Cybersecurity: One Oxymoron to Rule them All

In regards to some study and incidental (as unplanned) research I was engaged in recently, it seems to be most eminently true that the very information and communications technologies upon which we now so critically depend are profoundly, deeply and irredeemably unreliable. This may be no big news to you but I think it justifies some pensive reflection.

These systems of communication maximally self-propagate and undergo relentless metamorphosis as a function of their inability and serial failures to communicate, to not provide certainty and closure. What we rarely notice, instance and bounded-artefact control system obsessives that we all are, is that this failure to close the circle of assurance and certainty that things like cybersecurity inflect is precisely the optimal transmission medium for that paradigm and socioeconomic leviathan (as industry) that this integrated system of competitive systems has become.

From with a system of belief, we can represent a unified closure and totality as abstraction that does not actually exist beyond that referential matrix of dependency. This is perhaps as much a cultural, a psychological or – indeed – a theological question as it is any other. It is the absence of closure that in some strange and mischievous sleight of hand becomes the symbolic closure towards which these systems endlessly propel themselves.

We build our lives around the binding narrative properties of personal and memory and sorrow. We build our information security systems around the often unacknowledged impossibility of ever obtaining closure and complete certainty. Only rarely do we ever notice that it is precisely this uncertainty and discomforting fact of endlessly-extensible dynamical systems that travels most swiftly upon a rising wave and transmission medium of its own self-accelerating errors and failures. Innovation and vulnerability are actually the same thing, viewed from a unifying as higher-dimensional perspective.

Uncertainty reproduces itself both through and as us and all our sociotechnical systems. Information security is an oxymoron.

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