«Workshop held 9-10 January 2008 in Arlington, VA Prepared for US Strategic Command Global Innovation and Strategy Center (USSTRATCOM/GISC) Prepared ...»
At the moment we do not know if such a global financial meltdown is highly likely, merely possible, or unlikely, but it is surely possible. Prudence demands that we make some plans in advance for how to survive such an event, and survival may be at issue for some, since increasing fractions of people live in urban centers and rely on industrial production for their daily consumption, production that could be interrupted if systematic economic disruption were to occur.
So far my remarks have been more about globalization than the cyber-domain. Indeed, the way I see it, it is not so much that the cyber-domain affects globalization as it is the other way around, that more or less exogenous processes of globalization have great effect on the cyber-domain.
That is, as global-reach of low-cost production brings high performance computing and fast Internet connections to great numbers of households around the world there is increasing confrontation of globalization’s urgencies with traditional cultural systems. From such confrontations there can arise conflict or cooperation, depending on the context. Surely in some environments people will view the intrinsic value system of globalized production as sufficiently opposed to their traditional values that they will form organizations actively opposed to the further encroachment of the global economy on their lives. Such organizations could work peacefully or use violent means, and today we do not have a deep understanding of the determinants of one strategy over the other. However, we do not even have a good behavioral understanding of the previous effect, that is, the kinds of contexts out of which active opposition emerges. Surely simple behaviorist theories that one often finds in the press, say, are too simplistic, that mere contact with Western standards and beliefs breeds disdain. For it is a basic research question as to the exact way people sort information containing confirmatory evidence of their world view versus how they assimilate disconfirming evidence.
Ultimately, there is a kind of dialectical connection between processes of globalization and the cyber-world: one begets the other and has a tendency to turn it into its opposite. More accurately, there is a kind of co-evolution afoot of the cyber domain and globalization processes, and it is difficult to see just exactly where it will end up. Anyone willing to offer hard forecasts is Deterring VNSA in Cyberspace probably guessing, at best, or trying to sell something in the typical case. In order to properly understand the connection between the two processes we need to do basic research on the interrelation between information technology, on the one hand, and global business practices on the other. Such a research program is eminently do-able with available knowledge and research methodologies today, but it is not clear who would be the primary consumer of such research, and therefore who should fund it. We would all profit from having a stream of basic research bearing fruit concerning how the developing world is using their access to the cyber world, whether it is shaping their views of Western values (or lack thereof), and how this depends on educational background, religious affiliation, income level, and so on. Short of having such a research program, we are left to guess about how all this will turn out, and what it means for US interests, in the small, and for future generations of humans, in the large.
Deterring VNSA in Cyberspace
2.C Innovations in “Cyberism:” An examination of the changes to Cyberspace in the coming decade by Ken Steinberg, Savant Protection Copyright © 2008, All rights restricted without explicit written consent Preface The intent of this paper is twofold; firstly, to provide visibility into the innovations being made in “cyberism” and technology which will shape our world in the coming decade, and secondly, to understand the potential role these innovations will play regarding deterrence against cyberwarfare.
The topics covered in this paper represent only a few of the changes cyberspace will experience in the coming years but they are perhaps some of the more profound. Cyberism is still in its infancy and many of the uses of cyberspace have turned out to be inadvertent afterthoughts, not deliberate planning. The natural growth of technology and the Internet has created both wonderful and worrisome outcomes. If we are smart about how we design the advances of the next decade, the chances are good that the world can continue to benefit from the electronic fabric we are weaving into our lives without suffering the potential pain it may bring.
Prudent and effective development can only be done with forethought and only through collaboration. As is often the case in capitalism, and intentionally so, an environment is created that fosters innovation but discourages collaboration. The time may be here for the government to step in and take the leadership through its science and technological agencies. It may be time for science and society to step forward together and take an active part in the next phase of the world’s digital development. Cyberism is not technology. It is the use of technology in society.
It is this use, for good or evil, which we need to meter.
The Age of Intelligent Data Marshalling
Computing, over the past twenty years, has passed through two distinct stages of development.
The first decade, after the introduction of the personal computer, was focused primarily on the refinement of hardware and the central processing unit (CPU). While other advancements of note were made, most of the true innovation was aimed at increasing CPU capability while decreasing size and power consumption. In contrast, the last decade has been spent developing the infrastructure necessary to take advantage of the new-found computing power in collaborative and distributed environments, as is made evident by the growing presence of the Internet. While both areas will continue to benefit from innovation, cyberism is about to make a shift into a new, yet complementary arena.
Over the next twenty five years, cyberism will usher in a new stage of growth. This growth will focus on data, its storage and new appreciations of its use. The underpinning for this growth will be a movement away from CPU-centric computing to data-centric interaction. Computers, and computing, will become relegated to nothing more than data access interfaces as the introduction Deterring VNSA in Cyberspace of two new concepts change the way users think about computing: Intelligent Memory Cores (IMCs) and Data Marshalling Units (DMUs).
Intelligent Memory Cores (IMCs) will form the foundation for the strides of the next decade in cyberism. IMCs are a combination of high density, static memory storage (ex 500 GB) with intelligent, specialized, mesh network-enabled CPUs. IMCs, due to their intelligent nature, will be tasked with classifying and relating all information that is under their immediate control. All data; upon creation, manipulation, and destruction will be meta-tagged and semantically analyzed. This omnipresent “marshalling” of data will redefine how humans interact in cyberspace as information is thought of in terms of its use and relation instead of its edges. The use of cyberspace will, though data marshalling, better approximate the natural way humans process and access information. DMUs will facilitate relational and fuzzy connectedness so that humans can concentrate on data use, not on constant organization. The concept of “edges” (i.e.
where data is stored, how to get at it etc.) will move away from physical space and embrace nspace with the only constant edge being ownership.
Cyberspace, when facilitated by IMCs, will be uniquely customized based upon the data view desired and the capabilities utilized to gain access to related data (see topic on Sphere of Influence). Present-day computers will be replaced with more tightly integrated, microscale/man-machine interfaces through which cyberspace users will command DMUs to find, analyze, use and present information in line with a particular need. The concept of file systems and storage devices will quickly dissolve as the combination of IMCs and smaller, cheaper, less power-hungry DMUs emulate human thought patterns allowing for a far more intuitive use of information.
Immediate Data Transmission Closely accompanying the concepts of edges and data-centric computing, serious consideration must be given to the hypotheses being put forward in quantum mechanics as they related to computing and in particular networking.
Over the last ten years, network speeds and access ubiquity have grown at an exponential rate.
Gigabit terrestrial networks can be bought for the home. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can deliver multiple megabits of throughput via fiber to each household and wireless access continues to climb by tens of megabits every other year as advancements in frequency use and digital data transmission are introduced.
What has not been openly discussed is the potential for immediate data transmission using quantum entanglement techniques. Quantum entanglement will allow for the immediate transmission of sub-molecular states between two particle pairs regardless of the distance separating the two. This will allow changes in one particle to be immediately reflected in the second regardless of distance. A simple application would be to consider counter-clockwise and clockwise spin as a values of 1 and 0 respectively. Change the spin on one member of a pairing and the “value” is realized in the other pair member instantaneously. This is no different than the physical transmissions seen today except for the lack of true particle movement.
Deterring VNSA in Cyberspace This will create opportunities for transmission of information without physical media. While mind-numbing to imagine, this is akin to informational teleportation using quantum complexity.
The net result will lead to the ability to transport terabytes (or more) of data instantaneously to one or more points on the planet’s surface (or further).
Working within Spheres of Influence
As the physical nature of cyberspace blurs, with the merging of laptops, servers, handhelds and cell-phones, users will simultaneously embrace and reject ubiquitous means of information access. Signs of this reality can already be seen in the arguments regarding the introduction of open operating systems for handheld devices and the loss of control this will force on service providers, both terrestrial and wireless.
This contiguous informational point-of-view will apply to both inbound and outbound data acceptance, dissemination, and control. As a result, users will strive to gain better and more granular control over where, when, who, why, and how they will interact with the cyber-fabric.
This control mechanism can be best visualized as Spheres of Influence (SOIs).
Spheres of Influence are analogous to present-day rules systems that will allow a user to define personal data flow (inbound and outbound) based upon a number of parameters which might include trust, time, place, privilege, and speed. Through the use of SOIs, users will control not only the parameters by which information is reaching them (voice, video, data and/or combinations thereof) but also outbound data sharing and broadcasting.
The maturation of personal IMCs will usher in new methods of interaction as each portable, mesh network capable device functions far beyond simple data and voice access. Personal IMCs, coupled with innovations in data transmission and audio-visual capabilities, will allow each user to offer vicarious experience as IMCs become individual broadcast stations with twoway communications. Spheres of Influence will allow users to knowingly broadcast certain types of information either on-demand or by choice to SOI consumers being inbound aware. Clear examples are; teenagers broadcasting their current music selections to a circle of friends or battlefield commanders gaining multi-dimensional situation awareness through direct data sharing with front-line soldiers.
While it is easy to imagine the progression of computing devices towards broadcast capable qualities, the maturation of these hardware/software components will be severely hindered until SOI controls are in place. As lives continue to be invaded by new digital media devices and as these devices adopt full duplex communications (vicarious transmission), consumers will demand more control over this media. More attention will be paid to how media is allowed to impact private lives and how sharing occurs. Spheres-of-Influence will provide the foundation for how consumers compartmentalize their lives and regain the privacy they require in order to stay functional in a digital world. The inability to disconnect from the flurry of digital information, if left uncontrolled, will either have a profound effect on social behavior or drive wholesale public rejection of certain media efforts. SOIs are a critical underpinning for the acceptance of digital media and the potential invasion of privacy it represents.
Deterring VNSA in Cyberspace Blurring the Man-Machine Interface It is generally accepted that the physical interface between man and machine will blur and blend over the next century. Not generally considered, are the two means by which this will occur and the repercussions they will cause.
Physical Blurring • Near range, low power wireless networking has made possible what would have previously been impossible due to medical considerations. Although there has been significant discussion regarding the use of subdermal (below the skin) and transdermal (protruding from below the skin) implants, the appearance of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria has significantly reduced the amount of work going into transdermal interfaces. The risk of exposed wound sites is too large given the manner in which MRSA invades the body.
Subdermal interfaces linked with surface wrapped interfaces will be used in the new age of computing where the man-machine interface will remove the need for keyboards, mice and screens. Voice synthesis algorithms and input devices have made significant technological advancements to the point where vocal pickups will become more effective, especially in subdermal interfaces where environmental influences (random noise) can be filtered.