SELECTED LOGS (Georgian cyber non-fiction)

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The extent and damage caused by computer hacking is exaggerated IMO.

Select key events in cyber history (through 2018):

The media is a willing participant in the hype. And they always first interview experts from security companies who obviously want to talk it up, to increase business for themselves. According to testimony at a congressional hearing, at least one foreign actor was able to download almost every email Hillary had on her illegal server. How secure is your setup if a phishing ploy can manage to hack into it? No-one actually used the email information to harm the US.

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You are totally wrong. The cybersecurity vendors exaggerate how much their products and services help, and also the focus on what cyber risks people and businesses should focus on, but the problem is enormous and undisputed. The problem is that computer messages do carry an awful lot of metadata describing their origin and path to the recipient. In the early days of computer security this was used to convict people — and the attackers learned rapidly. So nowadays this metadata will routinely be spoofed, and passed through zombied machines to disguise the real point of origin.


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Of particular interest is the ability to trace-route IP packets. If a police force can access all the jumps a packet has taken, they should be able to find the originator. Russia and China would be the obvious choices — and they have the benefit that no US authorities will look any further, because blaming Russia and China is very politically acceptable….

Very interesting. Two centuries ago all educated people had probably had very similar educations. Since then human knowledge of the written kind and skill sets of the academic kind have mushroomed, and today there is little chance that even a very well educated person has — for example — both in depth understanding of Internet sand IT security and a solid background in say the history of Thailand, or the ability to speak Estonian which is by the way the language of Estonia, mostly.

This is what leads to the terribly embarrassing spectacle of Experts in one field making dumb fools of themselves in another, It also leads to some serious political chicanery. And this is the problem. Received wisdom does not make you wise. What makes you wise is the ability to go back to first principles and check that knowledge against the data for yourself, until you know that it can be trusted — and that is of course what we regular readers here like to do.

Governments role in protecting sensitive data | Deloitte Insights

Check out received wisdom to see if it is, not to put too fine a point on it — utter bunk. So I personally like to read an article I understand, rather than one covered in reference to learned papers that I cannot. However there are a lot of people — especially in the Left, who will never admit that they do not really understand, and be humble enough to go back, cudgel their brains and try and learn enough of a new discipline to actually go back to enough first principles to validate or invalidate a particular claim.

Peer review is supposed to cover that, but scientists are no longer adversarial with each other.

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Everybody needs the job and publishing papers is how you keep it. A tacit agreement not to trash a colleagues paper means he will support yours in due course. And in academia at least that has been amplified by the way in which salaries and careers are tied to government grants, and the publishing of papers in journals. And it cannot afford to contradict the government too far. All these facts are conducive to the development of a sort of socialised world view that is a-scientific. People have to have a picture of the world to operate against, and that picture is now controlled at the government end by public sector employment, and at the media end by commercial forces.

And if it appeals to the ego, and flatters the insecurities of a lot of people who have qualifications that in another agee they would not, its going to be so much more successful…at selling a political position or a product. All that vanished at the end of the cold war. Lacking an existential threat, who needs intelligent people? Smart people went into banking or marketing or politics to make money for themselves, not to protect their nation. Or do science. And there is no test of their quality save the accolades of equally incompetent peers.

Ships will not go down, aircraft will not crash, because e. Mann Got It Wrong. And as I pointed out, critical review is something few can do. If they have the intellect, they may not have the understanding and the toolset. And even fewer will want to do, if it threatens their income. Where this leads me, is not a place I want to go. I understand, I think why we have all this incompetence everywhere, why huge swathes of otherwise moderately intelligent people believe in stuff, that they have been told, that is dangerously wrong, but extremely useful to those promulgating the message.

Because no situation has arisen where possession of such a view means they die before procreating!

Cyberterrorism

In Idiocracy, a man smart enough arrives and is respected. If no one smart arrives, society collapses. Or at least that is all they are capable of. Then we have those in between, who have competency but not universal competency, which is where we came in. The astrophysicist who knows models, but nothing about climate, who endorses climate change, The biologist, who knows a lot about life, but not a damned thing about models or statistics.

BS leads to people not being competent to meet external events. Lack of competency to meet external events leads to general lowering of standards of living until the people get upset and somehow randomly select leaders until they find one with some degree of competency, laud him and thereby recover. In other words stupidity and incompetence and groupthink are natural things.

It is only necessary for most people to know how to procreate. And no one likes Cassandras.


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Only when the chips are down do we value the competent and the super competent. And generalised incompetence leads eventually to the chips being down. It is rather like climate.

Being stupid dumb and comfortable is where we want to be, but being stupid dumb and comfortable means the tiger can creep up on us, and then we need to suddenly get smart , kill the tiger, and relax into being stupid dumb and comfortable all over again. But the tiger has killed the dumbest ones. Its a negative-feedback-with-lag system. Just like climate, and such systems are only quasi stable and are somewhat chaotic.

So I think — i hope — we are just about to pass Peak Stupidity. What comes next is a harder set of times for people where they need to get smarter.

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If they do, OK. Bye bye Kansas. Apologies for that. But beyond all the stuff that gets covered here, I ponder what the pattern is. The pattern of social and psychological ideas and tensions, that could lead to someone tasked with national security being so mistaken about stuff outside his remit. If only all grabbermints could force-feed their citizens Ritalin. But like Pravda, the fake-news-gushing MSM is the next best thing.

Leo Smith, Your synthesis is the closest I have read to my own ruminations, thank you. These patterns of thought contagion you describe are common. They do not need an exceptional topic like global warming to make them happen. A present concern I have here in Australia is about the nature and quality of the people selected by some unclear process to represent Australia in places like international policy forums. In our military we have a senior officer recently retired and seeking media, who has been through sex change.

Or main rep at the Paris climate fest has also just been through sex change. In a recent WUWT thread on the retirement of the head of the green climate fund I did some quick bio research and concluded I did not like to be represented by that guy. Some time back we corporately lost a court case when the majority judge who had been president of a green group expressed unquestioned obedience to a UN treaty, this on World Heritage. Do you see any similarities to your people in similar positions? Extremely odd lives is how I would summarise, even anti-social with hostility to those who would criticise, plus extreme gullibility.

Sorry, but you have found one of my hobby horses. Based on fundamentals, this will continue until we have a Darwin event and the stupidest die off. This enabled the current feeble-minded generations to flourish, and the Millennials and the Snowflakes are the culmination of this regressive process.