Home Up



Essential Considerations on the Natural Philosophy of Security

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2003 by RDFollendoreIII

February 10, 2003

The natural relevance of cryptography to personal definitions of security becomes obvious as we begin to take individual definitions and put them into context.  As we do this, we can begin to see how the statements begin to resonate into a total philosophical concept that would not rationally be isolated. It is only when we pick the definitions apart by choice that there is a failure to express the technical totality of cryptography.  This is the root problem with the conventional idea of "engineering" security.   

Just as the number of possible combinatorial representations of a coded arrangements results in an enormous number of potential permutations, so too do the number of possible of descriptor definitions for the relationships of cryptography and security within organized societies.  The reductionist idea that isolatable individual parts make up the totality of complex systems like those of biological entities represents an outmoded, top-down, and thoroughly unscientific philosophical perspective.  Such thinking is an antiquated mechanical engineering perspective of what was once considered the best way to rationally visualize and represent the organization of things. Reductionist methods of thinking fails because it does not accurately model deep seated interactions and recursions within complex systems. Real world complexity involves "chaotic defects of disorder" as well as opportunities for order as found in reductionist models.     

To better understand the philosophic nature of cryptography as it relates to security, it is therefore not enough to simply represent that which has been permuted, for the unrepresentative potential of permutations are the essence of its accounting.  It is the chaotic unknown that is fundamentally a part of the cryptographic refinement. Taking a potential unknown permutation from the possible number of total permutations reveals the individual security weakness of a known permutation, just as ignoring an unrecognized cryptographic relevance produces weakness in security philosophies.  Reducing the concepts of cryptography to knowns causes it to fail to be what it otherwise is or could be.  It is rather like drying a delicate jellyfish out and then trying to describe it as being separate from the ocean. 

The systems view of cryptographic security is not merely a mathematical function, it represents an almost "biological" requirement.  The isolation of individual functions and purposes do not necessarily create greater understanding of the functions of a whole, any more than the removal one of each single kinds of cells from a body and putting them together in a glass vial constitutes a living organism. The functional purpose of complexity is that individual parts serve more than one purpose, through unforeseen secondary and higher combinatorial attributes. 

What is perhaps most important is not our philosophical concern for the existence of the sound of a tree that falls in the forest, as much as it is the importance of the contribution of that tree within the complex tapestry of complicated relationships that affect us.  With respect to the philosophy of security, the knowledge of a specific aspect of cryptography may not be at any time as important as the knowledge that a healthy dose of diverse complexity exists.  The rich notions of cryptography considered in this way opens a potential wealth of opportunities for solutions that could never be approached through conventional standards and their consequently hard wired top-down or bottom-up technical approaches.  This moves far past the technical concepts of cryptography. Within a natural philosophy of security, the phenomena being studied remains part of its environment.  This means that security is not only "out there," it is also "in here."   

It has been said that the original biological reason for the exponential growth of that curious survival organ called the human brain was to consider and operate on the survival opportunities that arise out of the complexities of social interaction.  Just as there are orders of relationships that when combined create alliances as well as disunities, so too there are security relationships that strengthen and weaken the cohesion of the organizational group.  It should therefore be no wonder that the philosophical complexities of cohesive relationships associated within cryptographic security should be considered in similar ways.  

It should be obvious that our own emotional coexistence represents a bias within the context of security so that its technical means can't simply be isolated without also separating the fundamental definitions of organizational survival.  Once again, reductionism fails the test of complete understanding. The human mind is the result of that peculiar organ we call the brain and as such, we can not separate the physical corporeal existence from our emotional selves without losing the essence of who and what we are and what it is we wish to become.  This comparison is incredibly important to a natural unifying theory of security.  The great criticism of conventional of security is that we have never discovered a unifying general philosophy that would allow us to recognize those relevant secondary and tertiary processes by which we may actualize our most basic organizational needs.  That is because we insist on leaving out the most important and relevant security artifact, which is us. 




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved