In a previous post, I raised the question of how individuals should be able to control information regarding their ecommerce behavior.
Adriana Lukas over at The Mine! project kindly provided a link to the work the group is doing, and it is not only fascinating, it is important. Adriana, I’ll definitely be following your work, keep it up!
Now, I mention Enigma in the title today for a perhaps not so obvious reason. Many folks are somewhat familiar with the Enigma device, used by the Nazis in WWII. This device was used to great effect up through at least 1944, and no doubt was responsible for extending the war effort.
In breaking the code that was created by the device, British and American cryptographers used, among other things, user error, as a way to finally understand how the device worked. In other words, the behavior of the user.
I’m fascinated with how one might today develop software to not only mask behavior, but how that information might even be turned back on itself. In other words, what if you as an individual or a business could actually see via some sort of dashboard, what various entities are doing with the bits you put out there. Even by using “bait”.
As we move into a time when virtually everything will be networked, and the divide between personal and economic identity continues to blur, such countermarketing capabilities could even take on a more compelling agenda. Jack Williamson brought this concept home in his book, The Humanoids. When robots are designed “To Serve And Obey, And Guard Men From Harm”.
Not robots for us, ladies and gentlemen, software.
By the way, if you have not also read The Code Book, The Science of Secrecy From Ancient Egypt To Quantum Cryptography, by Simon Singh, then you should. It is not any easy read, but well worth the effort.
In my next post I’ll be discussing the potential for incorporating piezoelectric materials in hard surface roads, pavement, and walkways, as a way to generate electricity (just thought that one up). And how I am building a device that is strung between trees (like a clothsline) to also generate electricity.