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 Post subject: The Internet
PostPosted: 090317 06:05 
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I was reading an incredibly interesting article about the physical topology of the internet. I had a feeling that there were a number of vulnerable places in the internet, since it's just a large network and I personally experienced a number of problems due to cut undersea cables and routing problems in Pakistan, but I didn't know how vulnerable it was. What an eye-opener.

One of the things that always surprises me about these kinds of "expose" articles is that they're, well, exposing things. On the one hand, yeah, it's nice to know and appreciate this kind of stuff, but on the other, do you really want to be giving people ideas?

The internet is so absolutely critical to modern economies nowadays that it's just unthinkable that it would go down. I wonder how much of the physical internet (webhosts, routing gear, etc.) lies within the US -- I know that the US has tried to control and govern the internet for a long time, but has been losing its grip lately.


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 Post subject: Re: The Internet
PostPosted: 090318 00:19 
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I have to admit, when I think of where the internet exists, I kind of assume it exists in this pocket of negative space, only vaguely connected to our physical world. Which is strange, because when I think about people, I'm all materialistic, claiming that there's no such thing as "mind" or "spirit" beyond the physical body. It's like I want to believe that the internet has a soul...

Thinking about how the Beast goes along and repairs cables, with the help of the humans behind the wheel, I wonder how long it'll take before that kind of maintenance job is completely automated. Intelligent androids programmed to be self-sufficient, with a minimum of human interaction, crawling across the cables, inspecting the servers, keeping everything running smoothly so the humans can focus on other things...

I can't help thinking that it must be an awesome job to be the guy that has to sit and listen to eavesdropped conversations all day long just in case the enemy discusses some kind of intelligence relevant to our interests. Sure, it could be boring, but hell, I'd take a job being paid to casually spy on people. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: The Internet
PostPosted: 090318 15:23 
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zharth wrote:
I have to admit, when I think of where the internet exists, I kind of assume it exists in this pocket of negative space, only vaguely connected to our physical world.


These are my thoughts as well. Kinda like Lain maybe?

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Thinking about how the Beast goes along and repairs cables, with the help of the humans behind the wheel, I wonder how long it'll take before that kind of maintenance job is completely automated. Intelligent androids programmed to be self-sufficient, with a minimum of human interaction, crawling across the cables, inspecting the servers, keeping everything running smoothly so the humans can focus on other things...


Man do I want a job working with thoserobots! Hell, I'll hang out with them after work too.

As for the internet, ever hear the conspiracy theories about big corporations? Google owns most of the internet, and they know everything you've been doing, and they keep records. I'm not really worried because I figure what's the worst that could happen, jail, death? But it does become interesting to me when I think about a world that is set up where a '1984' level of control already has infrastructure set up, and all it takes is somebody who decides to do it. I don't suspect some maniacl super villian who wants to control the world, but say the US was on the verge of collapse and public opinion was swayed towards fascism to save jobs or something?

Oh yeah, and in regards to listening in on conversations... you may be vaguely interested in this award-winning German film The Lives of Others, I think it was called. It's about a KGB agent who is listening to this political dissident 24/7 waiting for him to slip up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Internet
PostPosted: 090318 23:30 
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Exactly like Lain, I've been thinking of that show quite a bit recently. You do know, the robots don't exactly have personalities, or casual chat settings or anything? Hanging out with one off-work would be like hanging out with a refrigerator... And anyway, if you had the job of being the "minimal human interaction", chances are you'd be spending the rest of your time doing something else. Not to mention that you'd probably have to have a decent understanding of electronics, engineering, computing, and whatever technologies are involved with the creation of the robots, else you wouldn't know what to do with them if something did go wrong.

As far as being paranoid about your activities being recorded - here's my feeling about that. There's just not enough people with enough time to scour the records and keep watch on everyone. You can do something illegal; it can be recorded; and you can get away with it scot-free. Steal something from a gas station while on camera, and if nobody checks the camera at that exact second, you'll never get caught. The records are there for people to go back and check after they already have an expectation of possibly finding something at a specific point. Of course, if there's actually a security guard sitting behind the screen watching, that's less safe for you, but as I've said, there just aren't enough people with enough time to watch over everyone.

It's like God, and Guardian Angels. I think it would be awesome if such a concept as "Guardian Angels" existed. I wish there was an angel watching over me and guiding me, and I wish I could talk to it, I wish we could tackle this struggle called life together. But all of my experiences indicate that life is a lonely place. Nobody's watching over you constantly. I could do a bunch of illegal stuff and not get caught, the only trick is to avoid attracting attention.

On the other hand, if we eventually have halfway-sentient programs, which do have enough time and "man"-power to scour the records - or better (worse) yet, intelligent recording devices that understand what they record - then maybe a world where somebody's always watching over you is possible, after all. They wouldn't be Guardian Angels, though, they'd be Guardian Androids, or somesuch, and they wouldn't be on a mission from God, but a mission from the Government. And, like search engines filtering out explicit content, their evaluation of the data sent their way won't be infallible. Yet I'm sure the government will trust them as such. Leading to people being imprisoned for doing innocent things that a robot thought looked bad. Course, that's really no different from the world as it is today, so what's the point in worrying?

That movie does sound potentially interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: The Internet
PostPosted: 090318 23:50 
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That sounds scary. Oh and did I say KGB because... isn't that Russia? I have a hard time distinguishing between nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia.

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Exactly like Lain, I've been thinking of that show quite a bit recently. You do know, the robots don't exactly have personalities, or casual chat settings or anything? Hanging out with one off-work would be like hanging out with a refrigerator... And anyway, if you had the job of being the "minimal human interaction", chances are you'd be spending the rest of your time doing something else. Not to mention that you'd probably have to have a decent understanding of electronics, engineering, computing, and whatever technologies are involved with the creation of the robots, else you wouldn't know what to do with them if something did go wrong.


Actually I was just kinda joking about how I too would like to be self-sufficient with minimum human interaction. And refrigerators are good people. :)

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"I hardly ever leave my house or my neighborhood really, and that's not a sad thing." - Fiona Apple

"It's alright, ma. It's life and life only." - Bob Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: The Internet
PostPosted: 090319 03:33 
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