Hierarchical Communications Definitions Standards
The Original Basis for a Rational Multilevel Model of VPN
October 04, 1997
Copyright © 1997 RDFollendoreIII
I have found that the study of communication and the study of computer science are not congruent disciplines. That is partly because their origins and objectives are different. Most of the definitions that have come to be used within the computer science domain have been adopted from hardware and software engineering processes. The activities related to communication through computers have been some of the byproducts of that engineering. The essential and basic definitions are therefore often disjointed and faceted, making them unusable for both reaching and maintaining a consistent understanding of the underlying communications processes. Many of the traditional definitions for the communications elements within the computer sciences field are either self described or self contained. As a whole, they simply do not lead to that overall picture that is vital to a complete communications analysis or in particular to a systematic approach to analysis. This is particularly important in the area of nodal network analysis as it relates to communications.
Origins of the Hierarchical Communications Definitions Standard
Over the past ten years I have developed an underlying
rational paradigm of definition through more specific associations to
communications and such definitions than that usually taught in universities.
The importance of this description is that it is a hierarchically connective and
associative perspective designed for scaling up to a network conceptualization.
I developed this paradigm in order to help further understand and build upon my
personal research involving the association and control of cryptographic key
management processes. It has been one of my principal "standard" tools in
understanding and explaining the complexity of a dynamic network in relationship
to the purposes of processes associated with communication.
Over the past ten years I have developed an underlying rational paradigm of definition through more specific associations to communications and such definitions than that usually taught in universities. The importance of this description is that it is a hierarchically connective and associative perspective designed for scaling up to a network conceptualization. I developed this paradigm in order to help further understand and build upon my personal research involving the association and control of cryptographic key management processes. It has been one of my principal "standard" tools in understanding and explaining the complexity of a dynamic network in relationship to the purposes of processes associated with communication.
The Model as a Tool
Because it is a model, this tool should be recognized as existing within a perfect universe that can be explained. To construct this tool, just as in the science of communications, I have borrowed from a variety of scientific and psychological disciplines, many of which may have very different cognitive assumptions. The reader should therefore allow for the fact that this tool serves a particular purpose and provides certain advantages for the explanation and understanding of Virtual Private Networking concepts.
We know that people communicate through the use of specified processes and we know that there is a micro and macro level to these processes. With this in mind, let us assume a world in which there are only six potential kinds of elemental processing. We may choose to express these elemental processes in terms of noise, bit, data, information, knowledge and wisdom. These are the only six kinds of elemental processing that can occur within this model and they of course must be defined. Within this theoretical perfect world, their definitions arise primarily from their relationships, rather than their defined independence.
Within this world the paradigm relates and associates these chosen processes in a number of specific ways which are harmonious with each other. Wisdom always consists of a matrix of Knowledge. In this sense, wisdom is the formula, the highest level of complexity and association for it has a rich number of potential associations with the way in which knowledge is arranged across particulars domains. On the other hand, knowledge may only exist as a matrix of information.
Knowledge is the appropriate association of information in such a way that it is meaningful and rational. Information that goes into knowledge must be relative to the knowledge domain and accountable to all other associated information within the matrix. Within this context, information may only be made up of a similar matrix of data.
Data is the transport for information and is generally incremental by nature. Also, data may come from a wide variety of potential physical sources. Within this model data is always made up of an associative matrix of bits. Until this point, these classes we have just spoke are capable of carrying one or many messages. However, this is not true at the bit level.
The bit is the smallest recognizable part of this model and it acts as the essential "quark like" component for it has both communicative properties as well as physical properties. This is appropriate since we are at the level now of attempting to explain the relationships of physical and logical associations. Typically the gate of a chip includes both logical and physical properties which produce the bit. The bit is the result of both physical and logical transactions and it is possible to describe the physics of the bit as well as its logical and potentially rational association for existence.
Within this model, a bit never actually carries a message and is therefore essentially a type of logical noise that can be predicted through association with things already known and expected. Noise represents the incidental production of a bit by any means. Noise represents a natural and unplanned response from the system that it was produced but it is neither a result nor harmonic of communication. Like noise, a bit does not carry communication but since it may be predicted can act as a representative pointer for logical information. In this sense it crosses the physical/logical boundary by acting as that pointer. We will be able to use this concept of pointers to further to define the communications processes later.
A bit in this narrow sense and may be considered nothing but a specification for a certain kind of noise, that may or may not be detected, predicted and/or controlled. Because of this, the nature of a bit may very well be unidentifiable from that of noise. Since Data represents the interrelationship of logical bits, Data may or may not participate in the formation of information. In turn, a matrix of information may or may not carry forward to the formation of knowledge, and so on. The highest objective is to find the means to control the communications processes of these matrixes as far as is desired throughout this model.
Noise > Bit > Data > Information > Knowledge > Wisdom
At this point it is important to have a means of defining the isolation of these classes from a plane of physical existence as opposed to that of the potential or strictly logical that have no connective association to the real world we live in. Bit and data processing are both irrational because the operations carried by them are isolated from the context of information they are capable of carrying. On the other hand, information processing defines the relationship of the operation and the bit and data components. Knowledge Processing (KP) continues this process to define the rational relationship of information.
Our society has been in the bit, data, and information processing age and for the past decade we have been entering the knowledge processing age. VPN technology represents a logical means of creating and operating on isoclasses (isolating classes) of knowledge relative to the rational world. Having said this, there remains a technical relationship between logic and rationality which does not necessarily at all imply that they are productively similar.
Logic (computational based logic) is fundamentally a language of computational notation existing in and suggesting a man made universe of indisputably consistent values and solutions. Pure math and logic simply exists because we say so. Logic must pay for this consistency by being externally neutral, disconnected, and therefore irrational to the world. To have logic defined otherwise would be to invite a loss of acceptance of the "truth" (the logical axioms) defining its space. In a sense an external pointer (usually a human) must connect the logical variable to some rational explanation of existence.
For example: If we were to logically define the number 874938736 + 10 then it would express nothing relative to our physical world. The number and it's function is without particular rational merit. We understand this relationship and it stands alone. But the logically numbers 874938746 mean nothing until and unless I point to the fact that it is my social security number and now it represents me.
The Concept of Rational External Pointers
The external pointer that made the connection is in the mind and becomes associated with many physical things. The analogies that further associate that matrix extend the reasoning even further. Let us go one step further by disconnecting the external pointer that was made by making the simple statement that it is certain the number 874938746 is not my social security number. Notice that the external pointer does not cease to exist. Though the "truthfulness" of the connection is no longer valid, the pointer simply changes to a logical "not" associated with me and my social security number.
In a sense, a pointer remains in place, with all of it's rich potential for association and analogies but in a negative sense like a shadow. Certainly one can utilize this shadow for further thinking and reasoning but unless the external pointer changes, it forever remains introverted and it's utility for association is reduced but not completely lost.
On the other hand, Rational reasoning is primarily grounded within the context of human cognition, where things exist simply because they do where we have little or no control. The rational world exists and if we are to be rational then our minds must somehow comply with its existence. Compliance is the way in which our minds formulate the rational. This is a strange place where we may define a thing anyway that we want but in doing so it does not necessary make it so. Rational reasoning assumes that true equality and consistency can never absolutely coexist because it operates and is associated within the metaphorical real world of unknown incongruities where at some level logical conflicts will always exist.
As a metric of thinking, I have previously described the concept that moves from bit to wisdom processes, it obviously also moves from a logical to a rational realm of thinking.
The Internet is a physical network of node connections, controlled through physical processes which are essentially logically controlled. The logic is in turn controlled by the rational of people making certain assumptions by virtue of external pointers to communication events which freely are shared. There is a powerful practical economic value to this. The Internet is incredibly inexpensive because of wide connectivity and shared cost at the bit level. However, the fact remains that physical networks are fundamentally logical, where connectivity either exists or it does not. The Internet, in and of itself does not adequately represent information but rather are simply the conduit of nodes of potential information. Many of these nodes tend to exist at the bit level hierarchy that is external to rational processes. Consider your Internet address and the underlying logical/rational system of associations with that address.
The Internet is what it is possible to be connected from a particular node and nothing more. It is a system of potential self annealing connections which connect the model that I have described as both rational and logical, through the use of bits, data, information, knowledge and wisdom. The browser software provides nodes that can be externally controlled through rational external pointers that embed logical pointers that actually make the connection. This is fine where the user is both able and chooses to maintain the pointers. But once there is connectivity, the basis of a VPN is implied as the need for informative rational operational services take precedent over the logical physical services. At the lowest level, a VPN is therefore a natural side effect resulting process that begins to exist when there is a need to assert rational inferential control within a domain of connectivity.
VPN technologies can therefore be defined as a multilevel technical means through which people express rational knowledge as a process of nodal control, i.e. using multilevel classes of rationally enforceable connections. Obviously this level of thinking and the means by which it is derived is quite different from saying that a VPN represents an implementation of a simple cryptographic "tunneling" through the Internet with a key and an algorithm within a browser.
I believe that the existing implementation of VPN technologies have only scratched the surface of what is possible in the future because the scalability of this underlying paradigm is so powerful. I began my interest in developing this model after observing issues that were presented themselves in the development of several secure systems. I found that these issues appeared to be propagated through inconsistencies in the conceptualization of the processes. After extensive testing and prototyping over the past five years and I have found that VPN technologies have a vast degree of flexibility.
For instance, the P in VPN can mean Private or Public. (But that is beyond the scope of this paper.)
n. Short for binary digit. The smallest unit of information handled by a computer. One bit expresses a 1 or a 0 in a binary numeral, or a true or false logical condition, and is represented physically by an element such as a high or low voltage at one point in a circuit or a small spot on a disk magnetized one way or the other. A single bit conveys little information a human would consider meaningful. A group of 8 bits, however, makes up a byte, which can be used to represent many types of information, such as a letter of the alphabet, a decimal digit, or other character. See also ASCII, binary, byte.
n. Plural of the Latin datum, meaning an item of information. In practice, data is often used for the singular as well as the plural form of the noun. Compare information.
n. The meaning of data as it is intended to be interpreted by people. Data consists of facts, which become information when they are seen in context and convey meaning to people. Computers process data without any understanding of what the data represents.
n. cognizance The fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association. Acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique. The fact or condition of being aware of something. The range of one's information or understanding. The fact or condition of having information or of being learned.\
n. A accumulated philosophic or scientific learning. Ability to discern inner qualities and relationships. Insight. Good sense.
n. The process of encoding data to prevent unauthorized access, especially during transmission. Encryption is usually based on a key that is essential for decoding. The U.S. National Bureau of Standards created a complex encryption standard, Data Encryption Standard (DES), which provides almost unlimited ways to encrypt documents. See also DES.
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