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Technology: Unpredictable, Unreliable and Unforgiving

Consider today's cyber security and power grid demands (think India's recent blackouts and America's own rolling blackouts and brownouts during inclement weather), and you'll quickly appreciate the risk pressure points that technology puts on corporations and governments alike.

My most immediate and painful professional experience occurred a few weeks ago. Our company computer crashed and, aside from being practically "closed for business" for days, there was a loss of about 20% of the data. Yes, we were humbled to review our data back-up protocols -- lesson learned. Still, when I considered how little we use paper files, which are available regardless of power, I was painfully reminded of our dependence on computers.

While today's investor trading can be reduced to -- or perhaps raised to -- nanosecond bursts, as we said back in my mainframe days, "GIGO" and "Nothing allows you to make a mistake faster than bad data, bad accounting and a computer."

So as we celebrate all of the benefits of technology, let us remember that nothing exceeds the experience, heart and soul or decision principles of the original human being.

Damn those machines. Long live professional insight, common sense and the indomitable human spirit.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
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