The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released their annual Global Information Technology Report. The newsy aspect of this year’s report is the slippage of the United States from first place position to seventh. Cold northern countries seem to do very well, with Denmark and Sweden in first and second places respectively, Finland in fourth place, Iceland in 8th, and Norway in 10th place. Canada just fails to make it into the top ten, ranking 11th place.
While reputed to be a cold country, most of the Canadian population hugs the 49th parallel (our two largest cities are actually below it), an option the other cold northern countries don’t have. If there is a correlation between cold and degree of ICT (Information and Communication Technology, an acronym seeking to replace IT), then with global warming Canada will face the prospect of having its position on the scale decline even further. Hopefully the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP will gang up on the Conservatives to create environmental legislation to stop global warming and prevent such a tragedy.
The report uses the WEF’s NRI to measure ICT. Isn’t learning new acronyms fun? NRI stands for Networked Readiness Index. It is an index composed of three sub indexes which address
- environment for ICT offered by a country or community
- readiness of the community’s key stakeholders (individuals, business and governments — in other words, everyone)
- usage of ICT among these stakeholders
Basically, the report measures what sort of access people have to ICT stuff and how many of them are actually using it. Believe it or not, there are still people who choose not to be connected to the internet. If we in Canada are to get into the top ten, these slackers must be encouraged to get internet accounts. Otherwise we must suffer the shame of being behind the Norwegians. Get with the program people!
If I weren’t so lazy I’d look into the details of this report, since there’s something about it which smells a bit fishy, namely Japan’s ranking of 14th place. The Japanese are so wired that they are the people most likely to virtualize themselves and disappear from the planet into cyberspace. I’m sure I had a problem with a server the other day which could only be explained by a virtualized Japanese person using it as a squat. Yet Japan rates below Canada on a scale which purportedly measures how wired a country is and how much the population uses this technology?
Get real. Or virtual, as the case may be.
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