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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:50 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

George W. Bush White House:

The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction -- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively.

Yuval Noah Harari:

The state has stressed so many times that it will not tolerate political violence within its borders that it has no alternative but to see any act of terrorism as intolerable. The citizens, for their part, have become used to zero political violence, so the theatre of terror incites in them visceral fears of anarchy, making them feel as if the social order is about to collapse. After centuries of bloody struggles, we have crawled out of the black hole of violence, but we feel that the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us again. A few gruesome atrocities and we imagine that we are falling back in.

Michael S. Schmidt:

Tactics that began as a response to terrorism have become part of the government's approach to more routine crimes.

Andrew Keatts:

When does smart policing become a police state?

David Graeber:

The police, then, are essentially just bureaucrats with weapons. Their main role in society is to bring the threat of physical force -- even, death -- into situations where it would never have been otherwise invoked ...

If you see a policeman and you feel more safe, rather than less, then you can be pretty sure you're middle class. Yet for the first time since polling began, most Americans in 2012 indicated they do not, in fact, consider themselves middle class.

what we wanted
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:48 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Andrew Solomon:

Perhaps the immutable error of parenthood is that we give our children what we wanted, whether they want it or not.

Penelope Trunk:

If you want to raise a really successful child, you should let them quit things. Often.


Think telling your children they're special will help them reach higher, work harder and bravely pursue their dreams? Maybe. But you might also be making them narcissists.

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.

Jim Tankersley:

About 25 percent of American families are now headed by a single mom, according to Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, double the rate from 1970. Nearly half the children of single mothers live in poverty.

one thing is for sure
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:22 am EDT, Mar 26, 2015

Michael Shear:

Stung by accusations that it cannot adequately protect the White House, the Secret Service wants to spend $8 million to build another White House in Beltsville, Maryland.

Homer Simpson:

Or what? You'll release the dogs, or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark, they shoot bees at you? Well, go ahead! Do your worst!

Kim Zetter:

The vulnerabilities, which they're calling incursion vulnerabilities, were so easy to find that they wrote a script to automate the process and eventually stopped counting the vulns it uncovered because there were too many.

Patrick Pichette:

How many will you say? How long do you have? But one thing is for sure, I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more.

Mindi Schneider:

More than half of the world's feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs.

where the light is
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:39 am EDT, Mar 24, 2015


I don't like work -- no man does -- but I like what is in the work, -- the chance to find yourself. Your own reality -- for yourself, not for others -- what no other man can ever know.

Humera Khan:

As the responsibility for counterterrorism has shifted (or is now being shared) from the federal level to the local levels, local law enforcement officials have been encouraged to gather intelligence, which only undermines the initiatives aimed at fostering community trust.

James Comey:

The Internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable.

Judith Shulevitz:

Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer.

Eugene Kaspersky:

This is how we save the world: by making the cyberworld safe and secure for everyone.

Judith Shulevitz:

Why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame.

Dr. Laura Elizabeth Pinto and Dr. Selena Nemorin:

When parents and teachers bring The Elf on the Shelf into homes and classrooms, are they preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance?

Stephanie Simon:

It's the day-to-day posts that those in the business of student surveillance find most illuminating.

Natasha Lennard:

It bodes poorly for freedom of expression if benign social media posts, tracked as they are, can be used against individuals as evidence of violent intent.

Lisa Lieberman:

Fear is democracy's undoing, and the unraveling begins at home.

you're not really looking
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:28 am EDT, Mar 23, 2015

William Deresiewicz:

Am I doing the right thing with my life? Do I believe the things I was taught as a child? What do the words I live by -- words like duty, honor, and country -- really mean? Am I happy?

Caterina Fake:

Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on.

Choire Sicha:

If there's one thing I wish I'd learned at 18, it's that it's okay if a crazy person hates you.

Sofia Coppola:

It reminds me of something Anjelica Huston told me in my 20s: "Not everyone is going to like you." It saved me years of disappointment.

Leslie Jamison:

The idea of being "greedy" for what's inside of us suggests that we don't already possess ourselves; our own interior landscapes are territories we must map, must claim and reclaim, not terrain we already know or own.

Lewis Carroll:

It will give you clearness of thought -- the ability to see your way through a puzzle -- the habit of arranging your ideas in an orderly and get-at-able form -- and, more valuable than all, the power to detect fallacies, and to tear to pieces the flimsy illogical arguments, which you will so continually encounter in books, in newspapers, in speeches, and even in sermons, and which so easily delude those who have never taken the trouble to master this fascinating Art. Try it. That is all I ask of you!

Marina Abramovic, on Hans Ulrich Obrist:

You're always looking for the new ways of curating, something which has never been done before. And you're able to get into what you call the Places-in-Between. We all find these places when we leave our comfort zones -- our houses, our cities, the friends we know -- and are on our way somewhere. They can be the airport, bus stations; can be fast trains in Japan. And from that Place-in-Between, we go to that other place, the one we know, where we create again our habits and our own set of rules. But in the Places-in-Between, when we're completely open to destiny, anything can happen, anything is possible. Our perception is so sharp and so clear; we see more things in that moment when we are vulnerable and not in our place. If somebody asks you to describe the door of your own house, maybe you don't know how. But in those transitory spaces, the senses work in a different way. This is actually where one functions the most.

Danny Bradbury:

When you walk into your room for the hundredth time, you're not really looking at your wallpaper. Instead, your brain is painting a picture of it for you from memory.

Sterling Hayden:

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

it's an open invitation
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:07 am EDT, Mar 23, 2015

Bob Work:

The third offset strategy is an open invitation for everyone to come to the table ... to creatively disrupt our defense ecosystem. Because we'll either creatively disrupt ourselves or be disrupted by someone else.

Jane Harman:

The CIA should remember that just because it can do something doesn't mean it should.

Cisco's John Stewart:

We ship [boxes] to an address that has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to.

Ashton Carter:

Ensuring that cyber troops have the training, equipment and resources they need is a high priority for the department.

Ellen Nakashima:

The government's efforts to deter computer attacks against the United States are not working and it is time to consider boosting the military's cyber-offensive capability, the head of U.S. Cyber Command told Congress on Thursday.

Gina Chon, Hannah Kuchler, and Kara Scannell:

Hackers, who appear to have stolen network and employee passwords, have accessed Register's network for about a year, said people familiar with the probe.

Brian Krebs:

Premera Blue Cross, a major provider of health care services, disclosed today that an intrusion into its network may have resulted in the breach of financial and medical records of 11 million customers. Although Premera isn't saying so just yet, there are independent indicators that this intrusion is once again the work of state-sponsored espionage groups based in China.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee:

Some security experts say the attack on Premera may have begun months earlier than May 2014, as the insurer reports. For instance, ThreatConnect, a threat intelligence product and services vendor, says it has found evidence that an attack on the health insurer's infrastructure may have started as early as December 2013, or at least a month before OPM OIG began its onsite audit.

Kate Knibbs:

In the latest update to a PLA publication called The Science of Military Strategy, China broke from its tradition of denying everything related to digital spying and network attack capabilities and explicitly revealed that it has specialized units devoted to using computers as weapons.

at the ragged edge
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:24 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2015

Astro Teller, on Google Glass:

I'm amazed by how sensitively people responded to some of the privacy issues. When someone walks into a bar wearing Glass ... there are video cameras all over that bar recording everything.

Robert Graham:

While CISA won't prevent attacks, it will cause mass surveillance. CISA isn't about prevention, it's about gathering information after the fact while prosecuting a crime.


Every time you slip that phone into your pocket, you're making a deal with the carrier: you get to use it, but the company gets your data. All of your data: where you are, where you travel, where you shop, who you're with, where you sleep -- even who you sleep with.

James Robertson:

In a sense, we are all under surveillance, all the time -- our whereabouts, activities, and transactions reduced to metadata and available to anyone who can break the code -- and we have brought it upon ourselves.

Jane Harman:

Cyber competence isn't just a set of technical skills; it's a state of mind. Be wary of writing code you wouldn't want thrown back against your own networks.

Bob Work:

Our technological dominance is no longer assured. Quite frankly, we're at the ragged edge of what is manageable.

competing visions of the technological future
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:05 am EDT, Mar 19, 2015

Chris Betz:

Forces often seek to undermine and disrupt technology and people, attempting to weaken the very devices and services people have come to depend on and trust.

Ashton Carter:

The cyber mission force represents American ideals in cyberspace. Keeping cyberspace open and free for everyone is its central focus.

Eugene Kaspersky:

This is how we save the world: by making the cyberworld safe and secure for everyone. We detect, research and disclose any malware -- regardless of origin or purpose.

The Balkanization of IT security will have a very significant long-term negative impact on global IT security, so let's do what we do best: analyze cyberthreats, reveal the digital villains, and protect our future. And let's do this all together.

Joseph Menn:

The balkanization of the security industry reflects broader rifts in the technology markets ...

Sue Halpern:

If the "calamity prophets" are finally right, and this time the machines really will win out, this is why. It's not just that computers seem to be infiltrating every aspect of our lives, it's that they have infiltrated them and are infiltrating them with breathless rapidity. It's not just that life seems to have sped up, it's that it has. And that speed, and that infiltration, appear to have a life of their own.

What Brynjolfsson and McAfee are also saying is that while technological progress is going to force many people to submit to tightly monitored control of their movements, with their productivity clearly measured, that progress is also going to benefit perhaps just a few as it races ahead. And that, it appears, is what is happening.

It is naive to believe that government is competent, let alone in a position, to control the development and deployment of robots, self-generating algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Government has too many constituent parts that have their own, sometimes competing, visions of the technological future. Business, of course, is self-interested and resists regulation. We, the people, are on our own here -- though if the AI developers have their way, not for long.

Lisa Lieberman:

Fear is democracy's undoing, and the unraveling begins at home.

the fundamental issue of the information age
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:50 pm EDT, Mar 16, 2015

Ashton Carter:

The cyber mission force represents American ideals in cyberspace. Keeping cyberspace open and free for everyone is its central focus.

Dmitri Alperovitch:

You can't play both sides.

Bruce Schneier:

We need to choose, as a matter of policy, communications systems that are secure for all users, or ones that are vulnerable to all attackers. It's security or surveillance.


We're still our own greatest threat.

Whit Diffie:

You really should not live in fear of opening an attachment to a message. It ought to be confined; your computer ought to be able to handle it. And the fact that we have persisted for decades without solving these problems is partly because they're very difficult, but partly because there are lots of people who want you to be secure against everyone but them.

Bruce Schneier:

Again and again, it's the same trade-off: individual value versus group value. I believe this is the fundamental issue of the information age, and solving it means careful thinking about the specific issues and a moral analysis of how they affect our core values. If we don't figure this out for ourselves, others will decide what they want to do with us and our data.

Eric Schmidt, in 2014:

If you have important information, the safest place to keep it is in Google.

Eric Schmidt, in 2009:

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Theodor Holm Nelson:

We are in a world nobody designed or expected, driving full tilt toward -- a wall? a cliff? a new dawn? We must choose wisely, as if we could.

The Horrror:

Owner: It comes with a free Frogurt!

Homer: [relieved] That's good.

Owner: The Frogurt is also cursed.

Homer: [worried] That's bad.

enjoy every ounce
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:01 am EDT, Mar 16, 2015


Noticing is easier in a foreign place because mundane things are unusual. It's the sameness of the familiar that closes minds.

Michael Lopp:

As quickly as possible, your brain wants a framework that efficiently predicts what is going to happen next. Your initial framework is a calming hodgepodge of past experience combined with your three most recent epiphanies ...

Danny Bradbury:

When you walk into your room for the hundredth time, you're not really looking at your wallpaper. Instead, your brain is painting a picture of it for you from memory.

Nick Paumgarten:

If you're the type to count the steps you take each morning on the trek from apartment to subway platform (third I-beam in, rear car), and then on to lobby and desk, you find that the number hardly varies. After a while, you stop looking around.

Arika Okrent:

The ginger in gingerly is not related to the spice identified by the genus Zingiber but to Old French gensor, which is related to gent, as in "well-born." It referred to small, elegant steps, like those a gentleman would make.

David Foster Wallace:

Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

Jan Chipchase:

Every object we leave behind is one less predetermined outcome. If you want your heart to leap at the possibility of what the journey can hold, park the wheels, pack less, and enjoy every ounce of weight.

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