Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Critical Systems Failure

Do you remember Y2K? This is what they were talking about.

Do you want to know how important your local government is to your continued freedom and economic liberty? Let's start with this: "the respect for title, proper documentation, contract law and private property rights are the underlying reason capitalism works in Western nations". That was said in relation to the massive foreclosure fraud being perpetrated across America in respect to our national banking institutions. That seemed to be the greatest threat to property rights last month.

But it relates to local affairs as well, as local authorities are usually the entities charged in keeping track of and ensuring title, proper documentation, contract law and property rights. Basically, local governments, through recordkeeping duties and the courts, keep capitalism working in Western nations.

So what happens when something goes terribly wrong, and all of this is thrown into disarray? We're about to find out, as the American Zombie investigates the massive and critical infrastructure failure in New Orleans.

Read and watch. The abstract? City property records vanish. Gone. Hard copies exist, but there are hundreds of thousands of them. They are not arranged in order (like an "unalphabetized dictionary"), because they were indexed on the computer. This index has also vanished. None of your backups survived. Reliance on computers to organize and record this data has failed, and you are thrown back into the dark ages of record keeping.

Every sort of civic transaction requiring real estate value or title to property grinds to a halt. Meanwhile, the government offices responsible for these records, and their computerized index, have never considered a critical systems failure of this nature a possibility, so they are unsure how to react.

And then...

Well, that's what we're waking up to realize this week in New Orleans, as the great common law consensus system that supports our fragile economy continues shrieking to a halt, and all corners of the community are affected in one way or another.

Stay tuned, indeed.

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3 comments:

Dante said...

Wow. What happened that they can't even salvage some of the information? Even something like a hard drive crash typically leaves surviving platters. Backups are important but occasionally verifying backups is even more important. But even with backups, digital media is a dangerous place to have your only copies. When you lose a piece of paper, it still exists somewhere. You just don't know where. When you lose digital data, it may or may not exist anymore. At the very least, since the data existed on paper anyway the index should've existed in a paper form as well. Too late now though and hindsight is 20/20.

Leigh C. said...

This is a huge problem in City Hall - the IT department is nearly nonexistent there, forget even a concept of backing up data. Things are getting better under this mayor, but this latest sets so much back.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

What happened that they can't even salvage some of the information?

Apparently the contractor being paid maintain the system wasn't doing their job correctly and the contractor paid to back up the system wasn't doing their job correctly and the government offices tasked with making sure the contractors were doing their jobs correctly wasn't doing their job correctly.