CompSec is computer security. And we’ll get there, but first we need to go back to Monday’s column to pick up the scent…
Our discussion of the local gas company bill reported out of Australia received a numbers of fine comments from folks on the discussion side of UrbanSurvival, including an historical perspective from a reader Down Under that was most excellent:
Being an Aussie in Qld AUS I couldn’t help read your funny anecdote about the guy from Mudgee and the local gas company.
True or not it is believable as anybody in this country or yours would know. Great indicator of how as Voltaire put it “common sense is by no means common” .
Seems the western world especially left wing politics in your country and mine ergo Democrats and our Labor Party this lack of practical approaches to real world issues is rife.
In Aus like yours we have a general shift of wealth from the big middle class here to the genuine wealthy where they aren’t encumbered by heavy debt.
The big transnational corporations in both our countries hide their profits via “transfer pricing” in our case and no doubt ring around the rosey accounting in yours. Isn’t the Balance Sheet and P & L the devices that are the blind hiding the truth?
Off topic I know but I wished to vent.
I have always admired the USA and it’s wonderful citizens. I was in middle / primary school here when your country inspired me with your Apollo and 69 landings just because you felt like it. Now nearly 50 yrs still NO other country can do it. You’re all amazing.
Now it seems many voters there have lost their faith in the USA and what it represents both historically and in the future. Professional advocates, nefarious pressure groups (on a way bigger scale than here in Aus) are polluting your nations system and are beginning to have a big impact here too.
Many here in Aus are conscious of 1942 Coral Sea efforts of the US and the subsequent placing of US troops here, The blood and treasure that was lost by you is noted by many but like all history time dims memory and importance. Your citizens like ours only think in sound bites and believe the propaganda that’s why sites like yours are important to get folks to think outside the square. To question the conventional wisdom and spin. The truth is way weird and scary. Glad you’re still kickin George. Remember you Yanks the world is full of big cemeteries of folks who thought they could beat you.
This last point is deserving of some amplification.
True, there are longs of cemeteries of people who thought that could “beat America” – including whole fields in Europe and around the Pacific. But those were different times than today.
For one thing, the US up until 1970, or thereabouts, was the world center of manufacturing genius. However, W. Edwards Deming, the father of quality manufacturing, had already set Japan up for a national quest toward excellence. Wikipedia’s Entry on Deming explains:
Educated initially as an electrical engineer and later specializing in mathematical physics, he helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In his book The New Economics for Industry, Government, and Education, Deming championed the work of Dr. Walter Shewhart, including Statistical Process Control, Operational Definitions, and what Deming called The Shewhart Cycle which had evolved into PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act). This was in response to the growing popularity of PDSA, which Deming viewed as tampering with the meaning of Shewhart’s original work. Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in August 1950 at the Hakone Convention Center in Tokyo when Deming delivered a seminal speech on what he called Statistical Product Quality Administration. Many in Japan credit Deming as the inspiration for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war to become the second most powerful economy in the world in less than a decade founded on the ideas Deming taught
No, I am not saying that domination of manufacturing and an unimpeded source of raw materials is what allows a country to rise to the class of world Super Power, but it sure helps. Russia, and likewise Germany, were constrained in ways the USA was not. So we “won” World War II and arguably the Cold War, but we did so because we could simply out-produce other countries.
Germany was simply too small to fight two fronts at the same time – and had Hitler been a better tactician, we would all likely be speaking German. There have been several movies made about such revisionist outcomes.
Similarly, the Reagan administration spent so much on national defense, Star Wars and the like, that it literally drove Russia into bankruptcy trying to keep up. But, as we’ve mentioned previously, the real ‘secret weapon’ of the Cold War was the VCR.
Russia began to crumble when Kojak episodes showed well-dressed police, and even the poor pimps were driving Cadillac’s – which to people who largely didn’t own cars, seemed pretty damn appealing. Food everywhere, not in lines like in the “worker’s paradise.”
And this gets us circled around to this morning’s ponder: As you read the headlines today, what is the ONE THING that you would select as your tool of dominance today if you were trying to set yourself up as a strong nation for the next 100-years?
Would you work on domination of software?
If you choose software, the problem becomes which part? Do you dominate the fiber part? The optical router part? The COM layer? Activex? Android? Phython? PHP? C#? .NET? Do you dominate source or object code? (My head hurts trying to figure this out.)
It details many aspects of how modern telecommunications (the magic in the box) works such that you can log into the internet and read UrbanSurvival most mornings.
But let’s step back for a moment and look at how the model was developed: It was developed in order for standards to be evolved so that the internet would be generally accessible regardless of whether you are driving a Mac or a PC, or a smartphone.
So while the USA once climbed to world power status on the basis of manufacturing, now that we have promulgated the internet to all corners of the world, such that an idiot (played by Ures truly) can successfully write columns from the middle of the ocean, what is our unique war-making asset for the next 100-years going forward?
This, unfortunately, turns into a book-length topic because when we look at history from the century level, a lot of things change. “Winning” in the next five minutes may involve the continued ability of you and me to breathe. On the other hand, it’s a very high statistical probability that our being alive will be of no importance to America in 100 years.
Eventually, we can evolve a systematic way to look out 100 years and see what will still be highly valued. I’ve already done the list. Like it, or not, in 100, 200, or even 500 years, people will still need what was important in the Dark Ages: Food, shelter, transportation, communication, environment (includes health), finance, and energy.
Free market capitalism, thus, contains the seeds of its own destruction, I worry.
When we come up with really great concepts (Ford on assembly lines, for example, or Edison on lights, or Deming on quality) we monetize the item totally within the USA and then proceed to “free trader it” all over the world.
The problem is that if we had kept some of our assets to ourselves, we would not be breeding hotbeds of population that will come and try to kill us.
Any slum family in Yemen, for example, can now obtain a smartphone. And, they are one of the fastest breeding countries in the world – full of Islamic extremist, which is something they crank out by the boat-load.
What free market capitalism does – and it’s the big Achilles Heel to think about – is that in our efforts to “free market” our way into short-term profits, we end up screwing the pooch by giving away tech to people who didn’t figure it out for themselves.
Our bounded vision of the cell phone may be mainly commercial, but theirs, bounded differently, is as a tool of jihad…not Amazon Prime content.
A story on point:
About six months ago, I was in contact with one of the world’s top experts in computer security. The fellow is a genius…and understands more about computer security and how NSA and other agencies spy on us than anyone I could find without a CAC card and security clearance.
I wanted to interview this person for Peoplenomics readers because they were promoting an “unbreakable” system that could keep communications from being (usefully) intercepted by NSA or other agencies.
No, we will not have the discussion here of how it works.
The important thing is that because this person lives in a free-market country (in Europe, if it matters) they were planning to release the technology in order to make enough money to fund another product. People will pay – lots – for security.
So I sent this person a list of questions about this ultra-secure communications approach. And one of my key questions was this:
“How can you justify selling a product which is virtually 100% secure, when it is almost certain to be turned around and used on US?”
I haven’t heard back from them since.
I wanted to mention this to you because it is where the future is going.
Whether the breakthrough is atomic secrets and the Rosenbergs, or Clinton’s insane sale of super computers to China, or whether it’s this contact who will sell absolute encryption on an indiscriminate basis – which means it will end up in radicalized hands, there are limits to free trade. I strongly disagree with Clinton, for example. Idiocy and the seeds of future war as I continue to see it. Globalists like the Clintons, don’t see it.
We’ll break down borders and sell potential adversaries anything they want. Just buy our bonds, please… I mean WTF?
Over the next 100 years there are only a few “weapons of war” that will matter: Food, water, shelter, EMP devices,, energy control, software control, and content control.
Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers, a professor of communication studies, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations; the book was first published in 1962, and is now in its fifth edition (2003). Rogers argues that diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the participants in a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. Rogers proposes that four main elements influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation itself, communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human capital. The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Diffusion manifests itself in different ways in various cultures and fields and is highly subject to the type of adopters and innovation-decision process
So this morning’s quandary is to figure out how to resolve the inbred paradox of free market capitalism. I’ll state it in the form I call such “historical algorithms”…
- If we invent, we sell.
- If we sell, the technology will likely be turned on us.
- Once turned on us, we must adapt and reinvent.
- [return to step 1]
There’s one hell of an impressive list that goes with this assertion when you think about it. Our old 2005 Lexus wasn’t made in Detroit is just a nit. Ford invented, Deming facilitated the diffusion.
The vexatious problem today is whether we have sufficient advantage along the occluded front of technology to be able to win anything, anymore. Because why?
- If we invent, we sell.
I’ll let you know if I hear from the security expert who seems in no hurry to ever speak to me again when I ask how these values work – how the balance in struck – in the mind of the inventor negotiating with the other part of the brain, where the marketer mind lives, knowing that putting it all out there Anonymously results in near-certain antagonistic deployment.
This is how the business model behind history works and in large part from whence economic cycles arise.
Write when you break-even…