Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Dangerous Convergence of Technology and Warfare

Technology decentralizes power; military, political, economic, media, energy... all of it. Because once a medium becomes digitized, it must move with the laws of networked information. Distributed, connected, decentralized, democratized, Peer-to-peer ... Eventually grass roots. From the hands of the few to the masses.

The Internet is possible because of the computerized digitization of text, audio and video. The fight over music copyrights emerges from the digitization of audio. Pirated Hollywood movies can arrive online within hours of release because of the digitization of video.

The same pattern is also occurring within manufacturing which will soon give birth to desktop fabrication and crude (at first) replicators. A. I. will emerge as we get far enough down the road in digitizing intelligence. And this ongoing digitization of everything allows ever smaller groups to wage increasingly potent warfare.

This nexus of technology and warfare are probably the biggest challenge we face as a species. But the increasing acceleration and magnitude of political violence is also driving technological solutions to it. Ultimately the solution to global violence will be distributed as well, meaning we, the masses will somehow become the solution.

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