The Drift in Reality

They don’t understand because they refuse to understand. Don’t be like them. God is creating a new reality; He invites our participation. He calls to us with warmth and longing, if only we would shift to a heart-led consciousness so we can hear it. A part of that new reality is that we are already moving into the Networked Civilization.

A critical element in Trump’s election victory was how the mainstream media was totally blindsided by the Internet. Have you noticed how the old media still acts as if the Internet was some kind of extension of the print-based world they dominated? They have no clue: virtual space shares little with meat space. While most of the people who use the Network do it instinctively, it’s not so very hard to become conscious of it’s vastly different nature. The old media still assumes they can somehow build walls around media and create an artificial shortage of news as a product. They are the only trustworthy source, of course. News is whatever they choose to tell you is newsworthy — except that news of that sort is not the same as data on the Internet. Information is free and it was the free exchanged of ideas in conflict with the mainstream media that enabled this political revolution.

Whether or not a Trump administration carries through on the promises is another matter, but you can bet that folks will discuss it over the Network. Have you noticed that scolding and pontificating don’t transmit well on the Net? Clinton’s supporters cling to a world with perceptual gates and barriers, but those don’t work on the Net. Secrecy is foreign to the Network. Clinton’s email scandal made her an enemy of Netizens. I’m not sure how much Trump understands all of this, nor whether his supporters give it conscious consideration, but they used it to great effect. Meanwhile, a bunch of nerds who didn’t care about Trump did what nerds do in pulling secrets into the light, and Clinton was the one to get hurt; she doesn’t belong in the new reality. The old media trick of biased polling as a means of manipulating public perception doesn’t work any more when alternative sources exist in proliferation.

In the same way, so-called “content piracy” is simply the natural result of how the virtual world operates. If some bundle of data or code is out there and someone wants it, the controlled access will always fail. A business based on controlled access won’t prosper on the Net. So today, if you simply know where to look, you can find any version of Windows for free. Further, any scheme to make it require proper registration with key-codes can be bypassed. Today I can install a small utility that convinces Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 that they are already properly activated. And the same utility works with all versions of MS Office. Similar work-arounds can bypass security on Mac and other commercial operating systems. Albums and movies? I can get all I want. The Internet doesn’t care.

By the same token, I’m not very interested in those things. I can find stuff more suited to my needs without fighting the artificial barriers. I don’t hate Windows; I don’t trust Microsoft. When I need Windows I can run it in a virtual machine or use a translation layer that implements Windows APIs. The Open Source world is displacing what came before it. For a time they’ve been parallel, but the moral frame of reference from virtual space is bleeding over into the moral assumptions of the current generation. Whatever was the previous gold standard in people’s minds — largely the result of exposure to what folks used at work — is being displaced wholesale by Open Source. There is no objective standard as to which is better; the new generation views Open Source as morally superior.

So the new business model follows this trend, and a great many tech startups would never consider using stuff that is controlled by one vendor. And because of this influence seeping through the background of everything everywhere, the networking risk assessments and threat models change with it. It’s not a question of whether you like Windows or Mac, but that the rising cyber threat environment will make it increasingly risky to use them. The online predators get more money from folks who use commercial software because the users have no good options for improving security. With Open Source, the users at least have the option of taking control.

The term “Open Source” refers to a whole range of moral values touching everything we do in meat space. It’s not the users all want to learn the inner workings of their operating systems, but that no one can keep them from it if they do. The one-size-fits-all never did work, but it seemed to when there were no choices and it was all expensive. Now it’s all free and anyone can remake it as they wish. The profit angle is in expertise and services related to the information system. It’s all about building trust, not simply demanding it.

This is how we do religion here at Kiln of the Soul parish. We strive to open up the source code to human nature and reality itself. We show you how we arrive out our religion so you can wisely choose. Nobody has to justify why they want what they want. It’s Open Source religion. And in just about every other way, our society is shifting to Open Source in every way. The things we produce are requiring less and less infrastructure investment. Like 3D printing, this approach to life democratizes whole swathes of human existence that were previously closed and controlled.

I’m not trying to sell the moral superiority of Open Source software; I’m describing where things are headed. This is what God is doing for His own inscrutable purpose. The Open Source mindset is native to the new reality in which we live. Whatever tools work best for you, be aware of where this world is going so that you are prepared to exploit the context for Our Father’s glory.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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One Response to The Drift in Reality

  1. Pingback: Aftermath – jaydinitto.com

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