from the world's big
The Changing Face of War and the Importance of Cybersecurity
We have developed a world economy that is increasingly dependent on our information and communication technologies, says former NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen. That's why the crux of our future welfare depends on the development of advanced cybersecurity.
For the longest time we've heard tell that the major battles to determine the outcomes of future wars won't be fought on physical battlefields but rather by hacker combatants in cyberspace. And while the future Ferris Bueller learned first hand the dangers associated with computer war, the broader, non-Matthew Broderick public has yet to come into contact with full scale cyberwarfare. Now that's not to say these cyberwars haven't already been happening -- there's compelling evidence to support that they have -- but it's important to note that this is not war as we know it.
It's also likely not the kind of war we were expecting.
BBC technology reporter Dave Lee does a fantastic job exploring this issue in a terrific piece that went up yesterday. The crux of his article revolves around the innate challenges of reporting a conflict you can't see. It's this concept of invisibility -- that cyberwar exists not in the public eye but in the shadows -- that's imperative to grapple and understand.
Think about how traditional war is conducted, promoted, and sold. Goosestepping Nazis, caricature-laden propaganda posters, showy tests of shiny new weapons: war is as much about optics as it is about tactics. Every conflict needs to be sold to an audience. This is usually done with visuals, examples being war bond posters, editorials with rhetorical images, and well-orchestrated photo-ops. Each of these visualizes war -- makes it palpable, not just an abstraction. More importantly, they visualize war to suit the whims of those who employ the images. As Umberto Eco once said, "today a country belongs to the person who controls communications."
So then, how do you prepare for an invisible war? Can you no longer rely on the same images from before? We're in uncharted waters, writes Lee. There is no precedent for journalists covering cyberwars. There's also no precedent for governments to even need to sell a cyberwar. Most vital is that the fog of war has never been thicker than what exists in cyberspace.
"Cyber-attacks occur in a manner that is unverifiable," says Lee, "often leaving its perpetrators unaccountable."
The most important preparation a nation can make is to be proactive in how it invests in cybersecurity. Former Secretary General of NATO (and Big Think expert) Anders Fogh Rasmussen explains the risks associated with porous defenses on the cyber-front:
Rasmussen: "Back in 2007 in Estonia was attacked through cyberspace and it caused a lot of damage. This is the reason why we [NATO] have decided to strengthen our cyber defense because future warfare will increasingly be carried out through our information and communication channels."
The reason for this, says Rasmussen, is that we've developed a world economy that is increasingly dependent on information and communication technologies. Damage the systems upon which the world economy is built and you open the door to the eventual dismantling of society itself. A group of hackers, likely out of North Korea but still not conclusively identified, managed to bring an entire movie studio to its knees last month. Imagine that on a grander scale and you're looking at the definition of systemic risk.
Rasmussen: "You might very well see in the future that the first wave of attacks against a country would be cyber-attacks because a cyber-attack can also damage conventional defense capabilities. It can have a severe negative impact on your energy supply, on financial transactions. And this is a reason why I think cybersecurity should have more and more attention and the reason why NATO decided at the recent summit that cybersecurity will be part of our collective security which means that if a NATO ally is attacked then other allies will assist that ally to defend itself against cyber-attacks."
There's a real possibility that we wouldn't realize the first shot of a major cyberwar had occurred until our systems had already failed us. If we believe the old adage that the best offense is a strong defense, then the strongest possible play one can make is to prevent enemies from ever getting close enough to fire that shot. That's why, as Rasmussen says, the changing face of war necessitates the constant pursuit of robust cybersecurity innovations.
When the enemy becomes invisible, your best strategy is to make yourself invincible, or get as close to it as you can.
Photo credit: Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.
- The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
- Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
- The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Seriously sustainable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDIzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjM4NTMzMX0.BCEfYnn6C3z1zUHIS38xOWjXktgamNBi5iyqklSMYK8/img.png?width=980" id="ea524" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50533380eeb18eb5833b6b6aa3abec38" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂ from air using <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90356326/we-have-the-tech-to-suck-co2-from-the-air-but-can-it-suck-enough-to-make-a-difference" target="_blank">carbon-capture technology</a>, and then combines it with water, nutrients and vitamins, using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner <a href="https://www.fortum.com" target="_blank">Fortum</a> to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.</p><p>When the company claims its single-celled protein is "free from agricultural limitations," they're not kidding. Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather.</p><p>The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption. (The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.) They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.</p><p>And let's not forget all those <a href="https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper" target="_blank">beef-free burgers</a> based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity. The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein — the company could provide companies that produce animal-free "meats," such as <a href="https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/" target="_blank">Beyond Meat</a> and <a href="https://impossiblefoods.com" target="_blank">Impossible Foods</a>, a way to further reduce their environmental impact.</p>
The larger promise<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDI0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjU4MTg2OX0.7dZZYT5WEV_EupBuLVFwHynarTiz8RYR9aJtC6Ts2C4/img.jpg?width=980" id="3415d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e6eebe06d795f844752f9e9d30040d7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>The impact of the beef — and for that matter, poultry, pork, and fish — industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and antibiotic-resistant illness. From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land, to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants, to the disruption of the marine food chain, to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals, it's been disastrous.</p><p>The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have, CO₂ and sunlight, <a href="https://solarfoods.fi/environmental-impact/" target="_blank">gets us out of the planet-destruction business</a> at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable, long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.</p>
Solar Foods' timetable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MTEzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5OTU1OTMwMn0.wnXh56iO_77x2XKV2uIPf78BKw4AJLUpmiyq_JBVGvo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=172%2C146%2C62%2C135&height=700" id="0297c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="125c9a98ec818f5c241fa28ef1423e67" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Lubsan / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.</p><p>The project began in 2018, and this year, they anticipate achieving three things: Launching Solein (check), beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU, and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.</p>
The protein powder Solein. Image source: SOLAR FOODS
SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.
- The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
- Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
- Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.