I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.
— Stephen Hawking
One of my blogger friends shared this as a tribute to the now-late Steven Hawking. And it got me thinking. The truth of those words clenched deep, and I cringed to call myself a part of a community ingrained with such destructive mentalities that it prides itself in creating something as creepy as a computer virus.
Not only are viruses vile creatures that creep through our systems and violate everything we cherish and hold dear, but they exist because of us. I did a little digging about the most evil of viruses and came upon a few chilling names. What’s more startling is their uses.
We’ve created viruses to attack and disable other nations’ systems. (Sure, they were nuclear systems—but still, is a virus the right way to go?) Some of them sneak up on our children while they play innocent games, gaining unauthorised access and control over their lives and computers. They can corrupt unwitting minds and souls, and turn them into abusive, power-hungry youngsters. Pity. We could’ve used the same technology to offer remote customer support, instead.
As for the adults, we’ve tempted them with the promise of beautiful women and sometimes porn only to attempt a convoluted goal. We’ve created worms that go knocking on computers during holidays paralysing our contacts and spirits in the guise of wishing a Merry Christmas.
Some of our programmes have crippled governments and defaced other unassuming nations.
Oh, and just the hell of it, we’ve even created viruses that run through emails, sending itself to our contacts over and over again until the internet once broke with the load. All for no reason.
As if all that isn’t enough, we’ve also peeked into our fellow humans’ deepest desire for love, planting viruses as admiration letters only to break down millions of worth of assets.
The specialty knowledge that it takes to build such malware is so vast that it’s a testament to humanity’s skills. If only we use that for good things, instead.
The hacking culture and the cinema-influenced stereotypepes associated with computer geeks—the nerdy glasses, the shady hoody, the dark corner, the millions of lines of undecodeable scripts—has opened up our brains to wrong ideas and ideals.
We’ve created a culture of sad, pathetic humans driven by malicious desires. For a prideful, educated community such as ourselves, it’s shameful.
Shame that we don’t even realise it.