Category Archives: Technology and Society

Why the U.S. should take a stand on autonomous weapons

The United States has not embraced any such treaty limiting the development of robots and drone for military use. But the United States would be serving its own strategic interests if it did. The odds that the United States will win such a race, considering the rate at which the cost of creating drones is dropping, is low. Better to buy into a global treaty now, while you still can.

Recently, an open letter entitled “Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers” was released at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aries on July 28, 2015. The letter spells out the basic terms for such an international treaty.  robotdrone1

“Creating a Republic of Cyberspace” (JoongAng Daily, March 23, 2015)

JoongAng Daily

“Creating a Republic of Cyberspace”

March 23, 2015

Emanuel Pastreich



Many people in Asia spend a good part of their day in a territory that is not their own country, but rather in the constantly expanding realm called cyberspace. Although they access it at the local level through computers and smartphones, they are sharing this territory with a community that stretches across Asia, and the world.

The modern world began in the 17th century when Spain, Portugal, England and other nations in Europe started to explore and to exploit the resources of the Americas, Africa and Asia. The global networks for production and distribution that they formed then gave those nations an absolute advantage and also served as a blueprint for the global manufacturing and distribution system we use today. But we have reached the limits of the physical Earth. We cannot exploit natural resources as we did before without grave consequences for the environment. And, as the population approaches 9 billion, we will have to scramble in the future just to assure access to food and water.

But cyberspace offers us a new frontier for expansion, exploration and self-realization, a territory that is in its earliest stages and that cries out to us to define and systematize it. The virtual space being generated on the Internet can store a near infinite amount of information and it offers links to sources of information on the Internet, and intranet networks, that greatly expand the potential of any individual.

Moreover, increases in the capacity of technology over the next few years will make cyberspace a place that can be inhabited literally. Already our children are navigating buildings, scaling mountains and flying airplanes that exist solely in that shared cyberspace. That space they are exploring is the stone age of cyberspace. The growing community of people with similar interests and concerns from around the world online are making cyberspace the most valuable real estate around. How the creative class in cyberspace collaborates to establish new systems and services may be the determining factor for the future of our economy.  Read more of this post

“Cyberspace and East Asian Integration” (TAIK Talk) Saturday, March 14, 2015 6-8 PM

AI logo small


“Cyberspace and East Asian Integration”

Saturday, March 14, 2015   6-8 PM

@ W Stage WCO (Anguk, Seoul)

Ogan Gurel

A Director, Samsung Institute of Advanced Technology


Matthew Weigand

Managing Editor, Business Korea



Dahyeon Rosie Kim

Seoul International School


Moderated by Gabriel Pettyjohn

Researcher at The Asia Institute 

 gabriel pettyjohn

Cyberspace is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it offers the potential for greater communication and deeper exchange beyond the limitations of physical space. On the other hand, cyberspace is open to manipulation which can make it an extremely unstable, and potentially misleading, medium for communication.

Cyberspace is growing at a rapid rate in East Asia. Korea, China and Japan are the center for IT globally and feature one of the highest concentrations of highly literate citizens in the world,. We ask in this seminar whether future agreements regarding governance and accuracy in information within cyberspace could be the key to integration and peaceful development in East Asia? Might there be room for innovation in East Asia concerning network neutrality and the next generation of cybersecurity that could serve as a model for the rest of the world?

We invite the audience to join us in an open discussion concerning how network neutrality, distance learning, diplomacy and the use of big data can be further developed in East Asia as a means of confidence building.





WCO Anguk

“Giving a History to Korean science” (JoongAng Daily, July 14, 2014)

Giving a History to Korean science

JoongAng Daily

July 14, 2014

Emanuel Pastreich



Commercials for German automobiles follow a similar theme. A sleek car is shown racing through a grove of trees and coming to a smooth stop in front of a stately manor house. The narration describes the outstanding tradition of “German engineering” that gives this luxury car an exquisite solidity that cannot be found in other run-of-the-mill brands.

Such advertisements are so effective only because every educated person knows that Germany has a remarkable tradition of science and engineering that can be traced back to Johannes Gutenberg’s printings of the Bible and has produced outstanding figures like Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Konrad Zuse. German engineering does not require any special explanation. There is a solid, reliable and trust-inspiring aspect to German engineering that does not require a footnote.  Read more of this post

北京大学: 一所世界性的大学 (贝一明的提案)


2000年 6月 20日



国人总用汉语跟他们说话。他觉得虽然很多美国人是从欧洲移民过来的,美国将来是 一个充满东亚文化气息的国家。而且假如美国十九世纪没有因为人种歧视限制东亚人的移民,现在美国已经是这样的一个国家了。现在美国人越来越喜欢、关心东 亚。这位很特别的美国人说朝鲜快要统一了。所以,以后中国,韩国,日本,美国就会象欧洲共同体一样,有非常紧密的经济、科技、文化的交流。为了这目的,他 写了一个计划。虽然很理想,还是仍然有实现的可能性。这个特别的美国人就是伊利诺伊大学东亚研究系的助理教授贝一明,他的英文名字是:Emanuel Pastreich。

贝一明非常喜欢伊利诺伊大学。为什么?因为虽然伊利诺伊大学不像哈佛大学那样, 有那么高的知名度,可是在伊利诺伊大学的东亚人,例如:中国人,韩国人,日本人,当老师,当学生的非常地多。所以他认为这所大学在同东亚的交流与联系上一 定有无以伦比的优越性。这所大学的发展前景是非常光明的。另外,在中国工作的伊利诺伊大学的毕业生也不少。这真是联系伊利诺伊大学和中国的理想环境。

贝一明已经用韩文写了他的计划给韩国人,用日文写了他的计划给日本人。贝一明平常用三个语言写电子邮件。你也可以用汉语写信给他。他的电子信箱是伊利诺伊大学的有关互联网的研究是世界上最发达的。所以在伊利诺伊大学任教的他 想到了这个利用互联网教学的计划。贝一明打算七月来北大。他还没有拿到学校资助的旅行费用,所以如果你有地方给他住,他将会很感谢。如果你觉得他的计划有 道理,请把他的这个电子邮件送给其他北大的老师。如果你有意见和建议请告诉贝一明。很重要的一点是贝一明写这个计划不只是为了美国的伊利诺伊大学,也是为 了北大。如果你有认识的老师和朋友在伊大,请跟他们联络,告诉贝老师的这个计划。不只是伊大,如果你有从前在东京大学或者在汉城大学作研究的老师或朋友, 也请告诉他们这个计划。或许你不会英语,日语与韩语。不过,不要急。贝老师的这封信也付上三个附件,是分别用日文、韩文和英文写的这个计划。名为uofprop的附件是用日文形容贝老师的计划可以给东京大学的老师看。名为snuprop的附件是用韩文形容他的计划可以给汉城大学的老师看。名为uiucprop的附件是用英文形容他的计划可以给美国伊大的老师看。另外,你还认识伊大,东京大学,汉城大学毕业的在北大任教的老师吗?请你也把这封信送给他们。

贝一明在美国的旧金山念高中。他念最好的市立高中学校。那里的中国人也特别多。 从那时起,他就对东亚文化很感兴趣。他去耶鲁大学念中文系。大三去过中国留学,而且在中国跟很多的中国人交了朋友。耶鲁大学毕业后,他去日本念书。在东京 大学取得硕士学位。他的毕业论文是他用日文写的比较中国跟日本的诗歌。他一九九二年回到美国在哈佛大学念博士。他还想学另外一门东亚的语言:韩语。所以一 九九五年去汉成大学中文系作中韩小说的比较。在那里他有幸找到了他的终生伴侣:李承垠小姐。他跟李承垠小姐结婚后,也要他妻子学习汉语与日语。现在他妻子 汉语与日语都会讲了。

贝一明常说:"我不怕中国强。我只希望中国对于全世界有责任心,有伟大的贡献。”所以他写了这个伟大的计划。 Read more of this post

“Facebook and the Future of Global Governance” Truthout


April 3, 2014

“Facebook and the Future of Global Governance”


Emanuel Pastreich




Facebook has become a critical platform for international exchange that allows people around the world to seek out peers with similar interests and to begin serious exchanges with them about how to create a better world. Although Facebook is a for-profit organization that treats its users as potential advertisers and uses personal information gathered from postings as a private commodity for sale to third parties, nevertheless Facebook is still the best means to reach out to a broad audience and to develop a global audience.

Facebook was not intended for serious intellectual and political exchange. At present, you cannot easily seek out other people with common interests (or by region) using a search on Facebook and you cannot systematically store the materials that you send or receive through Facebook for easy reference. Information posted is designed to essentially disappear within a few days. In addition, there is no way for third parties to develop original apps to run on Facebook that would allow users to expand its functionality or customize their pages. There are many ways that those actually using Facebook can carry out the innovations necessary to make it a meaningful means of sharing information.  Read more of this post

Asia Institute with Peter Singer featured in Business Korea (January 2014)

Business Korea

“The State, the Internet, and Cybersecurity with Peter Singer”

Asia Institute Seminar

8 JANUARY 2014


On January 2, Dr. Emanuel Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute, sat down with Peter Singer, director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program of the Brookings Institute. Singer’s research focuses on three core issues: current US defense needs and future priorities, the future of war and the future of the US defense system. Singer lectures frequently to US military audiences and is the author of several books and articles, including his most recent book, Cyber Security and Cyber War (


Emanuel Pastreich: “When you chose to title your new book as Cyber Security and Cyber War did you intend to make a clear distinction between two discrete issues?”

Peter Singer: “Cyber security and cyber war are two separate topics that are related in that within the new domain of cyberspace we see an overlap between what we traditionally refer to as the civilian sphere and the military sphere. Cyberspace is evolving as a realm that includes everything from commerce, entertainment and communications to forms of direct conflict. For example, 98% of all military communications travels through cyberspace, but, at the same time, the cyberspace they are channeling over is primarily civilian owned.

“Let us step back and take a look at this problem in proper perspective. For too long the thinking about cyber security questions have been left to what I call the “IT crowd.” That is to say we have a group of technologists pondering cyberspace and its potential. But at this point in time, whether you are a politician, a general, a business leader, a lawyer, a citizen or a parent, those security questions are clear and present for the rest of us as well. We need to understand cyberspace and commit to planning for a future with it at the center.

“The book is structured around approximately sixty central questions concerning the nature and the potential of cyberspace. ‘How it all works? For example, I use the Internet every day, how does it actually work?’ Or ‘What is cyber terrorism?’ ‘I keep hearing about it; is it as bad as some people say?’

“The book then traces the technology back to the ‘who,’ the prominent players in the field and why their dynamics matter. For example, ‘Who is this Anonymous group I keep hearing so much about in the news?’ ‘What is the strategy of the US military for cyberspace?’ ‘What is the Chinese strategy in cyberspace?’

“And then the final third of the book concerns ‘What can we do?’ Those questions range from the personal and organizational to the national, the regional, and the global level. So the book includes everything from how to prevent possible global cyber wars on a massive scale to offering advice on how to protect ourselves and maintain the Internet that we all know, love, and depend on.

“What differentiates this book from my previous books, Wired for War and Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, is the nature of the debate we are raising. In my previous books whether I was describing private military contractors like Blackwater or the rise of drones, I was trying above all to draw public attention to a new issue of critical importance. For example, when I started working on drones in 2005 it was a new field that called out for attention, for people to realize that drones were real and would matter very soon. In the case of this book on cyberspace, however, the issue is quite different. We all know cyberspace and security is a critical topic. The problem is rather that we simply do not understand it. Not knowing about cyberspace means that we can be taken advantage of. At the individual level we are subject to hackers and false information. And at a higher level, companies and government agencies have profited, frankly, by just making this whole process seem much scarier than it actually is. And then there are the groups that claim to have the “secret sauce,” the “secret recipe” that will solve all the problems of cyberspace. We want to explain cyberspace to people in a manner that builds substantial understanding and also makes for a great read. We include many funny anecdotes, intriguing characters, and jokes that are not found normally in a technology book.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “So, in cyberspace, is there a posse comitatus?”

Peter Singer: “Well, no, there is not. There remain a series of issues that we need to work out. When I say ‘we’ I am talking about communities at every level, from the global down to the national, regional, and individual. We need to think about how agencies and corporations can be made accountable and responsible, but also about what we can do as citizens. For example, what exactly do we mean as a community, as a nation, by ‘cyber war?’ And, in turn, who should we expect to fight it?

“One challenge that we find in this debate that we want to unpack for readers is the wide variety of dissimilar threats that we often bundle together as cyber threats simply because they all take place in cyberspace. For example, one senior Pentagon official cited an enormous number of cyber attacks on the Pentagon when he testified to Congress. The problem was that what he spoke of an “attack” the congressmen listening imagined some existential ‘cyber Pearl Harbor’ or ‘cyber 9-11.’ After all, that is what the secretary of defense had been discussing in various closed hearings. Yet, what the Pentagon official was talking about with these numbers instead was a hodgepodge ranging from attempts at address scans or ‘knocks,’ defamation (i.e., pranks such as changing external user-face websites), espionage (i.e., stealing secrets), and some more aggressive attempts to compromise security.

“That Pentagon official was bundling together everything from the equivalent of a teenage prankster with a firecracker, to a pistol-robber, a terrorist with a roadside bomb, a spy with a hidden gun, and a military armed with a cruise-missile. He was giving the impression that all these ‘attacks’ were basically similar because they all use the technology of cyberspace. But the only similarity between a firecracker and a cruise missile is the use of the technology of explosive materials. Such discussions are not a responsible way to keep the public informed about a critical issue.

“What we need to do is to disentangle our thinking about the nature of the threats and in turn that will allow us to disentangle our thinking about appropriate responses. For example, the US Military Cyber Command and its partner the National Security Agency have taken on a wide range of roles largely because of an overwhelming fear of what cyber attacks could be and also the fact that other agencies lack skill and the budget capacity. They are handling issues, as a result, that frankly are not appropriate to their mandate. ‘Appropriate’ here means in a strategic and organizational sense, and also in a legal sense.

“Think of it this way: Let’s imagine two banks were transferring money between them and one of their trucks was blocked in the street by a group of protesters. Well, no one would say, ‘call in the Army! It is the Army’s responsibility!’ And yet that is how we often react if the issue involves electronic transfers. We have to get over that kind of thinking. This is also huge to the concerns of IP theft and US-China tensions that result from it. It is critical that we disentangle certain subtle but important differences between a ‘9-11’ threat and a ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

Emanuel Pastreich: “That makes sense. I want to come back to the division of labor you hinted at. For example, with regards to the players such as the FBI, the NSA or the army, is there a field, for example, in which the FBI has exclusive dominion? The very terms domestic and international can be ambiguous when we are talking about cyberspace.”

Peter Singer: “You have hit one of the major challenges. Trying to figure out when and where this construct — the notion of a state border — was established back in the 1700s applies, and when it does not, is a major bone of contention. Too often it seems as if cyberspace is a ‘stateless’ domain as some claim. As the adage goes, cyberspace is the ‘global commons.’ So some assume that somehow nations, states, have no role in cyberspace. But the reality is that states matter in cyberspace in two core ways.

“First, what happens in cyberspace has a direct impact on states. Simply put, since our commerce, communications, and infrastructure all depend on the safe, smooth running of that domain, states have to think about cyberspace seriously with an eye towards their own security and stability. They cannot afford not to care. Second, while cyberspace is virtual, the people who design and administer it, and the hardware that runs it, are located within national borders. There is no truly stateless aspect to cyberspace.”

“Let me be clear on this point. I am not suggesting that transnational dimensions are insignificant. They are critical and unprecedented. But the problem is far more complex than it appears at first glance. I am pushing back against the notion that cyberspace is somehow ‘stateless.’”

Emanuel Pastreich: “But we have players these days around the globe who can use randomized data, so it is not so easy to figure out by the servers which particular state he, she, or they are in. So although cyberspace is not stateless, there are ghosts in the machine.”

Peter Singer: “Yes, that is an important challenge. This problem comes up, for example, in the case of not only attribution but also of prosecution for crimes. There is a movie out about Julian Assange, ‘The Fifth Estate,’ that illustrates both sides of this problem. On the one hand, WikiLeaks, the organization, has been able to stay functional because of its transnational presence. Each time a state tries to shut it down, it simply transfers operations or picks up stakes. It also has woven a funding structure into things on which the state depends. It did so with the French banking system, for example.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “The viral effect…”

Peter Singer: “Yes, exactly. On the other hand, Julian Assange the person has been indicted in one state and is stuck in an embassy in another. While the online organization has been able to thrive, some of the individuals involved are subject to the power of the state. The power of the state still matters.

“To return to your question, one of the things that we will have to figure out is: what is the appropriate mechanism for states to cooperate in these domains? What agencies matter? Which is an appropriate response on the state level? And, finally, where is the line between the public and the private? In our book we have chapters in which, as an illustration, we ask whether we need international treaties for cyberspace. Are such treaties even possible? We also consider the dangers of certain international institutions overreaching their mandate and being used to clamp down on freedom of expression online. We see today new coalitions of democratic forces battling authoritarian states over the future of the Internet itself.

“Then at the state level we call for an end to viewing cyberspace through solely a national security or law enforcement framework. There are examples in public health, for example, in which nations are able to cooperate better but also to extend responsibility not just to the government but also to us as individuals. In the case of public health, there are national and international agencies that conduct investigations, research, and carry out the tracking of disease outbreaks. But we do not say that the entire work is up to them. For example, I teach my kids to cover their mouths when they cough, because we teach the importance to our kids of the habits of good hygiene to protect both themselves, but also others. There is an equivalent to cyber hygiene which serves not only to protect youth, but also to teach them that it is their responsibility as good citizens to protect others online. There are some parallels here in terms of protecting your computer from being taken over by a botnet. It is also about protecting the broader Internet.

“The book offers new, creative, different ways at looking at security.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “One of the challenges for us today is the distinction concerning the attribution for various cyber threats. Are these problems a result of a decline of morality, bad behavior, increased corruption, or is this problem simply a product of Moore’s Law? Many crimes are simply easier and cheaper to do today. The problems cannot be stopped easily because they are driven by changes in the playing field itself.”

Peter Singer: “You ask two very important questions. But let us first try to disentangle a bit. On one hand, we can talk about the motivations of groups like ‘Anonymous’ that have, in many ways, become the bogeymen of the cyber era. In one of the chapters in the book I ask somewhat ironically, ‘Who is Anonymous?’ The book delves into the history of the organization and describes how it operates. What is important to understand is that this organization defies our traditional notion of a top-down hierarchy. Rather, Anonymous is more of a constantly shifting collective. But also, consistently throughout its history, there has been a focus on Internet freedom, Internet good behavior. For example, the public debut of ‘Anonymous’ in the mainstream media came when the group helped to track down a child predator. Later on, the line that connected everything from the operations they carried out concerning the Church of Scientology to their role in ‘Operation Avenge Assange’ in response to the financial supporters of WikiLeaks being challenged, to the many activities being carried out today, was the emphasis on threats to Internet freedom. People can certainly go back and forth debating on whether Anonymous’ has gone too far or not. But the problem is that policy makers talking about cyber security tend to lump together ‘Anonymous’ with Al-Qaeda or Russian criminal organizations. Those are all very different organizations. We need to be clear about the variety of players.

“Regarding your second point, one striking feature of the short history of cyber security and cyber war is rate of the game change in our generation. With regards to technology, security, and war there is a far lower barrier to entry now and, in turn, the greater empowerment of smaller organizations — all the way down to individuals.

“Technological change forms a clear line that connects the past books that I have done on private military contractors, child soldiers, robotics, and now in cyberspace. Several centuries ago, whatever the weapon of war, it required a massive scale to build and operate effectively. Historian Charles Tilly said that ‘War made the state and the state made war.’ There was a centralization of power before. Instead, now, with the new technologies, cyber weapons or drones, a massive organization such as a “Manhattan Project” is no longer needed to produce a small drone or to carry out a cyber attack. While these new weapons have certainly been useful to governments, they have even been even more empowering for small groups and individuals. Some people dismissed users like ‘Anonymous’ as ‘all bark and no bite.’ But, a small group of online individuals, most of whom had never met, have found a way to mobilize and to direct the world’s attention to causes about which they care. That was not possible before.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “You have perhaps a slightly more optimistic view of what is happening. It seems to me that when ‘Anonymous’ carries out their strikes for Internet freedom, there are groups in corporations or in government who go along with them, even support them in their efforts, not because they necessarily believe in the ‘Anonymous’ cause but because it aids them in their particular agenda they are pursuing. Maybe they just want to bring down the NSA so they can get a piece of that enormous budget. It is a bit more complicated than it appears.”

Peter Singer: “Yes, absolutely. It is both a new trend but also the story of politics going back to the ancient philosophers. In discussions about technology we tend to want to focus on the technology itself. Engineers are most comfortable talking about how it works. However, why it matters, in history, always comes back as the critical issue. To understand what is happening in cyberspace and cyber security, we need to understand the people, the organizations, as well as the motivations and incentives that drive them we need a broad perspective. We must get a glimpse at the dynamics going on within a group such as ‘Anonymous’ and how governments are reacting to it. That perspective also helps us understand why certain business sectors, like the financial sector, have done a great deal in protecting themselves in cyber security, while others such as the electrical power grid have not. It all comes down to incentives.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “Maybe you can say a few words about our response. There are at least two problems in terms of security. If one wants to have security in a situation in which a single individual or small group can do an enormous amount of damage, it requires by nature a repressive system. The system has to be capable of being focused and responding very effectively. So, it inherently creates problems. Any response is going to be problematic.

“The second issue concerns the rate of technological change. If technology keeps changing, evolving exponentially, you might make up some treaty on cyber security in 2014 that will be meaningless by 2020 because the nature of cyberspace would have changed so profoundly.

“What are your thoughts on these two questions? First, how do you maintain security without it becoming a repressive system? And how do you maintain standards and the rules in a constantly-changing environment?”

Peter Singer: “The first question, in many ways, again echoes back across the ages before the Internet was ever conceived. The debate over the trade-off of rights versus security is not new. We can see that debate in the writings of ancient philosophers. The way they came down on the issue back then is the way we should come down on it today. Yes, you can live in a system that has no terrorism, where criminals are immediately caught. But, in reality we call those totalitarian regimes. However, you could also live in absolute anarchy, but that is an equally insecure world that does not allow one to exercise the most basic rights as a result. The key is finding that balance. We should not assume we can eliminate all threats. Rather we should accept the reality that threats exist and seek to manage them.

“It is all about building structures and incentives that will allow you to manage the world better. In the book we present fifteen things we can and should do to respond to cyberspace, everything from building appropriate institutions in government and global institutions to local community activities. We see the effort to establish better security as both a public and private problem. We must establish the right incentives, build better information sharing systems, and increase transparency. We need to set up clear norms for accountability and reliability. There are many cyber-people problems for which we need to train experts at all levels to respond. There is so much that we can and should do.

“But we also should not let fear steer us solely. The book opens with a description of how each of us remembers as young boys or girls the first time we saw a computer. I was seven years old when I first saw a computer. I am now thirty-eight. My dad took me to a science museum and there I took a class to learn how to program computers to do an amazing thing: print out a smiley face. That is the beginning of the book. We circle back to that same moment at the end of the book. Imagine if my dad had told me at the age of seven, ‘This thing, the computer, it is going to allow people to steal your identity. It is going to allow militaries to carry out all new kinds of war. It may even allow terrorists to turn off the power grid or steal everyone’s money.’ My little seven year-old self would have said, ‘Oh my God, Dad, we must stop this computer, do not turn it on.’

“Of course, looking back at that, we accept these risks because of all the great things that we can do with computers. I can track down the answer to almost any question on line. I am friends with people around the world I have never met. To me, what has played out over the last thirty years is exactly the same thing that we will witness in the future. We have to accept and manage the risks because of all the great things we can do with this technology.

“That is where we have to be mindful of the people who are trying to steer us in the wrong direction, whether it is the people who are trying to make cyberspace too insecure a space, or the people who are trying to make it too secure but do away with the freedom and great features in it by just militarizing this space.

“Regarding your second question concerning whether technological change could lead to outdated treaties or laws practically the very next day, you have hit it exactly right. Cyberspace is a constantly-evolving medium, and indeed the Internet that we know and love today will be quite different five years from now. Everything from the users, to the language of the Internet, to the mentality of online freedom, will change.

“Also, many parts of the Internet are going mobile. And in the future the Internet will be woven into things. Cisco estimates that over the next few decades we will go from having a couple billion devices online, essentially each person behind a device, to seventy-five billion devices online. That means that it will not be just people behind those devices carrying on conversations—it will be things talking to each other.

“One cannot legislate a too-defined law that will not remain relevant. That would not be a good strategy. It also ignores the ‘reality’ of today. You are not going to find the United States, Russia, South Korea, North Korea, China, or Brazil all agreeing on the exact language of some treaty right now. That does not mean that you do not need a building of new laws, norms, and codes for conduct and behavior. In the United States, our Congress has not passed new major cyber security legislation since 2002. What we are pushing for globally and nationally is not to rewrite all law, but, rather to graft new law to previous legal precedents. Rather than plant an entire new tree, instead we should graft new legal developments for cyberspace onto an old, healthy tree. That is, determine what works, affirm the common values that we all hold, and then build off of that. That is the pathway to success.”

Emanuel Pastreich: “Yes, right. When I wrote an article some time ago entitled ‘Constitution of Information,’ the first point I stressed was one could not write such a constitution unless the writer actually had stakeholders involved in the discussion. It would just be an academic exercise to talk about an ideal world. The real process requires actually getting the people who can make decisions that represent active organizations involved.”

Peter Singer: “Absolutely.” Read more of this post

“옷부터 장기까지…3D프린터가 산업 바꾼다” 이만열 및 커즈와일 기조연설 (대덕넷 2013년 5월 21일 )



2013 5 21


옷부터 장기까지…3D프린터가 산업 바꾼다”

구글 커즈와일 이사, 21일 ‘미래창조과학 국제컨퍼런스’서 강조
이만열 경희대 교수 “한국의 홍익인간 사상이 과학기술 발전 밑거름”

“향후 3D프린터 보편화는 제조업을 대체할 것으로 기대된다. 기존 비즈니스 모델은 무너지겠지만 소비자가 원하는 요구를 들어주지 않으면 기업은 성장할 수 없다. 새로운 비지니스 모델을 이해하고 받아들여야한다”

미래창조과학부(장관 최문기)가 추최하는 ‘2013 미래창조과학 국제컨퍼런스’가 21일 서울 코엑스에서 열렸다. 행사에는 국내외 정부관계자를 비롯 저명한 ICT관계자와 과학자들이 참석했으며, 약 400여명의 관계자들이 한국의 ICT기술을 발판으로 미래 창조경제 실현의 가능성을 진단하기 위해 한 자리에 모였다.

컨퍼런스는 과학기술과 ICT 연구개발을 통해 경제성장의 토대를 마련하고 창의비지니스 출현과 벤처기업 창업을 촉진해 고용 확대와 국가성장을 실현시키기 위한 발표가 이어졌다.

◆ 과학기술 발전은 비지니스 모델 무너뜨린다?… “새로운 기회로”

행사의 기조발표자로 나선 발명가이자 미래학자인 레이먼드 커즈와일 구글 이사는 과학기술의 진보와 정보기술이 기존 비즈니스 모델을 무너뜨리겠지만 오히려 산업의 활성화를 일으킬 수 있음을 강조했다.

그에 따르면 과거 우리는 음반이나 책 등을 공유할 때 우편을 활용했지만 이제는 인터넷 기반 정보통신기술을 통해 공유하며 3D프린터로 개인이 물건을 생산할 수도 있다. 아직은 보편화되지 않았지만 3D 프린트 기술이 점점 기하학적을 증가함에 따라 제조를 대체할 것이다. Read more of this post

Our world turned inside-out: The impact of technology on humanity

My student and friend Nam Hyun-Woo sent me this remarkable photograph today. I think it is a clear tribute to our age and to the impact of technology, of mechanical reproduction, on self and identity. We see here so bluntly the danger of narcissism, and the ontological mise-en-abyme that results from the increasing inexpensive and seductive technologies of images.

We  also can derive some hints as to the ultimate dark consequences of spending our lives looking into screens as if our life depended on it. Perhaps, in the not too distant future, that will be true in a sense we never imagined possible. Let us use our imaginations now, while we still have them and have not outsourced them to more reliable technologies.

Emanuel Pastreich
June 5, 2013

Photograph by Nam Hyun-Woo (June, 2013)

Photograph by Nam Hyun-Woo (June, 2013)

“The Impending Crisis of Data: Do We Need a “Constitution of Information?” (The Hankyoreh)


June 3, 2013

By Emanuel Pastreich

The Impending Crisis of Data: Do We Need a “Constitution of Information?

The recent scandal involving the surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News by the United States Justice Department has focused attention on the erosion of privacy and freedom of speech in recent years. But before we simply attribute these events to the ethical failings of Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff, we also should consider the technological revolution powering this incident, and thousands like it. It would appear that bureaucrats simply are seduced by the ease with which information can be gathered and manipulated. At the rate that technologies for the collection and fabrication of information are evolving, what is now available to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the United States, and around the world, will soon be available to individuals and small groups.

We must come to terms with the current information revolution and take the first steps to form global institutions that will assure that our society, and our governments, can continue to function through this chaotic and disconcerting period. The exponential increase in the power of computers will mean that changes the go far beyond the limits of slow-moving human government. We will need to build new institutions to the crisis that are substantial and long-term. It will not be a matter that can be solved by adding a new division to Homeland Security or Google.

We do not have any choice. To make light of the crisis means allowing shadowy organizations to usurp for themselves immense power through the collection and distortion of information. Failure to keep up with technological change in an institutional sense will mean that in the future government will be at best a symbolic Read more of this post