Monday, July 20, 2009

Battle hymn of the Internet

The Internet is under attack.

You probably know this already, but may be thinking that what's happened to yourself or a friend was a minor incident that involved "just you" or only a few people, and that you guys were just unlucky.

You may not realize that what's happening on the Internet is widespread and very serious because it's not getting any TV air time. After all, if it really was important it would be on the TV, right?

So each of us individuals aren't seeing the bigger picture of what's happening. Perhaps it's because we don't understand how fast things happen in the computer/network world, or perhaps we trust our "representatives" in Washington to protect us and the Internet, and will step in to fix things the minute the problems can no longer avoid mention.

To review: the Internet is far and away the best tool ever devised by mankind to level the playing field between the have's and the have-not's (i.e. the original concept of democracy) and can give us all a shot at better lives, helping others and making the world a better place - which, in case you haven't checked, isn't on the agenda now and hasn't been there for a long, long time.

Who would want to see the Internet degraded, even destroyed?

Those with power do not give up power. Ever. No matter what it takes. Through the magic of consolidated wealth, the fewer and fewer people with the power now have so much control they can mesmerize a population into launching and sustaining a military invasion for only their interests.

A free Internet challenges this whole way of doing business. It shines the light of day into the darkness of their minds and enterprises. It makes possible not only access to information, but, most importantly, contains the seeds for tools (coming soon, if not pre-empted) that has been missing from the people-side the political equation since the dawn of politics: the means to organize

It goes without saying that the very idea of organized people is anathema to the small group with the power and wealth, which were never intended to be distributed. Do you remember the game of Monopoly, where in the end someone usually winds up with all the hotels, railroads, etc., and wins the game? Same in real life, as money and power are gained and consolidated into the hands of fewer people and interests.

How else to explain how the spirit of America could have delined so much over the years?

Would the people with the power kill the Internet outright? Of course not. That would bring about rebellion against themselves. What's a better way to get the job done without any linkage back to them? This is where our problem really becomes clear: all they have to do is nothing, and just leave the dirty work to the attackers. It's called "using a proxy", and we've seen it before.

How many highly skilled programmers are among our enemies and are busy working on software to attack our Internet and computers us with? How many millions of people across the world bitterly hate what they believe is American arrogance and belligerence?

Maybe there was a time when America's enemies distinguished between our rulers and our people, but our protracted impotency to do anything to stop the onslaught of killing and destruction must by now have earned their disdain.

How could the Internet be destroyed?

It doesn't have to be destroyed, just degraded or controlled, so it no longer carries the potential to grow as our information source and organizational platform. In an aside I'll not that advertising on whatever is left of the Internet will persist and grow, of course.

To see how this could happen requires these simple understandings: 1st, the power of just a very few skilled programmers working together. 2nd, understanding that this is psychological war, the likes of which mankind has never seen before. This means accepting that something brand new can exist.

The formula for psychological warfare is basic and simple: first control the media, then you control the message. Then use your mastery of language and library of clever phrases to repeat your theme in appealing messages countless times to stick it into the unconscious minds of listeners.

One perfect example of effective spin: we allow these attacks to be called
"viruses", which our computers can "catch" if we're not careful (think STD). Goes with the territory and is the very nature of the word. And people accept this word by repeating it. What's the problem? The word is completely misleading. These
"things" are really hostile attacks launched by people to harm other people. Does "virus" conjure up that imagery? Why not?

Because some really intelligent people see this happening, we are starting to see some really good alternative news websites with information and opinions from really smart people that can actualy make a difference. The missing piece, so far, is the "how to organize" part, but left to our devices this will be solved.

What is happening today, and must be stopped, is people turning away from the Internet as it's positive imagery is slowly (slow boil!) being supplanted with negative imagery. Towards this end, there's nothing quite as effective as a few costly "virus" attacks. A person burned once or twice by these attacks tends to get defensive and gun shy, and aren't so fast to get back on the horse and do more with it. Instead of embracing the Internet and making it better, it's back to the TV set!

It might be interesting for you to consider that TV and telephones operate now on the same mechanics as the Internet - so wouldn't you think they would also be attacked? Maybe the attackers just didn't get around to them yet?

In a nutshell:

1st: the world has no shortage of highly skilled programmers. Some number of these programmers have joined together to create and unleash these attacks. We don't know how many there are, but we should know it doesn't take very many.

2nd: The handful of people who control most of America's power are pre-occupied with pushing propaganda for their own interests - and have no interest at all in seeing the Internet become a political challenge, thus they are very unlikely to do anything to stop these attacks (other then some great sounding catch-phrases, of course!).

Thus there are (at least) 2 major forces at work seeking to destroy the Internet's greatest gifts: programmers who want to hurt America, and the psyops campaign controlled by the relative handful of people holding America's power.

Why the alarm?

The speed with which things happen in computer/Internet-land is awesome, even incomprehensible. After more then forty years of programming computers, I continue to be flabbergasted by how fast things move in this world.

As for the Battle hymn of the Internet: it needs to be written.


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