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September 25, 2008

IT or MIT: Information Technology or Mis-Information Technology

Filed under: common man, science, social change — neosurya @ 07:46

A friend sent me a blurb about section 49-O. There are lots of emails circulating that 49-O is a section where people can tender a -ve vote and thereby cause a re-election. The emails are simply forwarded by individuals who do not bother to verify facts.

The bad part of it is that it is called Information Techology, and it can also spread Mis-Information. This is not true just in the context of rumors, it is happening in professional circles as well.

My office has a comprehensive system to process payments. I have not yet recieved rent, salary, or any other payment for the past several weeks. The “system” does not have the ability to tell HR when these payments will be made. Due to reliance on computer-driven “IT” systems, HR cannot pick up a phone and ask the relevant department when a particular payment would happen. They have to send an email, register a ticket and wait for a confirmation. 🙂

All the same, IT has significant advantages if people use it carefully. This mis-information in part could be because of human nature. For example, we spread rumors very easily without thinking of consequences. Information Techolology has made it all the more easier to do it. Similarly, most IT systems are designed to be air-tight, take control away from the human, and put the onus on software. This arises out of mistrust of the human’s ability to do the correct thing.

Some corrective action may be taken by casual internet users themselves. If a false claim is made on a blog/email, we should at least think of letting the author know. Of course, this centers around wether one has time or not. :-D. In fact, I myself could be wrong about certain things. Feel free to comment.

PS: The erroneous blurbs on 49-O are here:
http://erasmus-in-india.blogspot.com/2006/07/rule-49-o.html
http://cybi.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/1961-election-rules-section-49-o/

The real story may be found here:
http://rastrindia.googlepages.com/rs
or better yet, here:
http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/cer1.htm

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