The Mystique of "Cyberwar" and the Strategic Latency of Networked Social Movements; Strategic Insights, v. 10, Special issue (October 2011), 61-77. Topic: Global Trends and Future Warfare ; Part II: Technological and Doctrinal Innovation
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First, on the whole, in this paper I adopt the self-conscious tone of the historian ever sensitive to the continuity of events as opposed to their change. Having said that, though, I also believe that we are as a species near to a genuine discontinuity, which some scientists have described as the Singularity, the point at which human intelligence is surpassed by machine intelligence.2 Afterwards, whether we merge with our digital offspring, are massacred by them, or kept as reverend ancestors, or much-loved pets, there is no point speculating about war (or anything else); until then, however, war will remain as it ever was, an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will, if you prefer Clausewitz, or the collective action of a group of men to realize their own will even against the resistance of another group, if you prefer Weber. Second, no one would deny the awesome opportunities for business, governments, and citizens that the unparalleled advancement of digital interconnectivity in recent decades has brought with it cyberspace penetrates nearly every aspect of our lives, how we work, entertain ourselves, consume, maintain friendships, find spiritual sustenance, educate ourselves, and participate in civic life as free citizens. Indeed, so deep and multi-layered is the interpenetration of the 'real world' by the 'digital world' that it is increasingly nonsensical to speak of the two as distinct and separate. Clay Shirky puts it this way, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The old view of online as a separate space, cyberspace apart from the real worldÃ¢â‚¬ï†, the whole notion of cyberspace is fading. [Cyberspace is not] an alternative to real life, [it is] part of it.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights, v.10, Special issue (October 2011), 61-77. Topic: Global Trends and Future Warfare ; Part II: Technological and Doctrinal Innovation
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