supply, etc.

And in many cases, things would be rather simple. Ex. the shutdown of computer generated fire alarm panels, could be backed up by smoke detector alarms.
 
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Spamature

President
Millions of people HAVE experience with utilities when they were run without computers. About the easiest thing in the world is to run utilities without computers.

Computers make running these thing MIORE complicated, not less. I have no idea what you could be thinking here. "Ruinously expensive to create" What are you talking about ? There is no creating. Everything is already in place. You just remove the computer, and do things without it. You think this is somehow a big deal ?

"Manufacturing" ? What manufacturing ? There is nothing to manufacture, and if you think there is, post it here, specifically.

The computer fixing is something that is ongoing all the time, and it is proving to nit be quite up to the task. Oh you improve. THEN THEY IMPROVE. The one thing they cannot touch or dismantle is the non-computerized functioning of the pre-computer era, and no it was not long ago at all. I remember it like it was yesterday. Everything worked like clockwork, and was nit hampered by computer glitching.

As for the computers used in industry decades before the personal computer, have you ever seen them. I have. Thousands of square footage of large machines with reel to reel tape, that you would laugh at if you saw them now.

Relax. Having non-computer utilities is easy, inexpensive, and a lot better than constant power loss, no TV, no radio, no telephone, no clean water, no food.
Obviously there would be a few associated issues to manage, but they pale in comparison to being without electricity, traffic lights, water supply, etc.

And in many cases, things would be rather simple. Ex. the shutdown of computer generated fire alarm panels, could be backed up by smoke detector alarms.
If you think so then do it in your own life and see how it works out.

For everything that involves a microchip, you use an analog solution as its replacement, pen and paper, checks and cash, phone booths and landline, pay by mail or in person at the counter for all transactions, mail or in store for everything you buy. Paper maps and the library, network TV or local newspaper and magazines, for all your information; etc.

PS.

Your analog military would probably lose to most of the countries on the planet.
 
A lot of the older power plants still have their manual switch gear rooms. They may need to be spruced up a bit but they are still there. This is why they old coal plants should be moth balled not destroyed.....they can be brought up in 24 hours, and many of them can put out 2,500 to 5,000 megs.
 

Spamature

President
A lot of the older power plants still have their manual switch gear rooms. They may need to be spruced up a bit but they are still there. This is why they old coal plants should be moth balled not destroyed.....they can be brought up in 24 hours, and many of them can put out 2,500 to 5,000 megs.
And a horse provides one horsepower.
Good luck depending on that tech as a basis for our transportation system.
 
If you think so then do it in your own life and see how it works out.

For everything that involves a microchip, you use an analog solution as its replacement, pen and paper, checks and cash, phone booths and landline, pay by mail or in person at the counter for all transactions, mail or in store for everything you buy. Paper maps and the library, network TV or local newspaper and magazines, for all your information; etc.

PS.

Your analog military would probably lose to most of the countries on the planet.
Before computers were here, US submarines roamed the world with nuclear warhead missles capable of reducing those "countries" you speak of, to ashes within minutes.

Some of these other items you mention I still utilize right now (paper maps, network TV or local newspaper and magazines, shopping in store, and pen and paper). Oh horrors, having to write something with a pen & paper.

You know what ? You don't accidently delete it that way, or have a hacker delete it for you. You write something on paper - you've GOT IT. 1623801458534.png

Come to think of it, my 1960 bathroom looked and functioned just like the ones we have today. Kitchen too. Traffic lights ? I see no difference. Heat ? Had plenty of it.
AC ? Had that. Electricity ? Don't notice any difference.
 
And a horse provides one horsepower.
Good luck depending on that tech as a basis for our transportation system.
What "tech" ? Before computers we had automobiles (non computerized) and I don't see a bit of difference between the old and new (except that auto mechanics were able to work on the older cars)
 

Spamature

President
Before computers were here, US submarines roamed the world with nuclear warhead missles capable of reducing those "countries" you speak of, to ashes within minutes.

Some of these other items you mention I still utilize right now (paper maps, network TV or local newspaper and magazines, shopping in store, and pen and paper). Oh horrors, having to write something with a pen & paper.

You know what ? You don't accidently delete it that way, or have a hacker delete it for you. You write something on paper - you've GOT IT. View attachment 63555

Come to think of it, my 1960 bathroom looked and functioned just like the ones we have today. Kitchen too. Traffic lights ? I see no difference. Heat ? Had plenty of it.
AC ? Had that. Electricity ? Don't notice any difference.
Yeah, many of them could do the same to us. Only using computers their attacks would be more accurate.

As I said, go whole hog and test your theory. Reject the digital completely and then tell us how it works out in comparison.
 

Spamature

President
What "tech" ? Before computers we had automobiles (non computerized) and I don't see a bit of difference between the old and new (except that auto mechanics were able to work on the older cars)
I used a horse as a comparison in capacity as in modern plants vs coal fire plants. Bitcoin mining which produces something that does not even exist uses more electricity than the plants you're talking about. You might as well build a solar plant and moth ball it. That way you don't need the intervening step of mining coal to power it.
 
Yeah, many of them could do the same to us. Only using computers their attacks would be more accurate.

As I said, go whole hog and test your theory. Reject the digital completely and then tell us how it works out in comparison.
I'm not rejecting anything, You're changing the subject.
 
I used a horse as a comparison in capacity as in modern plants vs coal fire plants. Bitcoin mining which produces something that does not even exist uses more electricity than the plants you're talking about. You might as well build a solar plant and moth ball it. That way you don't need the intervening step of mining coal to power it.
I have no idea what you're talking about, but I sense it hardly matters.
 

Spamature

President
I have no idea what you're talking about, but I sense it hardly matters.
A) old plants will not have the capacity we need.

B) If you are going to have a power plant sitting there idle, just waiting for "The Great Downfall", it might as well be a solar plant rather than a coal plant.
 
True, you are calling for an antique backup system for society.
While I am saying, the effort would be better spent creating a networking system that is secure from the ground up.
I'm saying that too, and Biden is working on that, which is OK, but it's not good enough. There needs to be systems in place -at least for essential things (food, electricity, sanitation, water, communications), that are completely computer free.

Maybe you are willing to gamble America's basic survival on computers. I'm not.
 
A) old plants will not have the capacity we need.

B) If you are going to have a power plant sitting there idle, just waiting for "The Great Downfall", it might as well be a solar plant rather than a coal plant.
Solar plants will not five us the capacity we need, nor will wind, thermo, hydro, tidal, etc all combined. but that is drifting.

Old plants have already given us the capacity we need, and far more than we need (ex. during World War 2)
 

Spamature

President
I'm saying that too, and Biden is working on that, which is OK, but it's not good enough. There needs to be systems in place -at least for essential things (food, electricity, sanitation, water, communications), that are completely computer free.

Maybe you are willing to gamble America's basic survival on computers. I'm not.
But we aren't doing that.

The current system was never designed to be secure, and it probably can't be made to secure. This was known from the very beginning, but it was overshadowed by the novelty and opportunity presented at the time the internet was made public.

The root of the problem that your solution can not fix is that by adding computers to the mix in the critical areas as we have, we have likely already made them too complicated to be controlled manually. You manual level will likely only give a signal to another computer controlled subsystem further down the line. Or that keeping a handle on what is going on in these very large system can be done manually either. The only reason they could grow to be this large is because we could depend upon computers to run them.
 
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