Sometimes the only way to play is to jump in over your head but the border between fearlessness and foolishness is slim. I have been transformed by my exposure to matters of duplicity in theory and practice and I still find it fascinating for the same reason I stated several years ago in my Normblog Interview.
Who are your cultural heroes? > I confess that I am drawn to spies and, to a lesser extent, priests. They hold in their heads ideas that are worth killing and dying for, and yet unlike writers and intellectuals of other sorts, they are restrained by ethical virtues from gaining any notoriety, wealth or respect from the dissemination of said ideas. Anyone can blurt the beautiful and be blessed, but there is nothing so frighteningly powerful, I think, as an idea whose time may very well never come. They are the reverse of us who clamour for glory and vindication.
I should probably add hackers to that. Hackers of all sorts. It's a layer of understanding I haven't applied most of my adult life because I have spent a great deal of time and effort being a team player and expecting the leverage of corporate entities to pay off. They do. But what I didn't realize was how flexible they are, and it is that combination of flexibility and dynamism of individuals within the constraints of corporate frameworks that can be their downfall. It's something that hackers can exploit and proves the fundamental vulnerability of all collective enterprises. (I was thinking 'corporate' in reflection on my own ambition, but you can read 'collective' in defense of the principle).
Organized decentralization is not even the thing here, but individual initiative. We are much more beholden to personal ethics than I had previously considered. There are many implications, some of which just make sense.
- Don't hate.
- Talk what you know.
- Mind your own business.
- Be diplomatic.
- Do it yourself.
- Don't lie.
- Assume they know.
- Fakers get killed.
The impetus for this post is the startling piece over at Ars Technica. Not since I was much younger and obsessed over more simple stuff like Guy Kawasaki's Tsutomu Shimomura's old tale of intrigue has the impact of a hacker's handiwork smacked me in the head. Anybody can be owned.
As I write this, and in reflection of a couple things, I wish I could remember a piece of verbiage I came across with its apporpriate acrimony to script kids about a particular hardened version of OS that a certain kind of individual would need. It's my new mind splinter. Because other than Sandmonkey, 'we' know very little about who was communicating at what level with the outside world as Egypt flipped. And it certainly would have been the aim of an appropriated armed individual to use this particularly secure distro as government forces would have been on his ass.
Note to Alex and the dude to my left: The name of the detective show was 'Touching Evil'. So that settles *that* mind splinter.