Universal bullshit

The map depicts those parts of Switzerland where the Swiss Post may no longer be required to deliver post in the very near future as cuts are made in so-called universal service. No doubt this evolution is the impact of extensive internet penetration, the liberalisation of postal services, sparking fierce competition particularly in parcels, and a general tendency to slash the budgets of state-run services.

Such an outcome was predictable. I remember discussions (1) in the early days of the internet about new internet-based services and the reassuring words of those working for administrations. They would never abandon existing services in favour of the Net. It wasn’t lies, they believed what they said. Just bullshit that took some effort to maintain. Now the mask is falling away.

Exclusion may well be a fact of life. There will always be the excluded. Those who no longer get the post. Those beyond the range of mobile telephony. Those who have never been on the Internet and never will be. Those who will never have a job. Those who will never read and write. Those who will never have enough food… Despite all the goodwill and/or vested interests of those that strive for universality, the goal is probably unattainable. Like those mathematical curves that get closer and closer to an axis, but can never reach their goal, the closer you get, the more effort required to get even closer.

(1) See two articles I wrote, Desire and exclusion. The never ending quest for universal access written in 2000, and Belonging and being excluded written in 1997, both on Connected Magazine.

My thanks to Elisabeth Norton for her response to my original post on FB which sparked this short note.

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