~e; seeing critical infrastructure

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 11 Feb 2002 20:14:26 -0600

  there is an article on cryptome.org today that is a
  government announcement on Homeland Security
  which, as most things, cuts both ways. one part
  that is particularly of interest is that the link has
  been solidified between the Internet, critical infra-
  structure, and in turn, their relation to economics:


Using 21st Century Technology to Defend the Homeland

"National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center.

The President's Budget for 2003 requests $20 million to fund the 
National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center at the 
Department of Energy. This Center will promote collaboration between 
Federal research efforts and the private sector to better understand 
the dependencies between the Internet, our critical infrastructure, 
and our economy."

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/21st-technology.html

This is a part of Securing the Homeland Strengthening the Nation:


  this 'common sense' understanding of the physical
  connections between computer networks and, say,
  powerplants, is difficult to reach in current academic
  climates as 'infrastructures' are designed to not be
  seen, in many cases, and are otherwise camouflaged,
  as part of the background of seeing value in things
  most usually discrete and in one place at one time.
  not like a satellite network or laser beams or data
  and energy moving around at 186,000 miles/second.

  while it is a Good Thing to know how these things work,
  it would be a Bad Thing if this knowledge only existed in
  terms of defense of old territories of homeland knowledge.
  meaning that, like the Technology Literacy report card
  (that thing a standardized test will never ask a question
  about), understanding infrastructure is a great way to
  begin understanding and directing dispersed but common
  (sense) technhologies, with human means to human ends.
  it is a great opportunity to educate, to change perspectives,
  to look anew at the world, to see what is already hidden,
  before it is vanished from legitimate discussions out of
  fear, terror, that harnessing ideas, like power, can also
  be a way to freedom, that is not technologically determined.

  but, as always, when one voices such an opinion, such as
  was recently done with a government mapping agency about
  hiding away all of the electromagnetic infrastructural data
  on GIS maps, one makes themselves seem a bit suspicious.
  why would anyone care about information that can _only
  harm people in the current way of seeing/being, imagining
  rationales for distrust. but, at the same time, if to look and
  reflect upon infrastructure in the 21st century and to even
  imagine that it is only about technique, only about defense,
  and can wholesale be censored from public view, as data,
  and as a result, as ideas, as reasoning, as logical analysis,
  then it takes what should be public inquiry into a great event
  and could make it a criminal pursuit of forbidden knowledge,
  relegated only to the sciences and those of the lawful order.

  something as innocuous as something being taken off a map,
  and at the same time becoming a center piece of understanding
  how 'the homeland' works, in itself, is the paradox of today.

  the electronetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization