Saturday, December 29, 2012

Plato's Chariot And Cyber War

(part fourteen of The Future, a comic book)

In the Sport Utility Vehicle, back seat set up as an office, they drive through the streets of Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens have pedestrians rushing for shelter.

- You've had your minute, or two. What's the plan?
- You know very well. Restore the internet after it is cut or censored. And everyone receives a gift.
- The gift of the internet doesn't suffice.
- You have experience with internet shutdown. And you've stockpiled routers. Will they suffice, as you put it?
- We have a million stashed all around the world. And what will we give?
- What else, but a job? and some money to be used in the community.
- Goods delivered by quadcopter. Jobs performed, how? Where will people meet?
- You know the answers to all these questions.
- You're the charioteer in Plato's allegory. You're the voice of guiding reason, steering the chariot pulled by two horses, one easily enraged, the other living in the world of things to be desired.
- Computer and Friend.
- Computer: Status?
- Rockets have been launched from Syria.
- Europe, America?
- Thousands of protesters arrested in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago.
- When will the internet be shut down?
- Friend predicts within the hour.
- Why now, Gabriel? What's happened?
- Because now we're ready. Ok, Commander and Charioteer, drive: We will reconstruct the internet with our servers and our orbiting satellites and our land based relays. Our community hands out jobs and free money. Meanwhile a gulf of violence is opening between the temptation of our new world and the known world old and collapsing into the void. Will the people jump?
- The plan will work, if given a chance. I'm thinking about our horses. Our opponents will try to turn the rage of the people against us, they will accuse us of deliberately creating anarchy. Which we've done, in fact. Computer loves to learn from our rage, and Friend loves order. Our opponents know this. Won't they try to whip the horses into a frenzy and overturn the chariot?
- Yes, they will.
- How do you see us winning?
- How do you?
- Undermining the economy, absorbing all productivity into our own economy.
- The military and police? Assuming they are paid?
- People will meet up in the virtual community. The army and police will have to find us. They'll track our quadcopters.
- We'll evade tracking with electronic countermeasures.
- Managed by the computers. Everything depends on them.
- On you, as the Charioteer.