Do we care so much about whether and how the government accesses our data perhaps because the line between ourselves and the machines that generate the data is getting fuzzier? Perhaps the NSA disclosures have struck such a chord with so many people because on a visceral level we know what our law has not yet begun to recognize: that we are already juvenile cyborgs, and fast becoming adolescent cyborgs; we fear that as adult cyborgs, we will get from the state nothing more than the rights of the machine with respect to those areas of our lives that are bound up with the capabilities of the machine.
Published in Megatrends in Global Interaction, Bertelsmann Foundation, October 2012. In 1914, in the wake of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a foreign affairs writer named F. Cunliffe-Owen looked for the bright side. “While it is only natural that one should be stricken with horror at the brutal and shocking assassination,” he wrote in […]
Hoover Institution, February 16, 2011 Imagine that the Gulf oil spill had taken place as a consequence of a premeditated attack, rather than an accident. The damage is the same as it was; the oil flowed in the same volume. The only difference is volition: In this dark fantasy, someone meant to do it. In […]
Brookings Institution, December 8, 2010 “Using gene-splicing equipment available online and other common laboratory equipment and materials, a molecular biology graduate student undertakes a secret project to recreate the smallpox virus. Not content merely to bring back an extinct virus to which the general population is now largely naïve, he uses public source material to […]