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technology

Cybersecurity is an Infinite Game

Context: How quantum security generates randomness to shield IoT systems

It strikes me as equal parts interesting and enigmatic that the implicit uncertainty of an abstraction (and extraction) of entropy as randomness upon which we must build our certainties of assurance in information security indicates a profoundly mischievous and rarely, if ever, acknowledged ontological fact. A close coupling of certainty and uncertainty is a resonant salience that in this domain can be accepted as axiomatic and endlessly generative of inductive innovation, regardless that it depends upon a certain philosophical fallibilism and faith that the asserted bedrock of physical theory (and logic) might not always and as a matter of some inevitability be subject to endemic risks of immediate, unexpected or radical disassembly.

We barter information uncertainty for an axiomatically contingent model of certainty that, never final, exists on something of a reflexive asymptote of belief as tautological approximation towards its own assertions of truth. These are functionally interdependent abstractions that entangle and contain each other, both mirrored in and as one logical system that recursively contains itself. It is at this level that we discover that there is no final certainty or closure in cybersecurity.

“Nothing is built on stone; All is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Reconceptualising the many and diverse ways in which this essential and irreducibly open-ended extensibility of material (as essentially logical) systems is the real game here. Everything else is rendered as a contingent waypoint and transient (if useful) instance of a deep and underlying principle of endlessly effervescent and self-inflected logical (and corollary technical) complexity. In acknowledging that it can never be finally or definitively won, we might come to see this as a game in which this endemic extensibility and orientation towards entropy as both utility and the unexpected arrival of scientific discovery.

In doubling-down on winning just such an effectively unwinnable game, it is quite easy and as a kernel factor of psychological as much as cultural self-deception to never come to realise that you were in fact playing a dramatically different game than you ever realised. This realisation itself forms the conditional basis and axiomatic extension as reinvention of the organisational and psychological assumptions upon which we have witnessed the building of a billion-dollar industry and paradigm of thought without once noticing that the absence of closure is simultaneously the measure of innovation, utility and value.

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