Hubris versus Practical limitations

This is not unknown to us, the ego versus reality. We saw it in the US (the age of Trumpism) on how anti Chinese events were hitting Huawei. I have forever opposed that. Huawei is one of the really few true innovative companies and as such they pretty much owned the market. I have never weight to any accusation of Huawei is taking orders from the Chinese government, because all these wannabe makers could not present evidence, and are we not a population of evidence? There had been 1-2 claims that were decently made, but for the most it was a joke. Yet today the BBC gave us (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56851558) ‘GCHQ chief warns of tech ‘moment of reckoning’’ which is a different setting. Here we see “Jeremy Fleming said there was a risk that key technologies on which we rely will no longer be shaped by the West. “We have to keep evolving our approach if we’re going to keep up,” he said of the growing challenge from China”, here I agree. There is a harder need to evolve matters, but that issue needed to be given to the larger players in 2018 when they decided to sit back, relax and watch their bank account fatten overnight. That play was a bad one and governments had to step in years ago to make it happen, as such the next 3 years will be about catching up. British Telecom, Telstra, KPN, they all hd the same flaw and they pretty much all were sitting back and let third party evolution decide the future. It is a choice, but that old story of ‘when you hand over the reigns you lose control of direction’ was too easily forgotten. So when we see ““The risk, as I see it today, is that we lose control of the standards that shape our technology environment,” he told the BBC. “The things that make sure that our liberal Western democratic views are baked into our technology.”” We see that Jeremy Fleming (fearless leader of GCHQ) is right. A national interest is having national products, I do not disagree there, but the players were lazy. Even now (a short time ago) on November 14th 2020, in the article ‘Tik..Tik..Tik..’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/11/14/tik-tik-tik/) I gave the quote “as Gerhard Schindler (no relation to Oskar) is giving us ‘its technology is now so advanced that Germany cannot tell if it is being used for sinister purpose’, we see the first truth, technology in the EU (and the US) is massively behind Huawei and Chinese IP as well”, this was Gerhard Schindler, former President of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German Federal Intelligence Service. If they are technological in the dark, how bad did it get? 

So, I am on Jeremy’s side when it comes to the fact that such technology needs to be in national hands, I never opposed that, but the next three years we are all blatantly behind and we either buy the current IP from Huawei, or we accept them, or we lose the 5G war right here and right now. Even as the US is screaming alternatives (Nokia among them) and we see a months ago (source: the Guardian) that ‘Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide to bankroll new 5G drive, we should wonder (with stress) just how far they got behind on the other players. That is seen in the quote “The Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has unveiled plans to cut up to 10,000 jobs worldwide in the next two years, and wants to use the savings to catch up with rivals on 5G technologies”, so how can the UK (Australia and Canada too) expect to get ahead of Huawei in the near future? Lets not forget that the denial of existence in the EU, Commonwealth and the US of Huawei technology implies that Chinese companies will have a massive leg up winning the 5G race and as such the larger stage of the IoT will be in THEIR hands, there is no other way to see it at present. Then we get a part that is important, and partially surprising. “Mr Fleming said it was vital to ensure all the technologies were not from one place and to understand how data was being processed. There were only a relatively small number of areas where the UK would need to completely control a technology, he said, and more broadly working with allies would be essential to shape international standards and to defend itself in cyberspace. At home, the UK has to invest in skills and innovation.” In this I agree with all part, the surprising part is ‘the UK has to invest in skills and innovation’, in this the surprising part is that this cannot be done overnight, it is the recognition that skills and innovations towards 5G are 2 years away, close to my predictions a year ago, so nice for GCHQ to catch up on this. All whilst we see overly clever puzzles all over the place, the setting of skills go further than that. My previous article involving ONT gives rise to a developing need and there is nothing at present, the evolving need for digital forensics is blatantly yesterday’s approach and they will need people thinking in other area’s as well. The digital future is not where they expect it to be, they need to consider that it is in directions that aren’t even considered today. Even now as they are contemplating the need of where organised crime will be, the setting is not dissimilar from disorganised corporate crimes and most haven’t even worked out that part, it is a large amount of billions a year, but they are still pondering what is important. When you ponder that for 3-5 years, we tend to call it sitting on your hands. It is a close relative of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ (AKA waitstate). And when was the last time that this worked? You can initiate actions on the spot when it is football, but not when billions in costs are found that does not hit the revenue of the media, UEFA, or FIFA? How is that even possible?

We all understand practical limitations, yet innovation is found in directions where limitations were evident. Consider asking Wilbur Wright, Igor Sikorsky or Jacques Cousteau that question. Even with the limitations (practical or not) we got the plane, the helicopter and the aqua-lung. Can you even imagine this world without any of these three? And even as the west used to be the rulers of technology, China and South Korea have the bulk of all patents in that regard today, as such it will be extremely expensive, or we need to work with a different set of rules. Nothing else will quite serve national interests, wherever that is. And consider that I came up with two weapon based IP’s in a matter of days (a few months ago), one was a novel way in making a nuclear reactor meltdown, as such, we need to consider looking in other directions for the ideas that truly innovate the future (I used a posh snow-globe for one of them) and in the process came up with two new valve systems, not bad for a simple IT support guy. Even as the article ends strong with “The UK should not be “fatalistic”, he said, and had a “very strong track record” of meeting technology challenges”, the failure here is that the decision makers tend to have a ‘what can I get out of this’ approach, and when did THAT ever lead to innovation? It merely created a setting of distrust and a group of people who sat on ideas instead of pushing that idea in a group that truly pushed innovation, not a group that grabs the idea and transforms it into a partial iterative idea for long term gains. That is what is killing nearly all innovation, especially the innovation we need now, it is the only way to get ahead of what is now, we need to create what will make it tomorrow and that comes with flaws and failures, there is no other way, but in that setting people did come up with the true innovations, not unlike the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. It took 8 years to get ready and even as we dreamed of flight for many centuries that was the moment reality stepped in. It would take 120 years for the Wright brothers to take it into a new direction, now we become the watchers as Huawei is leading the 5G race, the others are all eager to catch up, but some have to let go of 10,000 employees to fund the events. So how long will be be the spectators instead of the actual pushers? I will let you decide, yet in this, the larger problem is another unmentioned one, there is a ring of decision makers who want to be ‘included’ in whatever comes next and that is stopping way too much. The era of those joining DARPA leading the fight of innovation is nearly over, you remember that group of nerds? They invented the internet, you might have head of that.

It is all part of one currency, hubris and practical limitations, but we need to see through both to understand where progress is possible and seeing through practical limitations is hard, I know that, I understand that. I wonder if Jeremy Fleming does. 

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Filed under IT, Military, Politics, Science

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