Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lookin' Handsome for the Ransom

Ransomware struck fear into the world's computer hearts this week, demonstrating once again how vulnerable even the supposedly least vulnerable are to hacks from anywhere.  North Korea?

It's not as if holding computers hostage with malware for bitcoin is much different than progressive government representatives holding taxpayers hostage in order to squander money on anything they wish. but the fact that computer bandits can conduct their shady business in relative anonymity removes a certain amount of dazzling brilliance from the digital world.  Yet, ahead we forge, making the computer, the robot, the very essence of artificial intelligence indispensable to our daily lives.  What's a massive global cyber-extortion attack among friends?

Make it stop.

Too late.

We suspect the fun's just beginning.  As part one of the planet's newest digital hostage attempt unfolded, international "experts" were quick to scratch their heads and almost beg for global mercy, explaining they've "never seen anything like this before."  How comforting to those who believe the computerized world runs with the accuracy of an atomic clock.

More Internet chaos to come?  Certainly. 

Charlie Fort, wherefore are thou?  Please, return from the dead and bring us the simplicity of fish-falls from the sky and the crackling warmth of spontaneous human combustion.  Deliver the good old days, long before agents of the electronic dark side were literally given the digital keys in order to cause seemingly mysterious car accidents or to bring down communication systems and electric grids.  Give me screaming, moaning, howling ghosts every night, instead of international madmen intent upon causing both the guilty and innocent to glow in the darkness of death and destruction.

Make it stop.

Too late.

Too late to scold the geniuses of Silicon Valley -- whom, by the way, know all too well the blame associated with their grave and unencumbered work -- as good people continue to mold a new fun-hell, despite smokey hints emanating from their own sober reservations.  Smart phones. Smart appliances.  Smart houses.  Smart office buildings.  Smart spying galore. Smart weapons.  Too smart for our own good, too smart to let it all go.

Artificial intelligence, like a symphonic masterpiece, may be the music guiding multiple starships in the near future.  Let's go to Mars, let's journey to Saturn, let us forage on to the stars until we find the new land -- nevertheless, perhaps destined to be a curiously familiar place.  Trouble is, one can't program that familiarity into A.I. in advance, so, assuming we return to our universal roots, the act of knowing would depend upon the human spirit and not upon something built with preconceived assumptions about carbon-based life and its origins.

An important concern is the rather obvious fact that freedom of choice is becoming an endangered species, thanks to computerization which allows choice only within the realms of A.I. approval.  Somehow, the perpetrators of artificial intelligence hooked up with purveyors of advertising who know how to sell and sell extraordinarily well.  Who doesn't feel useless and naked without a digital device close by?  Anybody who believes the computer's existence provides liberation and choice is wrong. It truly is the dominator spewing domination.

I'm tempted just to say we're "screwed" by computers -- but that would lead to a discussion of the exciting new world of virtual sex.  One can't even (sigh. . .) keep artificial intelligence out of a lexicon reference.

This week's computer lesson should, but won't, drive home a message often reflected in these blog pages -- that we need to back off from the digital magic and return to building things as independent and far-removed as possible from digital vegetation.

The search for a new FBI director:  Well, okay -- if I apply, can I work from home?  Do I get to wear J. Edgar Hoover's evening gowns while attending formal occasions, or during a hands-on pursuit of dangerous bank robbers?  Is parking free at Headquarters? Is it okay to keep some of the counterfeit money and plates from time to time -- you know, like for souvenirs?  May we spank suspects?  I have a lot of questions.

Speaking of. . .No, that really wasn't a very classy way to fire Comey, nor do the Democrats come off as champions for crying about it, since they disliked / liked Comey on an off-and-on basis themselves.

The Trump White House:   Good grief.  Despite all the crowds and dissension currently in force, it's worth keeping in mind that these folks hit the streets as soon as the elections ended, before Trump had a chance to make any changes.  Such behavior tends to dismiss most of the "rage" observed and/or feigned in ongoing protests afterwards..  The media and other accommodating lefties seem intent upon doing everything possible to bring this President down.  So what's new?  Besides, the way things are going this week, unless numerous problems are solved quickly, he may not require much help from the drooling, slobbering media or anybody else.

North Korea:  Another day, another missile, another day closer.