The Weird Future of Warfare
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  • Luke Lea

    I sometimes try to imagine what would it would be like if the Internet suddenly went down across the nation. Everything would come to a halt: banking, retail, telecommunications, publishing, law enforcement, Wall St., electric power grids, Google, email, and lots more. Is it really impossible?

    • Walter Russell Mead

      You don’t even mention the catastrophic consequences of any interruption in the flow of essential blog posts.

  • Mrs. Davis

    Productivity would jump 50%.

  • Jim.

    If you start seeing a NASA push for Space Solar Power, that might be evidence that we’re trying to stay ahead in this new arms race.

  • TANSTAAFL

    [raises hand in back of clas]

    Um, sir?

    The internet was designed to survive a nuclear attack.

    It’s a redundant system.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      And yet we are discussing new generations of weapons, that, unlike nukes, might be designed specifically to take the internet down. Are you suggesting that the internet is the Maginot Line of technology and that it has no vulnerabilities? A techno-Titanic that cannot sink? I am in any case not sure what would survive of the internet if all human life were destroyed by a mass nuclear exchange.

  • Jim.

    TANSTAAFL – I believe you’re thinking of DARPANET, not the Internet.

    The scale-free nature of the Internet as we know it could be brought to its knees by a “flash crowd”, such as might be generated by a spontaneous internet meme, much less a coordinated attack.

    Please consider also that the power grid the Internet depends on is far from immune to disruption by RF technologies.

    No, the Web has not suffered anything like the most serious sorts of attacks that physicists can throw at it.

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