Friday, December 19, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Interdependence

Interdependence, a foundational tenet of Buddhism, was not something the Buddha dreamed up - even if his realization and its articulation were key. A law of nature, it means that no one thing can exist without another set of factors contributing to its existence.

For example, we experience ourselves to be independent identities, captains in charge of our body-mind vessel, yet if one traces our existence on planet earth, its validity exists only as an intertwined phenomenon: egg met sperm, mother met father, and the karmic twists and turns that magnetized them together drift into infinity.

Segway to the world of cyberspace. "Houston, we have problem," to quote the line from a famous movie. Our virtual reality, which runs the world these days, seems to have an Achilles heel. The very technologies that have made our lives so convenient could also be the very thing to wreak havoc on the world as we know it.

The news media is all over the story of North Korea hacking into vital parts of our infrastructure. Not widely reported, they have also toyed with South Korea in a cat and mouse game that paralyzed ATMS, confused nuclear facilities and so on an so forth. 

How fitting! A thirty-something dictator groks that cyber-terrorism is so much more cool than those passé bombs, tanks, trucks and planes. With its labyrinth of interconnected portals, the internet proves a far greater weapon in our interdependent reality.

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