SDSUThe Shape of CFPs to Come

to home page
email: vinge@cs.sdsu.edu
This page last updated Fri Apr 28 17:30:39 US/Pacific 2006

----------


The Shape of CFPs to Come

Here are the "slides" for my talk at CFP06, 5May2006. At the moment, they can be found at:

http://rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/cfp

+


What is the ultimate impact of computers on freedom?

+


Scenarios

No one knows the future, so scenarios are much preferred to predictions. (And for some of the broadest issues, scenarios are more useful than elaborate probability analysis.)

The scenario I have in mind today assumes

+


The secret behind the Great Conspiracy against human freedom

Pogo captured the driving wisdom: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

And now, the wildest control-freak dreams of each of these groups can be satisfied:

+


Implementing the Great Conspiracy

Some relevant hardware trends:

These technologies and the economic advantage they confer appear to head us inexorably toward a future where physical objects know what they are, where they are, and how to communicated with their nearby neighbors -- and thus, in principle -- with anywhere. In this situation, physical reality becomes its own database and cyberspace leaks out into the real world.

A world such as this cries out for a new kind of public safety, the perfect storm of confluent interests. Clipper meets the V-chip meets DRM and TIA:

+


The Secure Hardware Environment (SHE)

cfp96.jpg

+


The "virtues" of SHE

SHE fits the trajectory that economics and technical progress are following. The infrastructure for such control will probably arrive in any case.

+


Arguments against the plausibility of SHE

+


The coming, ubiquitous CFP

The leaders of the most powerful countries are coming to realize this, and to realize that at least the illusion of freedom is necessary to maintain this creativity machine.

What leaders may not realize is that the creativity machine includes millions of people who are as bright and knowledgeable as anyone who has ever captained a great nation. For such an ensemble, the "illusion of freedom" needs be more like real freedom than has ever existed in human history.

+


Meantime, Moore's Law marches on

-



----------