I have always been a science nerd, and I am proud to admit it. I just love any discipline of science, and have spent the last 35 years teaching it at various levels. Earth Science, Geology, Archeology, Weather Science, Space Science, Human Biology, Natural Science, Physics and Chemistry; I have taught them all, and more. In fact, all of these have been a fascination for me from the time I was a little boy. I was always taking things apart, both living and non-living, just to see how they worked. In fact it has been this “what’s in there” mentality that has been a blessing and a curse in my life. I just can’t leave things alone. There is no rest until I know why and how that thing in front of me works.
Yesterday I was watching something on Quantum Physics (yes that’s right I told you I was a nerd) and they began to talk about how super computers are now being used to do “Quantum Encryption”. I was hooked and had to get this no matter how long it took. It seems that super computers are able to take a stream of light and use single photons of it to encode each with a binary number. That’s the basic code used by all computers to transmit information. In essence this basic computer code is equal to a one or a zero. In any case, they figured out a way to encode a one or a zero on each packet of light in order to transmit information in a super secure way.
At the quantum level, this is fantastic. Why? Because at that level, if anyone even looks at a stream of this data, some of the photons are changed. This means that the intended receiver of the transmission immediately knows someone has tried to look at that data. However, with quantum encryption, any change is also a marker that is left by the hacker’s computer. That computer will always look for it’s own marker when it tries to hack back into any future transmission. If the sender of the information simply removes those markers, the stream becomes invisible and the hacker’s computer thinks the data stream is gone. Only the one sending and receiving that specific data stream will ever know it’s still there.
There are billions of quantum encrypted transmissions going on every day, and there are brilliant, dedicated hackers trying to break into that code as well. As long as the good guys stay one step ahead everything is held in check and life goes on. However, if that balance ever swings in the other direction may God help us, because we will not be able to help ourselves. The fact is, our modern world would collapse overnight if this code ever had a major breach. This is because the fundamental electronics that runs the world now depends on specific computer programs. If hackers ever breach these, they would cause global chaos in a matter of hours.
Imagine what it would be like if hackers accessed the electric grid, the banks, the stock market, communication satellites and traffic control systems all over the world. Consider how life would change if traffic lights stopped, refrigeration ended, power plants shut down, nuclear plants over heated and it was totally black at night. What about gas pumps and cash registers, furnaces and water not working in your home any more? No more welfare checks, food stamps, retirement checks, electronic money transfers or garbage pick up. Even basic transportation or things like medication, bread and milk would be gone. Major cities would become war zones of survival. 50,000 planes would come crashing out of the sky and millions of cars and trucks would be abandoned on roadways. Within a few days society as we know it would be over. All of this is possible just because of a single stream of data… Wow!
For me, this is amazing food for thought. It makes me reconsider what is really valuable in life. It makes me sit back and think about what I give myself to and how that changes those around me. Is it my job, my money and my home that are high on my list? Are my goals and vision up there? How about friends and personal accomplishments? Do they rank on the upper end of the scale? When all is said and done my relationship with God and the love I share with my family trumps everything. Why? Because nothing and no one can take these from me. They are my foundational truths that can’t be shaken.
How about you? What are really the top priorities in you life? If this world were to fall apart tomorrow, who would you call, what would your emotional state be and where would you go? The answer is clearer than you might imagine. Where you invest your money and how you invest your time tells the real story. What you might find is that your mouth speaks one thing while your actions declare another. Until your words, your finances and your relationships are all connected, you are not focused, and worse than that, you are missing the best life has to offer.
Let me encourage you today to get focused and start building for the future. Use what you have to establish the life you want and the legacy you want to leave behind. Invest your time, your words and your money in those things that have real meaning. When all else fades away, or the world falls apart, two things will always remain; God and family. Invest in these and you can’t go wrong! Don’t invest in them and a day will come when you will certainly wish you had.