Introduction The story of the Byzantine generals In computing there is a problem called the Byzantine Generals Problem which, describes a problem in the creation of consensus in a system where communication channels have no way of trusting each other. In other words, how can we make sure that multiple entities, separated by distance,…
“Present times can be rather accurately described as being concurrently influenced by various decisive trends. Given the complexity of digital space, the public opinion on both nation and individual level has become a confusing matter. Emotion often prevails over actual facts which now represent a minority vis-a-vis the content of social media and other information sources. The reality we now live in can therefore most accurately be described as a post-factual era. With a relation of an omnipresent digital space to technological advances, this newly emerged environment bares obvious implications for interaction on geopolitical level.
Evolving threats bear linkage to the manipulation of information flows that puts small groups of individuals on an equal level with states and supra-national bodies. In addition, everything observed suggests that more trends, such as expanded access of services and marketplaces with regards to highly increased interdependence of subjects via longer supply chains, developing countries leaping into digital age, rapidly increasing access to information and a number of other phenomena, are gaining momentum.
Furthermore, the challenges of the present include the overpowering dynamic of digital space and the resulting uncertainty, the impact of new technologies on daily lives, dark web-related risks, false news combined with a lack of means to prove credibility, influence of alternative media on internal and transnational politics, underlying roles of media vis-a-vis politicians, linkage of private capital to ruling elites, limit of individual sensitivity pushed beyond healthy boundaries, widespread propaganda, and et cetera.
How do we then establish and upkeep free and independent media, early warning mechanisms, and responsive measures? How do we stop unsure citizens from turning to promises of protection by autocratic regimes, eventually resulting into populist unilateralism? How do we prevent populist tendencies from using social media as a tool of aggressive enforcement of interests?
As a generation of emerging leaders, we have a responsibility to be ready for the world of tomorrow, because, as the saying goes: Fail on planning, plan on failing”.
– Richard Kelecsényi, Director of Fronesis Analytica