Why cyber warfare isn’t – Mike’s blog

Source: Why cyber warfare isn’t – Mike’s blog

The big problem is that cyber warfare is totally different to normal warfare, in fact it’s so different that calling it warfare at all is meaningless. In regular warfare you can build up your own defences without improving your opponent’s defences, and you can develop new weapons that your opponents will not have. This basic asymmetry is key to the very concept of war: the side with the better weapons, defences and tactics should normally win.

But cyber warfare doesn’t work like that. Because everyone uses the same software infrastructure, and the “weapons” are nothing more than weaknesses in that global infrastructure, building up your own defences by fixing problems inherently builds up your opponents defences too. And developing new “weapons” is only possible if your opponents are able to develop the very same weapons for themselves, by exploiting the very same vulnerabilities in your country that you are exploiting in theirs.

Successful spying is invisible and undetected. The infiltration of critical national infrastructure by enemies of the state happens quietly and without anyone realising until it’s too late. A successful penetration of someone else’s infrastructure yields an unforgettable intelligence report that makes the government feel successful and in control. A successful penetration of your infrastructure yields nothing visible at all.

Keepers of the Secrets | Village Voice

Source: Keepers of the Secrets | Village Voice

The stacks under the library can hold 4 million books (the actual number in storage is lower, though no one is quite sure), which are delivered to the reading room by 950 feet of miniature rail running at 75 feet per minute. But the real gem of the library, in Lannon’s view, is the stuff that you can find only in boxes like the ones now strewn across the table. … These collections aren’t digitized.

Lannon said that Google had changed the way people sought information. “They only want information based on the information they think they want,” he said. As a rule, he said, archivists at the library should give you the box you’ve asked for — but also suggest another box. There are fewer opportunities, now, to stumble into a world you don’t already know. “It’s important to look outside of your own existence.”

Consciousness Goes Deeper Than You Think – Scientific American Blog Network

Source: Consciousness Goes Deeper Than You Think – Scientific American Blog Network, by Bernardo Kastrup

is the mere lack of attention enough to assert that a mental process lacks the qualities of experience? Couldn’t a process that escapes the focus of attention still feel like something? Consider your breathing right now: the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils, the movements of your diaphragm, etcetera. Were you not experiencing these sensations a moment ago, before I directed your attention to them? Or were you just unaware that you were experiencing them all along? By directing your attention to these sensations, did I make them conscious or did I simply cause you to experience the extra quality of knowing that the sensations were conscious?

distinguish between conscious processes that lack re-representation and truly unconscious processes

our partial and tentative explanations for the alleged rise of consciousness may concern merely the rise of metacognition

Challenging the Dogmas of Right and Left – The Atlantic

Source: Challenging the Dogmas of Right and Left – The Atlantic, by David Frum

Two authors, Mark Lilla and Henry Olsen, see a politics rejecting the broad messages of Roosevelt and Reagan for the narrow claims of victim-group grievance and purist ideology.

Olsen and Lilla share a message: Politics must be affirmative. Opposition—whether to “big government” or “white supremacy”—is a mood, not a program.

The haunting question behind both books, however, is whether there still exists the social basis for the politics they want.


The Once and Future Liberal, by Mark Lilla
The Working Class Republican, by Henry Olsen