The sixth side of the Pentagon
Looking closely at the latest Wikileaks load
of CIA evil. This 'Grasshopper' thing is ELEGANT software applied to a purpose that doesn't need elegance.
The underlying system is just a persistent installer for malware, not the malware itself. Sort of like a semi-automatic language pistol. Such a system doesn't need a full-fledged control language because there aren't all that many options. Check the time; if it's time to reload, pick up the malware from the magazine, check the ambient conditions, defeat the AV system, defeat the access protections in Windows, and shoot appropriate files into the target. Those choices could have been placed in the gun by simple command-line arguments at startup.
Instead, somebody wrote a full-featured language-processing language that is designed like a human language. Seems to have evolved from the ancient Snobol line. It has nouns and verbs and adjectives, and it INTRINSICALLY uses three logic states, True, False, Invalid**. None of the common computer languages handle those three states 'evenly'. You have to examine results for errors first, and then deal with True vs False. (Later thought: Though it's not clear from the material at WL, I suspect this language has a broader set of purposes. Its use with the simple malware-shooter may be the least of its powers.)
I had been wondering what happened to Snobol. Now I know.
Back in the '80s when I was working on speech processing software, I noticed that NSA was always ahead of our academic work; they were monitoring academia so they could steal useful ideas for their nefarious purposes. (That's why they made the web.) This development shows that the best research work in language is still
up there in Spookland.
This also fits into the pattern I was vaguely pondering yesterday.
Cyberwar paralleling language-war.
Mostly, it fits the oldest rule of innovation. Fire control
has always been the MAIN driving force of technology. Calculating the range, aim, shell weight and powder load for cannons helped to develop chemistry, meteorology, physics, calculus, analog computers, and digital computers.
Now that we're making unprovoked aggressive war in language along with the traditional unprovoked ground and sea and air aggressions, a fire control system for a language gun is a prime developing force for language-processing software.
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And what is the specific purpose
of this language gun? As shown by the previous Wikileaks dump,
it's designed to shoot viruses with false linguistic attribution.
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** Footnote on three states: This still isn't complete. A fully functional truth variable needs four states, as Prof Polistra shows....
First you need to know if the question has been handled or answered yet. If it hasn't been answered at all, you need to answer it. After you try to answer it, you know that the answer was impossible to determine, or found to be false, or found to be true.
Labels: Language update