Stock market answering to Tsunamis

March 11th, 2011

A two-feet high tsunami hit the eastern coast of Japan today. While the toll of human lives remains to be calculated, the extent of destruction is estimated to be huge. 8.9 on the richter scale, this earthquake is greater in magnitude than what man can remember in the past many years.

Not to mention, the extent of control that technology can extend in this form of destruction is limited. With Japan consuming electricity from fifty-five nuclear reactors, and its dependence on the form of energy, it is difficult to imagine the secondary impact of the tsunami, as hospitals and emergency support that is dependent on electric power will be unable to function, even in unaffected areas.

With the stock market beginning to calculate the loss in financial terms, the loss to human life, the trauma and destruction to families and people will be largely incalculable. While the corporate environment saw the need for re-insurance during 9-11 attacks, the same industry has been the first to rock at the happening of such an event.

The only relationship I see with technology, has been on the concept of torrents. When open-source developers applied their minds to bring together a collaborative technology to upload and download content from the internet, which reduced the burden from file servers that were challenged by large number of users downloading data. Collaboration brought relief to the burden on resources. Social technology is much the same, where we have seen technologies such as Ushahidi bring people together to provide relief in natural and man-made disaster situations.

With power being shut down on an attack spanning this extent, what will be the continutity plan that  leadership and technology will be able to deliver, is what remains to be seen.

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