This is fascinating. We've seen the opening salvo in the next world war, the computer war, World Cyberwar I. Somehow, some way the forces of good have infected Iran's nuclear bomb program with a computer worm called Stuxnet. I don't pretend to know how this stuff works, but I do know Stuxnet is like a virus that upsets a computer's Apple cart. Pun intended.

I like the idea of a "worm." It's so easy to illustrate. Try illustrating a vacuum. I can do it, but only in the most haute metaphorical sense. Worms, I can relate to. When I read about Stuxnet and its wormy nature, I jumped for joy.

World Cyberwar I will be different than anything we've seen before. People will not die, but lives might be destroyed and fortunes lost if this virus is used to attack electrical power grids, chemical plants, bank accounts and air traffic control.  There will be no bloodshed unless it happens indirectly as these computer worms disrupt hospitals and health facilities, but nobody died in the Iran attack. There was no collateral damage. No innocent lives were lost, no civilians bombed, as might happen in America and Israel's Plan A.

I'm sure heads will roll in Iran, but only in the metaphorical sense. 

"Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart's 30 years at The Courant" at the Mark Twain House and Museum, Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 (snow date, February 10th.) It's a fundraiser for the Mark Twain House. Tickets are $15 per person. Reception from 5:30PM to 6:30 PM and the illustrated talk, suitable for all ages, is in the lecture hall at 6:45PM. For more information or to order tickets, call the Mark Twain House and Museum at 860-247-0998. 

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