12-11-10 Hodgepodge

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fox News on Stuxnet

Over at Voices for Reason, I learned of an interesting article about a topic I haven't thought about much lately: the Stuxnet worm. It's an oldie but a goodie.

[Computer expert Ralph] Langer argues that no single Western intelligence agency had the skills to pull this off alone. The most likely answer, he says, is that a consortium of intelligence agencies worked together to build the cyber bomb. And he says the most likely confederates are the United States, because it has the technical skills to make the virus, Germany, because reverse-engineering Siemen's product would have taken years without it, and Russia, because of its familiarity with both the Iranian nuclear plant and Siemen's systems.
I agree with Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute, who ends his blog post as follows: "Is sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program enough to safeguard us? It buys us time — and that's a good thing -- but we must remember that the threat from Iran is broader than just its nuclear ambitions."

Weekend Reading

"For years, I have recommended that people keep a journal. ... It's one of the hardest things to motivate somebody to do, and yet once done, one of the most effective." -- Michael Hurd, in "Write It Down" at DrHurd

"[W]hen we feel it, in our bodies or in our investment portfolios, we have two choices: acknowledge the pain and make a change, or ignore it and hope it goes away. I'm not one for wishful thinking." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "When a Trade Hurts, Don't Ignore the Pain" at SmartMoney

My Two Cents

Regarding Michael Hurd's advice above, I'd further recommend -- based on how social media sometimes seem diabolically designed to make people less introspective -- making such a journal entirely private. I say this even though most people do not fit into the stereotypes lampooned in the above links.

For one thing, we all are affected to varying degrees by the corrupt culture that surrounds us. For another, I think social media can make it particularly easy to fall prey to some of the thinking traps I mentioned yesterday, particularly the one I used as an example. Of course, this only appears to be a technological problem: It's ultimately a philosophical one.

Creative Crosswalks

Creativity makes the prosaic entertaining and profitable. Who would have imagined crosswalks could be such fun?

-- CAV


: Corrected a hyperlink.


kelleyn said...

Love that Dr. Hurd column. His previous posts on journaling are what got me started on it, and the benefits are not to be underestimated.

I think the absolute worst thing I could do with my journal would be to let anyone see it. Even--especially--those I am closest to. At that point, it would cease to be about introspection and become a dishonest and dysfunctional form of communication. I wouldn't feel free to write what needs to be written there if there was any danger of exposure. Besides, my journal would not even make sense to other people. It's full of things that are so intimate that I could not explain or justify them to others if I tried.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for commenting on the benefits of privacy in keeping a journal. I think there is an astounding lack of appreciation in our culture for privacy as well as for clear personal boundaries. People need both to realize their full potential.