the great firewall by Vidyuth Kini

The Great Fire Wall

The Great Firewall is the single greatest problem facing humanity. It’s made of over a 7 billion nodes and operates across time and space. It is multidimensional and feeds on fresh human beings, capturing hundreds of thousands a day. Yes, it eats souls and can captures them, sometimes eternally, passings its seed to each passing generation.

What I am talking about here is ‘collective ignorance’, and it is voracious. When we dismiss it, or mistake it for ‘individual ignorance’, the kind of ignorance that we as individuals are responsible for, we commit a crime that feeds the Great Firewall even more. And that’s why I’ve stopped everything and have decided to write about it.

But before we begin, we need to understand what Firewalls are and why
we need them.

Firewalls 101

Well you see it started a long long time ago, well before we reinvented them in our computers.

Firewalls are “integrity” keeping strategies and devices.

And we needed integrity keeping devices of this nature with the invention of Cells. The first kinds of firewalls were purely physical, the early “cell wall” being the best example. Without the cell wall, there is no individual to talk of, nothing to protect. The cell wall served a dual purpose, both to create the individual and to act as its security device.

No Evolution without Protection.

Another curious thing about nature is the emergence of the Evolutionary Algorithm and how it pops up just about anywhere it can. Security is at the heart of evolution but often ignored in education.

Every process requires the following ingredients to automatically run
the Evolutionary Algorithm:

  1. An Environment with limited usable resources.
  2. Entities that can replicated with integrity.

Everything else comes for free, for example the now famous process of
“Natural Selection” is just a product of imperfect (but high integrity) replication under limited resources.

Millions of year after the invention of the Cell, under the process of the Evolutionary Algorithm, our world was transformed from a ‘purely physical’ world to an ‘informational world’ because information is far more effective at producing success than chance.

In fact information can be measured by just how much better you can do (at any given task) than just by chance alone.

Take for example the process of investing in the stock market:

  1. If you have no information the best you can do is guess at which stock to select. That’s the baseline of how well you can do. You can’t actually on average do any worse than chance. To do worse, you actually need (bad) information.
  2. If you have done some investigation into each stock you have slightly better information and a better likelihood of choosing a better stock.
  3. If you have insider information however, you have all the information and effectively convert a situation of chance into certitude.

Entities that protect their information both from theft and from corruption therefore have the highest likelihood of success in running the Evolutionary Algorithm. And this is where the firewall comes in.

Firewalls are a form of security that are very cheap to construct and offer fantastic protection of information. Very simply, firewalls are just a broad set of rules (usually thumb rules) that prescribe what sources of information are to be accepted and what are to be rejected. Firewalls often don’t look at the content of the information. That takes time. Time to figure out what is good and what is bad. Firewall work by looking at the source of information, categorising them into ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’.

Unsafe sources are rejected out of hand.

Safe sources are accepted without question.

They are cheap because they rely on the use of broad rules of thumb. One doesn’t need to invest in a lot of research to effectively stop information coming in, and not only did nature stumble upon firewalls but so did we when we invented computer networks.

There is however an inner tension between security (which is the protection of information) and information gathering (acquiring information). Remember, with more information we have greater probabilities of success.

To acquire information, systems need to open themselves to the environment. Opening to the environment exposes the entity to both ‘good’ information and ‘bad’ information.

the great firewall

Firewalls are not a modern phenomenon but what is new is the globalisation and consolidation of certain powerful information sources which has created the ‘great firewall’.

Our societies have been captured. Information sources are controlled. In many cases self controlling. Blind leading the blind. Grand priests versed in one book punishing all those who might look further.

So I invite you to look around. Speak to your friends and colleagues, your mum and dad, your spouse, your children. And ask a simple question, no, better observe.

What are their sources of information? In fact, observe yourself. Look at the sources and not the content and I you will see the Great Firewall in action all around you. The internet is like a grand house of mirrors, a single source of information can reflect and reverberate through the system in myriads of different ways. Giving the illusion of plurality, of a rich ecosystem of information when in fact, we may be living in a desert, appreciating a mirage.

concerns

I am truly concerned with the following trends (which I’ll call the F-list) to which I believe the Great Firewall is our greatest contributor.

The F-List

  1. Environmental Destruction & rising Pollution and Toxicity
  2. Climate Change
  3. Over population
  4. Proliferation of Dangerous Political and Religious Ideologies
  5. Destruction of Civil Liberties, Human Rights and Freedom of Information.
  6. Spread of WAR and meaningless skirmishes. WAR as a business.

It contributes by spreading the veil of ignorance far and wide. People cannot act on the information they do not have and our entire systems are constructed with the explicit aim information obscuration.

And information is effectively fire-walled from inside and out. It is taboo to talk about any of these subjects in polite company. To try and do so is to raise oneself as an outcast. These subjects are only fit for ‘private’ activism and personal contemplation late at night on the internet.

The ‘News’ only report on the effects of F-list with cursory application to roots and causes, which are not reported.

Popular culture ignores it almost completely.

What is systematically ignored cannot be dealt with and this is the single greatest problem facing humanity.

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