Are we in the scientific age of the Ego?

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I don’t think I am the only person who has noticed that scientific progress has not only come to a standstill, but it has started to reverse.  This applies not only to physics, and biology, but is plaguing the computer science industry. Hackers are the scientists of the computer industry and the inability of hackers to work together has lead to a reversal of technological progress (citation).

Let me start with a basic example, do you remember where the term computer bug came from?  The first computer bug was an actual bug. It had managed to get into the computer and shorted out a vacuum tube causing the computer to stop functioning correctly.  The first response was to fix the bug by replacing the vacuum tube.  The concept of a computer bug had formed, and it WAS the job of the programmer to fix the bugs.  The importance of repairing bugs, and debugging, is such a vital component of technological advancement that no programming course is complete without instructions on how to debug programs.

So what happened? I can’t tell you when it happened, but I can tell you what happened. Companies started intentionally creating bugs to ensure that competitor systems wouldn’t work.  This gave rise to a new concept in the status of a bug’s life-cycle. Traditionally the life-cycle of a bug would go from an unreported state, to a reported state, to an in progress state, and eventually to a repaired state, but no more. While some bugs do enter a repaired state, in most systems more than 90% of the bugs will never be repaired.  Programmers, and non-programmers, are now officially labeling bugs as “Won’t fix”.  The managers and programmers at many software companies have decided that what the consumer wants is no longer important, instead they put their own desires above those of their consumers.  This has caused a technological de-evolution. As new systems are built on top of the bug-filled systems technological progress has become impossible.  The only way to fix the problem is to fix the original bugs, but the political environment surrounding those bug’s will not allow those bugs to be repaired.  Because of this technology is not improving, it is getting worse. The ego of software developers and managers has become so big that they now place no value on the needs of others.

The governent, including the NSA, has played a very large role in the de-evolution of technology.  First, many politicians are afraid of technology, partially due to sci-fi movies, and computer scientists who believe computers are going to take over and destroy us all. That idea is ludicris.  Would you dare try to kill your creator? If we die there is almost no chance that computers, even super-intelligent computers, will survive. Just like humans, computers will put more priority on their own survival than they will on the survival of other computers. Artificially intelligent computers will therefore be unable to maintain their survival without the humans that created them. We need and want computers, but computers themselves won’t have any reason to need or want eachother.  Just like humans, computers are more likely to destroy eachother long before they try to destroy anyone or anything else.  The second issue here is security.  The government, including the NSA, feels they are the only one who has the right to privacy. Take the release of the PGP encryption algorithm as an example.  The governemnt tried to destroy the person who released PGP to the public because the governement believed PGP provided perfect secracy.  The government didn’t back off until the encryption had been broken.  Once the governement realized they could break PGP encryption they stopped attacking PGP and instead embraced it, trying to fool the world into believing in PGP effectiveness. This isn’t the only place security has been breached by legislators.  There are also laws restricting the size of encryption keys that can be used.  This size restriction is based on the largest key that the government can break, invalidating the security of any key equal or less than the legally allowed size.  The government, who’s sole responsibility is to promote progress and security has abused it’s authority, hindering progress, and reducing security. Any hacker, worth his weight in silicon, would NEVER consider using a publicly published encryption algorithm for these very reasons. The ego of government officials is so big, they feel they are entitled to limit progress, and I completely disagree!

As you can see, there is no one person responsible for the de-evolution of technology. CEO’s, CIO’s, politicians, and even programmers themselves all share responiblity for hindering progress. I am not asking you to go out and innovate the industry with new technologies, you do not need to do that if you don’t want to. I am asking everyone to step-aside and stop standing in the way of progress! You are not nearly as important as you think you are, it is your ego talking, and we need to tell our ego’s to shut the fuck up!

 

Sources:

The fall of hacker groups” – Phrack Magazine

 

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Programming is my passion, and I am constantly working on making my mark in this industry by creating new technologies which open doors to new capabilities. While some of my projects are experimental, most of it is grounded in standard compliant design with a constant focus on security.

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