Malware is a software which is specifically designed to disrupt or damage a computer system. The internet Age is touted as a milestone in the march of human progress . Progress is not in one single innovation but incorporates many innovations into a coherent peak, a position from which it is impossible to come back to older way of doing things.
Once printing became possible and printing presses began churning out books on a mass scale the age of manuscripts that catered to a few had come to a close. The Age of information took the world into a level the Church had no way of controlling. Along came Reformation, Enlightenment and social upheavals in many parts of Europe. We have come far from the Age of printing and in our paperless society we have incorporated many other innovations like dispensing with carrying banknotes and emails that do away with the postal systems. Progress means so many innovations spliced together makes his going back to his old ways useless. But progress comes at a price. So does tinkering with nature. In the interactive cyberspace hacking, malware, phishing are all sad realities. How does malware in Nature works?
There are good reasons to believe that agricultural modernisation programs in Africa created the conditions for the outbreak of Ebola.
Nature fights back always. It is easy to trace direct connection in many cases. For example one may point out the cause of mudslide directly to deforestation. There exists a direct cause-effect relationship between nature and the humans.
Progress for man means more options to simplify life. Whereas nature can show its complexity in creating like a malware in its existing systems. There is oxygen cycle and other systems that Nature works with. Ecological balance for example is brought about by Nature over a long period of time. Where nature works with long range, man’s progress is much more immediate and need based. He looks to his needs than of other species. We need to think how nature could step in to offset the harm man does to her natural process. Acid rain is a kind of malware Nature sets in motion, that shall have a bearing on what man brings into the relationship.
Let us look at the present scourge of Ebola.
Poverty in Africa means poor rural health care while the rich countries exploiting the resources contribute to their poverty in some manner. It is poverty that drives African villagers to encroach further into the forest, where they become infected with the virus.When villagers hunting and butchering wildlife, or through contact with body fluids from bats become carriers for example Nipah. The effects of land grabs and the focus on certain fruit crop species leads to an *Allee effect.
Where sudden changes in one ecological element causes the mechanisms for keeping populations – bats and viruses to shift. Equilibrium maintained by nature’s mechanisms is upset and the resulting malware make viruses seek alternative hosts than bats.
In Malaysia the introduction of fruit tree crops in cleared forests and agricultural expansion was associated with Nipah virus. Bats feeding on fruit trees infected pigs in pens, which provided a vector for the virus to humans. The Japanese Encephalitis, a virus carried by wild birds which expanded its range due to growing rice and pig farming.
Nature fights back man who can only see profits in their relationship. One might consider this as down side of progress.
The Allee effect is a phenomenon in biology characterized by a correlation between population size or density and the mean individual fitness (often measured as per capita population growth rate) of a population or species. (wikipedia)