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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

a claim of personal responsibility
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:26 am EDT, May 16, 2015


I think many Americans feel a sense of entitlement to the greatness of America. They wrap up our country's accomplishments, sprinkle on a bunch of stuff we didn't accomplish, pin it on their chest, and claim personal responsibility for it. They believe that they are personally great because they are Americans and America is great.

Steve Jobs:

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

The Economist:

America's preeminence is over.

Kai Wright:

If you grow up a poor child, you are very likely to be a poor adult. And today, four out of 10 black children live in poverty -- roughly double the national rate.

Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:

Among African-American men aged fifteen to forty-four, 88.7 percent of gun deaths are homicides; among white American men aged thirty-five to sixty-four, 89.2 percent of gun deaths are suicides.

Francis Fukuyama:

One of the most sobering graphs in Our Kids shows that while the proportion of young children from college-educated backgrounds living in single-parent families has declined to well under 10 per cent, the number has risen steadily for the working class and now stands at close to 70 per cent.

Lawrence Lessig:

We still have the power to fix our democracy.

We will, if you help.

it always takes longer than you expect
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:20 pm EDT, May 13, 2015

Alice Zheng:

In some ways, all of us in this field are imposters. No one knows everything. The only way to progress is to dive in and start doing. Let us not measure ourselves against others, or focus on how much we don't yet know.

From Mallory Ortberg's "Every Question in Every Q&A Session Ever":

I noticed there are some things you haven't done in your career. Can you explain why you haven't done them, even though I consider them to be more important than the things you personally prefer to do?

Cheryl Strayed:

Don't quit just because you're miserable. Remember, something is to be gained from suffering.

Hofstadter's Law:

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

David Z. Hambrick:

Competitive SCRABBLE players devoted an average of nearly 5 hours a week to memorizing words from the SCRABBLE dictionary.

David Brooks:

The only way to stay fully alive is to dive down to your obsessions six fathoms deep.

Jason Lengstorf:

The insidious thing about the Overkill Cult is that it masquerades as all the things we like most about ourselves: dedication, ambition, follow-through, responsibility. It tells us to push harder, stay later, sleep when we're dead. It tells us we're never going to get ahead if we don't show up first and go home last.

Roberto A. Ferdman:

Other people, as it turns out, actually aren't thinking about us quite as judgmentally or intensely as we tend to anticipate. Not nearly, in fact. There's a long line of research that shows how consistently and regularly we overestimate others' interest in our affairs.

Julie Cullivan, global chief information officer at FireEye:

A lot of times people assume you need to have a very technical background to be able to jump into security roles. But really it's about having an analytical mind, being able to correlate information and spot patterns.

Ashiq JA:

The real challenge is translating complex, technical cyber data into practical information that can be easily understood by the business as well as security pros.

Steven Bellovin:

We don't even have the right words.

awaiting the fact of empire
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:50 am EDT, May 12, 2015

Dara Lind:

There is half as much crime in the US right now as there was about 25 years ago.

John Perry Barlow:

Like the Union Pacific Railroad awaiting the fact of empire, they prefer to let the rag-tag pioneers die all over the frontier before they come out to claim it.

Disputes appeared like toadstools in the rich new soil of cyberspace.

Josh Pauli:

We're trying to bake it in early ...

Jason Chaffetz:

I worry about unintentional vulnerabilities.

Ashiq JA:

Lack of security controls in a modern information system which eventually increases the likelihood of a cyber risk or a data breach can be termed as a cyber mess.

John Carlin:

The bad guy is not the company that has been breached.

Fran Howarth:

Even though large financial institutions spend vast amounts of money on information security, there can still be gaps.

Robert Graham:

[The cyber sanctions regime is] unlikely to solve the problem of foreign hacking, but will do much to expand the cyber police state.

The Economist:

Doing something in principle and doing it in fact are not remotely the same thing.

Anand Giridharadas:

Picking winners also means picking -- and spurning -- losers.


Only 32 percent of those surveyed in the CSA poll for the Atlantico news website said they were opposed to freedoms being reduced ...

Guy Haselmann:

Cyber-activity is the new 'cold war'.

Olga Razumovskaya:

According to the text of the agreement posted on the Russian government's website on Wednesday, Russia and China agree to not conduct cyber-attacks against each other, as well as jointly counteract technology that may "destabilize the internal political and socio-economic atmosphere," "disturb public order" or "interfere with the internal affairs of the state."

The two countries agreed to exchange information between law enforcement agencies, exchange technologies and ensure security of information infrastructure, the document says.

this chauvinist competition
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:24 pm EDT, May 10, 2015

Jer Thorp:

Making data a verb exposes to us the power imbalances that have kept our collective endeavours drastically off-kilter. Grammatically speaking, data-as-verb would present a number of possibilities for subject/object combinations:

I data you. You data me. We data you. You data us. They data me. They data us. We data them.

a senior intelligence official:

They [the telephone companies] want to be compelled, and they want to be paid for the service.

Iain Thomson:

As a premium service, Microsoft will offer data from Redmond's security team who monitor black-hat forums, and will alert IT managers if any of their users' identities have been put up for sale.

Jeff Atwood:

A ransomware culture ... does not feel very far off ...

Ashiq JA:

Recently, the Chicago police department agreed to pay a $500 ransom in February 2015. "Because the backups were also infected, the option was to pay the hacker and get the files unencrypted," says Calvin Harden, an IT vendor working with the police department to overcome crypto-ransomware.

John Carlin, head of the Justice Department's National Security Division:

We are seeing nation-state action -- from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea -- target your companies and what you have, day in and day out, to use your information against you.

Fran Howarth:

Already spending $250 million per year on digital security, JPMorgan Chase has pledged to double that spending over the next year as a direct result of the security breach and has increased the number of security professionals it employs to 1,000.

Paul Goodman:

It is amazing to me that the scientists and technologists involved have not spoken more insistently for international cooperation instead of a puerile race. But I have heard some say that except for this chauvinist competition, Congress would not vote any money at all.

the desperation of political anxiety
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:47 pm EDT, May  9, 2015

Dr. Amy Zegart, CISAC co-director and senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution:

Getting to see and experience how USSTRATCOM operates first-hand was "an eye opener."

Paul Goodman:

Too precise a preconception of what is wanted discourages creativity more than it channels it ... This is especially true when, as at present, so much of the preconception of what is wanted comes from desperate political anxiety in emergencies. Solutions that emerge from such an attitude rarely strike out on new paths, but rather repeat traditional thinking with new gimmicks; they tend to compound the problem.

Barack Obama:

I ... hereby declare a national emergency ...


French Intelligence services will have the right to place cameras and recording devices in private dwellings and install "keylogger" devices that record every key stroke on a targeted computer in real time.

Nathan Freed Wessler:

The time to end the charade of concealment is now.

Lauren French and Kate Tummareo:

The surveillance issue has kindled friendships among lawmakers who rarely see eye-to-eye.

danah boyd:

Our inability to be brash is costing our society in all sorts of ways.

Sam Altman:

Don't be afraid to do something slightly reckless.

This American Life:

Daniel Kish is blind, but he can navigate the world by clicking with his tongue. This gives him so much information about what's around him, he does all sorts of things most blind people don't. Most famously, he rides a bike.

Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:

Blind people who do not echolocate do not succumb to the illusion that small boxes weighing the same as large boxes feel heavier, but the blind who echolocate and the non-blind do.

Joan Didion:

Self-deception remains the most difficult deception.

Michael Sorkin:

The three buildings now or nearly done [in lower Manhattan] are clad in identically proportioned mirror glazing ... Cowed by the challenge of rising to the symbolic occasion, the architects have produced buildings of neither originality nor weight. Instead, their structures seek, in fleeting reflections of sky and circumstance, to stealthily disappear. But, enormous, they cannot.

the disillusionment of possession
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:37 am EDT, May  6, 2015

Rob Horning:

Pinterest users can simply add desired goods to a board and instantaneously indulge the fantasy that some part of the site's user base will see it and draw the appropriate conclusions. The gesture immediately circulates. This fantasy need not climax with a purchase or seek appropriate occasions to display it. And it need not be terminated by the disillusionment that comes with actual ownership, when an affectively inert thing takes its place amid the mounting slag pile of one's emotionally spent objects -- objects that no longer say anything about you and have become merely useful at best, objects that sit there taunting you with your discarded ideas of who you were trying to be, and for whom, and when.

On Pinterest, there are apparently no ... physical stakes, no contexts that are fixed at a point of purchase and then outgrown; one can keep on pinning and never know the disillusionment of possession.

Evgeny Morozov:

Gone are the burdens of ownership!

Ed Cumming:

Distraction is a kind of obesity of the mind ...

Sara Germano:

In retail there are signs that the fashion of fitness may be driving sales more than actual fitness.

David Brooks:

Data-driven politics is built on a philosophy you might call Impersonalism. This is the belief that what matters in politics is the reaction of populations and not the idiosyncratic judgment, moral character or creativity of individuals.

Sterling Hayden:

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

David Brooks:

If you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.

Scott Berkun:

The polite lie is what most people want, and that's fine, but when you say enough polite lies you soon lie to yourself too.

Joan Didion:

Self-deception remains the most difficult deception.

exactly what we care about
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:38 am EDT, May  5, 2015

Paul Goodman:

The recent history of technology has consisted largely of a desperate effort to remedy situations caused by previous over-application of technology.

Daniel Dennett:

One out of six Americans is already a None; by 2050, the figure will be one out of four, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Jonathan D. Rockoff and Ed Silverman:

Since 2008, branded-drug prices have increased 127%, compared with an 11% rise in the consumer price index.

Anand Giridharadas:

As of 2006, there were more payday lenders in Ohio than outlets of McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's combined.

Amir Mizroch:

Facebook last week said its main social network increased to 1.44 billion monthly users, up from 1.39 billion in the 2014 fourth quarter. The company added that it now has 4 billion video streams every day.

Ron Amadeo:

The scale of YouTube gets more breathtaking every year. It has a billion users in 61 languages, and 12 days of video are uploaded to the site every minute -- that's almost 50 years of video every day.

Pew, via John McDuling:

In the US, 39 of the top 50 news websites now get more traffic from mobile devices than from desktop (and laptop) computers.

Christopher Ross:

0 Apple products [are] used in the Gates household. They don't plan on getting Apple Watches either.


In 2013, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 909 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 15,270 kWh, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,176 kWh.

Annalee Newitz:

The kids of tomorrow won't freak out over terabytes of storage. They'll freak out over kilowatt-hours.

Alex Peysakhovich:

The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about.

Richard Holbrooke:

Only with hindsight can one look back and see that the smartest course may not have been the right one.

the things you decide
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:29 am EDT, May  4, 2015

David Goldberg:

Sometimes the things you decide not to do are actually the biggest things to do in your career.

Jan Chipchase:

The money you turn down defines you as much as the work you take on.

Richard Holbrooke:

Only with hindsight can one look back and see that the smartest course may not have been the right one.

wherever the law is, crime can be found
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:26 pm EDT, May  3, 2015

Javier Solana:

In economic terms, cyber crime is already comparable in size to drug trafficking, and it is highly internationalized.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

Wherever the law is, crime can be found.

Zeljka Zorz:

What's worrying, says Marc-Etienne Leveille, is that the Mumblehard operators have been active for many years without disruption.

Seth Geftic:

Signature-based tools like SIEM are failing. Pervasive visibility and deep investigation is "what SIEM was meant to be."

Bruce Schneier:

As a nation, we need to prioritize defense over offense.

Tony Bradley:

Stop playing defense.

Maor Franco:

Let's provide our security analysts with the "License to Hunt."

Nate Freier, research professor at the U.S. Army War College:

It really is every man for himself.

they want to be paid
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:26 pm EDT, May  3, 2015

a senior intelligence official, who requested anonymity:

They [the telephone companies] want to be compelled, and they want to be paid for the service.

a senior sales and marketing representative, who requested anonymity:

Money for me, databases for you.


The US requires strong intelligence, forensics, and indications and warning capabilities to reduce anonymity in cyberspace and increase confidence in attribution.

Wim Remes:

With the attention of legislators drawn to all things cyber our industry too will see regulatory capture emerge.

Jeff Atwood:

A ransomware culture ... does not feel very far off ...

NYT Editorial Board:

Get used to the protections of your civil liberties being minimally viable.

Nate Freier, research professor at the U.S. Army War College:

It really is every man for himself.

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