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Reverberation Revolution By W. River

With the advent of personal computing, and in the flourishing of electronics in general, the character of society has been changed dramatically.  The industrial revolution, and its many accumulated innovations have transformed society.  With continuously increased computing power, and application of the processor, it has, or more accurately, is, creating an era of transformation.  As with any destruction, a certain amount of creation is realized.  The destruction of the millennia of social structure of past, has given way to new structure, and new opportunity.  Our understanding of physical effort has changed.  The life's experience of the past without electronics was almost entirely sequential physical labor.  Labor, such as production of goods, was primarily accomplished through manual labor or with hand tools, the labor of animals, or through natural processes, rather than complex machinery; or, the coordinating efforts among other laborers, or between teams of individuals.  The cotton, armament, and automobile industries were responsible for more efficiency and output.  This combined with the increasing complexity of machinery increased production. Production to satisfy the needs of markets (and the control thereof) has moved from the use of guilds; craftsmanship among family; localized production through the essential needs of the community; agrarian capacity; and trade routes, into a complex global train of manufacturing, warehousing, and communications networks.  Similarly, the control & manipulation of modern manufacturing and labor is an equally complex arena.

​Electronics, and the subsequent microprocessor, has created the opportunity to realize vast efficiencies.  This wealth creation has been a boom for human progress in the form of force multiplication.  Processors work quietly in the background automating tasks, while being able to store data in a somewhat intelligent fashion. The natural progression of ingenuity through technology is moving from the distinctly human physical based society, into one blended by technology.  Increasingly, our world is dominated by this technology and information.  This transformation will undoubtedly yield much more dramatic results.  Social issues such as equality may be further challenged, as a society of haves and have-nots is increasingly created. Criminal opportunists (and hence global cartels) have so far proven themselves adept at capitalizing on any given situation.  Examples, such as using borders to move alcohol during prohibition, or using data networks to manipulate currency markets come to mind.  Providing technology to one segment of society, while denying to another is no different.  The industrialization of microprocessor capability will be the same to what we have been subjected to throughout this industrial revolution.  A quick survey of the progress of the trans-humanist movement will help provide a context for you in understanding these coming challenges.

​It is often presented to us, or we tend to think that it is the customer, or consumer being the driving force behind increases or changes in production.  The marketing interests being the visionaries through whom our consumer desires are being answered.  The manufacturer equals the provider.  This is far from factual.  What is actually taking place is that we are immersed in a world of consumerism.  Deeper insight into the true market forces that are shaping these consumer electronics markets, and broader consumer industrial tapestry that we are increasingly being surrounded by, yields a more focused look at the trajectory we have been placed upon.  Upon investigating the hidden handed world of patents, intellectual property, invention, and psychology practiced as a function of time, you start to understand the world of marketing and industry as a much more established science.  As opposed to the more accidental, cyclical, pedestrian explanation we are accustomed to.  For a reality based upon truths revealed, allows us to ask increasingly more probing questions.  Where is this all leading?  How did we get to this point?  Let us dig deeper.

The intent of this article is to challenge the reader to think of the nature and scope of this battleground we are faced with today.  Even as I welcome opposing views of the material presented, as well, I would encourage the reader to consider other than the predominant themes being placed in front us.  Media that portray our choices as merely selecting from a list of products are portrayals of convenience.  It is par for the course when making an argument to first establish the argument itself.  (Editor’s note: the first rule of debate is the one that forms the argument wins the argument.)  Not bringing into the discourse the methods of psychology employed to lead the consumer to creating the idea that the consumer is choosing from the full set of choices, is not telling the whole story.  Illustrating this by using the personal computer as example, the shopping list may be to store your data on an external drive or store to and retrieve your data from the cloud.  The cloud offers us a level of redundancy as the data center is backed up and remote.  However, where in the marketing material does it explain the massive industry of data mining?  Does it delve into the world of the intelligence community’s unquenchable desire to collect and store data?  In the early days of the data communications explosion, it was common to borrow space on a friend's server to store data.  The physical location of which might be across the room or across the city.  That has given way to other possibilities.  However, if the opposite were true and we still relied on friends and other small businesses, we may not be discussing the cons of allowing large corporations access to your data.  In other words, who is truly deciding the products and services we surround ourselves with?  Are you seeing the store for the shelves?

​As with many examples, at first, the carrot on the proverbial stick placed in our view seems innocent enough.  However then, unintended consequences become the primary factors, and motivators.  To explain this, we only need to ask ourselves the importance of cell phones, data centers, and other intelligent devices we come in contact with in our lives on a daily basis as compared to a mere two decades ago. And consequently, consider the importance of security and potential destruction of these resources that we now hear so much about or may even be involved with.  How many times in the past two decades have we been subjected to the terms, “battery life”, “virus protection”, “Trojan horse”, “cyber security”, “hacking”, or “system failure”?  As you may realize, the trend of computing or data security has been one of safety from intrusion, or destruction of resources.  These issues were minor, or even nonexistent in the early days of computing.  To visualize this trend, we only need to look back to the mid-1990s and remember the astoundingly vast amount of data and services that was accessible in that early explosion of the Internet.  At that point, was injected an insidious movement into our discourse, cyber and enterprise security.  A new industry was born.  Our Internet was changed.  Consequently, the character of obtaining information was changed.  Prior to this new movement, the focus was one of exchange of information.  Afterwards, the characteristic was one of need to know. Security became the highest order of business.

​However, in order to evaluate a true measure of security, one must weigh all threats against our intended results.  Not only do all actions have an associated (however seemingly disassociated) cost, such costs can come back in quite unpleasant forms.  If one's goal is to simply protect our devices from total failure, we might consider our security efforts somewhat of a success.  If we expect a level of security that includes privacy, some of us may (if even falsely) believe we are secure.  However, if we expect the choices we make by consuming electronics, data services, and consent to increased surveillance, to have little negative impact on ourselves and our society, I will argue, disappointment, and associated costs, will come in spades.

​Although, this is in no way an advocacy of abandoning windmills, waterwheels, or the fine craftsmanship of past; it is also not a manifesto in Luddite terms.  This could easily challenge the sentiments of the reader.  As our progression of industrialization has been one of inelegance: “out with the old, in with the new” this is what industry demands of us; hence what is “in vogue”, both cyclical and progressive, dominates even industries as essentially basic as firearms.  We are therefore conditioned to think of technology in linear fashion.  Although, I respect the desire of some friends to live as Amish, I myself do not view progress as an avoidance of technology.  It is the opinion of the author a balance of technology will be not only of great benefit, but essential to moving forward.  Both high and low tech progress is the dynamic solution.  Now extend this into capitalistic (and communistic) terms.  In much the same way as the control of technology (and labor) offers a desired level of manipulation, the allowance of it, offers a level of progress.  This to me is the greatest takeaway, if anything else, is to understand that that basic measure, or unit of progress is one of allowing the solution to fit the problem; and furthermore, understanding that this belief is antithetical to communist doctrine; and finally applying this knowledge to forthcoming articles regarding the choice, or if you believe as I do the movement to force data into the cloud, and lessening control of processing power.

​As the term implies, revolutions tend to be cyclical.  Not only being a process of change, but also, ways of old reestablish themselves.  Reverberating political structures, monetary systems, and means of production of prior times reoccur.  Such as in the tribes of the indigenous people of Bougainvillea Islands to reestablish their own means of production through revolt, change came in the manner of the self sufficient production of arms, and setting up an international banking system.  This was a true example of adapting and overcoming.  This traditional culture, a dot on the map, did not abandon all modern life upon going against the World's banking elite. Quite the opposite, they used technology to enrich themselves and survive.  Even being isolated, they allowed for the technology they could sustain.  In the next article we will apply battlefield doctrine to this issue, and pose the question, whose battle are you fighting?  And as we are further exposed to the newest “en vogue” computing fashion, how do our choices effect this battle?

Editor’s note: W. River is a software tech and is directly involved in the “cloud” industry.  This is why I approached him to write about this topic.  His views and assertions are not necessarily those of Tim Siewert LLC.  We look forward to more from him and welcome any opposing views from credible sources.  This article has been edited by Tim Siewert LLC only to the extent for spelling, grammar, and some punctuation for clarification.