Category Archives: Security


This may be a way in which I might want to break my rule of updating once a day. There are all these magnificent links out there which I still want people to see.

  • Sullivan links to Obama on the Daily Show. Not only does this show off the skills of Obama in appearing above the fray, but it also demonstrates John Stewart’s interviewing skills.
  • Matt Yglesias asks John Edwards and Barack Obama, just what the heck are “vital interests”? This reminds me of the “Meaningless Words” section in George Orwell’s classic essay, Politics and the English Language.
  • Bruce Schneier is his usual astute self, when talking about how spending money on interoperable communication systems for emergency response helped save lives in Minnesota: “Too much of the money spent on terrorism defense has been overly specific: effective only if the terrorists attack a particular target or use a particular tactic. Money spent on emergency response is different: It’s effective regardless of what the terrorists plan, and it’s also effective in the wake of natural or infrastructure disasters.”
  • Lloyd meditates on what weblogging is: weblogging as life (yes, itself). Very… sweeping. And when I think of philosophy, I think this is it. Trying to make sense of the world.

Sci-fi and Security

This makes me want to cry: Sci-fi writers join war on terror. Am I the only one who finds this appallingly moronic? We pay the Department of Homeland Security for this?

Here’s the worst bit of idiocy in the article:

Although some sci-fi writers’ futuristic ideas might sound crazy now, scientists know that they often have what seems to be an uncanny ability to see into the future.

“Fifty years ago, science-fiction writers told us about flying cars and a wireless handheld communicator,” says Christopher Kelly, spokesman for Homeland Security’s Science and Technology division. “Although flying cars haven’t evolved, cellphones today are a way of life. We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science-fiction writers clearly inform the debate.”

Talk about confirmation bias! Mr. Kelly is oblivious of his blatant counterexample, which he brings up himself. He just proved that sci-fi writers have an equally uncanny ability to imagine complete fantasies.

Apparently, when Mr. Kelly refers to “everywhere” he even means this realm of pure fantasy. Bravo! Now DHS will work to prevent us from being killed in terrorist attacks that can only occur in one’s imagination. I feel safer already.

Now we will know what to do if a terrorist crashes a flying car into the Golden Gate Bridge.

[Found this article via Schneier on Security.]