A New Mind Set

We need to get on the hi-tech train with the rest of the world. We seem to be against everything intelligent and scientific—you know like a simple credit card or debit card that can’t be easily hacked…like the European nations have had for 20 years…that’s 20 years. Over there the card is called an EMV and of course it doesn’t have that stupid magnetic strip that can be easily hacked. EMV stands for Europay-Mastercard-Visa.  That’s right, our own Mastercard and Visa are the producers of these cards with chips in them. And by the way, Euro-Pay was gobbled up by Mastercard years ago…so it’s just Mastercard/Visa who allow most of the world to be using almost fool-proof cards while we’re using last century’s technology. It’s kind of like our bridges and highways that are crumbling and get more expensive to fix the longer we put off things that are needed. We could have switched over when the Euros did, but why bother, we don’t like banking regulations so let the dumb colonies use the magnetic strips for twenty years past their prime and now they are telling us it would be so expensive to switch over.
There’s a country called Estonia and no, I don’t want to move there. I’d just like to talk about how their people do business day to day. First we must realize this country has been invaded by somebody every time they turn around. After Denmark and Sweden invasions, Estonia declared their independence in 1918, formed a parliamentary republic, wrote a constitution and the new government started in 1920. Fourteen years later a coup started the “Era of Silence” (I tried that in my house and it didn’t work) until 1938. Once again a new constitution was written and a new government was formed and it lasted two years. The Soviet Union invaded, 1939, and took over Estonia for one year. Hitler’s German army invaded in 1940, threw out the Soviet Union and took over until 1944. The German’s left and Estonia re-enacted their 1938 constitution, formed a new government and it lasted FIVE days. Here came The Soviet Union again to take over the country. Damn! Can you imagine living like that?
OLD TOWN TALLINN, ESTONIA Old townTallinn Estonia

That lasted until the USSR broke up in 1992 and Estonia once more started their own government under the 1938 constitution. They reformed and re-wrote it in 1992 and this is where the “magic” started. Instead of going day to day with their heads down and depressed this large nation with a small population of 1.5 million people (Pop. of Hawaii) decided that this country would be run by “young and smart” entrepreneurs who wanted the best for each citizen and each business. (If you’ve used SKYPE it’s based in Estonia). Estonia re-designed their entire information infrastructure from the ground up with “openness” “security” “privacy” and “future-proofing.” Instead of a Social-Security number that has no relevance, every citizen there has an ID number that is relevant. My friend’s Estonia number would look something like this: 35810184454. The first number, 3, means it’s a male born in the 20th century, followed by the year, 58, and the date 10/18, and the 445th baby registered born on that day. The last number, 4, or whatever number that might be is a computational checksum to easily detect typos. In 2000, Estonia legislature passed the “Digitals Signatures Act.” They standardized a National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) which binds each citizen’s ID number to a cryptographic key. You should google PKI to understand what a secure, private, smart way to conduct your business….your life. The entire de-centralized government became digital…no damn paperwork. Yes, everything is backed up in a cloud which is backed up in another cloud. If the whole country would be destroyed, they could download their information and start a new country anywhere else with all the systems intact. Is that cool or what?

Every citizen pays a flat tax of 21% and as they get their paychecks, pay their mortgages, earn interest deductions, etc, this is all reported digitally. Every citizen can file an online tax return and get their refund within 48 hours. Every citizen votes on line and participation is truly democratic. Their personal ID’s and Passports are embedded with two chips, one for legal signatures and the other for online web identification…almost impossible to be hacked or have your ID stolen. Every citizen controls all their personal data and only they have the right to access it at any time. Every time access to their data has been attempted by anyone, an online report with “who” tried to access your information is flashed to you. If a citizen sees that an official has been snooping on them without a valid reason, the citizen can file a report and get the official fired.
All of the citizen’s medical and prescription records are digitized and available and you can assign access to them to any physician or pharmacist that you choose to use…cool. Each person can use a Mobile ID-Sim card from their cell provider and gain access to secure sights and sign legal paperwork just by typing in pin numbers.

No, I don’t want to move there, I just want what they have— for me and you. I want that mind-set to think of ourselves as a start-up country. I realize we haven’t been invaded every time we turn around, like Estonia. But, what would happen if we did have a horrible situation happen in America? Would you trust those old fools we elected to lead us out of the abyss?
Estonia could be wiped out, and they would download all their liquid digital files, establish internet connections, re-elect officials almost immediately, and re-establish property records, tax information, health files, birth and death records, etc.  I want to be a mobile citizen, just like that.

Right now in America, we would just wander around for months and months looting, shooting, tooting and crying like babies.

About bakoheat

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5 Responses to A New Mind Set

  1. Joan Raymond says:

    For as modernized as we are supposed to be here in the states, it seems we are back in the Dark Ages compared to Estonia. Great post!

    • bakoheat says:

      Thanks, Joan. Only country still not using metric system. When I was in grade school in the ’50s, they told us we would soon be switching over….a…yeah. Our system is useless, trying to remember how many inches to feet to yards to miles, etc. Metric all in ’10s, so that’s one reason every country in the world has better math scores. It’s easy to teach and learn.

  2. Joan Raymond says:

    We are also one of very few countries that still use fahrenheit instead of celsius – which is also easy to teach and learn. I agree we need to step up our game or wonder why we’ve been left behind.

  3. heyannis says:

    Wow, Dan. Lots of “news to me” info on Estonia. Sure seems like they’ve figured a lot of things out. Thank you. xoa

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