John Robb points out that we've opened Pandora's box by using computer viruses against Iran et al. Essentially we are already in an undeclared war with them. When international dominance was about nuclear power, then nukes were limited to only those countries that could afford them. This sort of kept the USA and a few other major contenders on top.
But because cyber warfare is cheap, that means everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon and do it. We're not well equipped to fend off what will amount to a swarm of little bugs. We're loaded for bear, not mosquitoes. Essentially this paradigm shift in warfare renders most major governments what Robb calls "hollow states". It also means there will be a lot less freedom in the cybersphere as TPTB try to innoculate themselves against every new computer bug.
In that light, "the cloud" is not the best idea from the standpoint of trying to preserve your data from destruction or snoops. I think it's better to have it backed up on physical hard drives, or even hard media. Encouraging people to use "the cloud" was only good from the standpoint of spy agencies wanting to make some kind of "Blue Force" central brain to coordinate troops, or to look at everyone's data.
Drones may be getting exponentially smarter, but
they're only as good as the brains that control them. In other words,
hacking or otherwise messing with their electronics is the most effective way to neutralize drones. You could make a whole swarm of them drop out of the sky at once.
Likewise, it seems there's a lot of medical virus research activity going on. Same reason - it's cheaper than nukes and doesn't destroy the countryside.
The main problem with this new paradigm is that it's hard to shield against a swarm, whether it be germs or cyber attacks. The state may become horribly repressive while trying, but for them it'll be like playing whack-a-mole.
This sort of reminds me of the lessons we can learn from Medieval armor. At first the idea was to wear as heavy and thick armor as you could stand or sit on a horse in, because the other guy was going to try and hit you with a giant spiked mace or even a sword that was so heavy it took 2 people to swing. Then someone invented the rapier, which could punch through armor like butter, and people stopped wearing all that armor because it was pointless anymore, in favor of being able to move around fast.
The way around all this cyber mosquito-breeding is not necessarily to build a gigantic shield, nor is it to be the Central Scrutinizer. Those seem to be ineffective, unwieldy ways to try and stop it. Better to make it irrelevant, to flow around it like water. Like changing from heavy armor back to ordinary clothes, so we can jump out of the way. I think the way is to go from central control to autonomous, decentralized, localized systems and utilities. Solar panels, wood heat, biodiesel, underground houses, thermal pumps, etc. Home grown food with heirloom seeds or grown from cuttings. Home water filters. If electronics fail, then use hand delivered messages, or call on people in person to visit. Personal security. You get the drift. I'm not trying to be "green" here, I just think it's a good possibility we'll have a lot of disruption in utilities and the flow of goods, and if someone manages to get a good hit in, it'll be for a long time. So get your own systems, and try to have a little extra to give away and help people around you. Try NOW to set up something that your neighborhood can use - even if it's just memorizing knowledge so you can teach the neighbors how deep to dig an outhouse, or how to plant a garden.
Big central governments are now irrelevant. They are dead dinosaurs in their death throes. Do not expect them to help/support you for much longer. You must help yourself. Build your tribe. Try to be peaceful and help people immediately around you if you can. We are going to have to go local to survive.
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