More wars, and rumours of wars. This time, the Russians are coming. Cold war rebooted? #mscedc

This picks up on my earlier post, entitled ‘Wars, and rumours of wars’. Also, it connects with issues of periodisation, and the historiography of digital cultures. As mentioned in the Radio 4 ‘Thinking Aloud’ programme earlier this week, the Cold War and its aftermath was integral to the ways in which digital technologies – and their associated cultures – have developed.

The link is from the BBC News:

As another integrative connection across my Lifestream, this piece also points to issues of security being wider than just hackers. Also, the reported focusing on control of information links in with issues of fake-news, post-truth and democracy explored in other Lifestream postings. As a further, connection, the Lifestream posting on bots battling it out on Wikipedia sites takes a more sinister turn with the possibility of this kind of information warfare. I anticipate that an algorithmic dimension makes this much harder to track, to anticipate, and to defend against.

In a new move on from Cold War 1.0, this seems to be less a matter of clashing ideologies, and more an attack via the social, via digital cultures, on the operative outcomes of rival nation-states. The final comments in the piece about bloodless but paralysing interventions typify this. If the development of aviation in World War One anticipated mass civilian bombings in World War Two, then this kind of nation-state policy, enabled via digital connections, is both a fascinating and disturbing possibility.

Did the Cold War end, pause, or simply reshape? As mentioned in the above Tweet, perhaps ‘reboot’ is a suitable metaphor covering all three options. Cold War 2.0 – perhaps we hardly see it as yet.