The Cult of Cryptography

In this site dedicated to the general criticism of religious and spiritual ideologies, and the promotion of reason, science and technology, you did not expect a pamphlet against cryptography throwing it in the same bin of irrationality as usual religions, did you ?

Of course, it can seem odd to people who satisfy themselves defining religions in essentialist terms, that is, just looking at their metaphysical statements about God or the supernatural ; forgetting that religions and irrationality are much more than a matter of what one believes about the supernatural; and there are some perfectly materialistic religions, that can even claim to be scientific worldviews, but still have many common flaws with other religions, such as Marxism, the Zeitgeist movement, and even the movement of so-called "scientific skepticism" itself.

What more might seem strange here ? The fact that cryptography is a science (or technology), while what is wrong with religions is their lack of scientificity ?
Sorry, I still do not see it as a difference. Indeed, the point is that, while it is true that religions are just the opposite of scientific rationality, it remains that (no matter that they foolishly pretend otherwise), this "opposite" of reason is nothing else than a badly structured exercise of reason. Religions are just pseudo-science, which means that they are incomplete sciences, since, anyway, there is no available way for humans to think and form any opinion in this Earthly life, than rational ways, and those who pretend to find "truth" and inspirations otherwise, are just fools mistaking themselves for aliens or something like this. Irrationality is nothing else than an incomplete exercise of reason. So, taking a genuine science and developing a biased, immature, incompletely rational attitude towards it, can produce a religion as well.
And, unfortunately, thousands of people fell into that pitfall with cryptography.

The Belief

The problem with the science of cryptography is that, so many people working on it, just as a specialization among others (well, of course science needs to be split into many specializations, but...) happened to fall into the trap of mistaking their personal choice of specialization to this specific subject, ignoring anything else, as if it was the one right choice of the only science that matters in the universe

The fundamental belief of cryptography cultists, is the conviction that Cryptography is the only thing that matters in the universe; the One True Answer to the One True Question about Life, the Universe, and Everything; the one and only God and Savior of the Universe, that everybody needs to give their life to it, to be protected against the dark hidden forces of hackers and state agencies, who continuously violate the life and freedom of people, by their occult activity of... secretly tracking it and keeping a copy of all the information they can get about it, somewhere deep inside the ocean of data of their secret machines, and God knows what the heck they can do with all these terabytes of data.

The conviction that the development of security in information networks, is the only thing that matter, and that there cannot be such a thing as a progress in usability that does not dangerously jeopardize security.
Thus, the belief that anyone who dares to consider that there may be something else than cryptography that may be valuable in the universe, is committing blasphemy against this God and Savior that is Cryptography. That he is a dangerous person, whose projects would endanger people of failing to properly secure their data.
That who dares to think about projects that are anything else than all about more and more sophisticated cryptographic systems, is necessarily an enemy of privacy and security, and/or a fool that suffers ignorance of cryptography (just like all these Christians who dismiss anyone who dares to disagree with them and find an interest in something else, as ignorant people guilty of not having had true, full sex with their God) and isn't aware of the absolute necessity for any project in the world, to be based on this or that super cryptographic tool currently under development (no matter that this super tool isn't ready or popular "yet").

A cause of stagnation of the Internet

So, the problem is not with cryptography itself, which is a necessary tool to secure the Web. But it is with the irrational attitude of a large community of geeks that worship these tools at the expense of a more complete picture of things.
And the popularity of this cult, has serious practical consequences: since about 10 years, despite the dedicated works of thousands, maybe millions of volunteers in open source projects around the world, the Internet, whose development was the main technological breakthrough at the turn of the century, remains essentially stalled, without significant progress in its features and usefulness.
But this stagnation is not necessary. Indeed, it is possible to bring new breakthroughs in the usefulness of internet, whose impacts on the world economy and politics would be as revolutionary as was the creation of the Internet itself.
But for this, there needs to be at least a new team of developers no implementing the needed new tools, no more stopped by the paradigms currently sterilizing the works of thousands of volunteers.

Examples of cryptography cults


(This page is under development, more sections will be added later)

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