There we have it; botcracy

As we turn the leaf towards a new year, let’s not forget what values – in operation, operationalised – protect our Human Rights, in the form of de-mock-racy, and how they are ever so quickly being repelled by, e.g., AI and fake news but in particular, the deployment of bots as here.
Yes I know, that’s three layers of tools but still, the focus is on the first two but the latter plays almost the foulest role.
Yes I know, the ‘operationalised’ part may need elucidation on the side of ‘transparency’, ‘access and inclusion’ etc., but when you read after the link, you’ll understand that the issue is society-wide, not just FCC / net-neutrality.

Well, that was a quicky… hence:
[München, for zero (as in: 0.0) reason]

Unsider threats

How is it that we tend to hear over and over again about ‘insider’ threats ..?
Even when it’s not the Board that is meant here, as the pinnacle of … the ability to drive a company into the ground, those pesky ‘insiders’ really are a pain in the place where you like that or the sun doesn’t shine.
Better get rid of any and all of those ‘insiders’ then, eh ..? AI here you come. But if AI system(s) would be a replacement for humans, wouldn’t they commit the same temporary, small, innocious and unconscious lapses of judgement..?
And what about off-boarding the biggest threats first ..? [Where I do men the above committee]

Maybe better to recall that we’re about to celebrate the fifteenth birthday [was there ..!] of deperimetrisation – with an s once you recognise its country of birth, and disclaim an all-out stupid Jabba the Hutt style claim of origin so no z’s anywhere – who’s an -sider when there’s no way to tell ..?

Also, it villifies the underlings that make your salaries and bonuses so if you punish them (by giving them less reward than yourself), they don’t get mad. They get even. Simple. You gave them the tools You made them build their own tools superficially to keep you afloat but you wouldn’t recognise a buoy from an anchor so guess what you get… And when you’ve lost them, they aren’t much of the insider you’d want, right; morally they’d be on the outside again already.
Case in point: This miss by the venerable @HarvardBiz … Though the solutions offered, are valid – as very-starting points…

So Part I – Ω is to treat your underlings like you care. If, big if, you actually mean it (hence will not in an instant be found out to be a fraud at this), you’re saved for now. Otherwise, no fight against <whatever>sider threats, will be futile. Remember this ..? You get treated like you treat, it starts with you – your intentions towards the other, will be perceived. Positive/negative, the choice is yours.

Oh well. Plus:
[Some light’s also good for the inside; Utrecht (1924 ..!)]

And of course

Another one today!
This here piece, and the according official text (with interesting subheader, as downloaded from the official site…).
Because one should not expect either to be a fair representation of the Chief’s actual stance as what is in the speech text is so clearly wrong, or the Chief (his speechwriter) was badly misinformed by his own staff / speechwriter, probably down/up quite some chain of command before reaching either end. E.g.,

  • “First, Admiral Bauer pointed out that cyber operations have significant drawbacks. In fact he called them a “too good to be true” scenario. Yes, they are fast, do not require boots on the ground, and have limited risk of repercussions. Yet they do require extensive preparations, and are tailored at a specific target, at a specific time, under specific circumstances. This makes them difficult to repeat. Conventional weapons can be used for years. Cyber weapons (e.g. malware) on the other hand have a limited shelf life as the vulnerabilities they depend on will be patched.”
    Right … What about comparing a vulnerability of this sort (that can be patched so easily, i.e., a known bug that hadn’t been patched before! with a single bullet? That can be fired simultaneously at thousands, millions of foot soldiers that when hit, will turn on their Chief ..?
    And the idea that once used in an attack (sic, because no-one is out looking for unknowns ..!), it will be patched before it will be used in an attack thus resulting in a contradictio, and
    As if full patching of each and every exploitable vuln at once, has anything to de with reality whatsoever; if one thinks that: dream on and back to kindergarten. [As stated: No bearing on respect for the CHOD (why not CJCS?); one can for the above, and below, things not expect the speech text to be accurate – on second thoughts, is this a fake news detractor, to seed false info ..?]
    Plus, this reads as if all patches are perfect all of a sudden. Now that would be news.
    And, what about differences in sophistication? Weren’t all sorts of countries effectively kicked out of Afghanistan [to name one of a long list…’Nam anyone?] without succes (sic), by people with hand guns and IEDs only (no, the I stands for something)? As e.g., here. As if the many armies kicked out like that, those, not have had their ‘patching’ with armour all together…!?
  • “Notice how this is different form ‘civilian’ cyber security. There an attacker has a distinct advantage over the defender because he does not need to attack a specific target (he can try many targets at once and settle for the weakest one), and typically has no deadline within which the attack must be successful. In a ‘civilian’ cyberattack periods of activity are separated by sometimes long periods of inactivity, because after a successful move the attacker stumbles upon a further line of defence that must be investigated.
    Cyber operations do not have that flexibility, especially because they must form an integral part of existing military capabilities. The timing of a cyber operation thus depends critically on other, conventional, operations. (As someone later explained to me, if the commander of a military operation inquires whether the cyber team can hack say a bridge, the answer “probably yes, but we do not know how long it will take us” is not very useful.)”

    Again, a gross mis-take on what ‘cyber’warfare [#ditchcyber] is about. As if, as if, ‘cyber’warfare, were any different than normal warfare, Clausewitz-like – not! as you can read for yourself; the civilian long-term ‘warfare’ is exactly the same as the 5th kind.
    If the commander would ask a squad whether they can take (out, I guess) a bridge with physical means, and any ‘yes’ would be taken as certainty, the commander will not be in charge too long… The right answer is seldomly the most useful one, as, relevant, is e.g., the question why one is there: this (3rd bullet).
  • “A second thing that stood out in the speech of Admiral Bauer was the acknowledgement that in cyberspace, the difference between cyber security and national security becomes fuzzy. Whereas defending the latter is clearly a task of the military, their role in protecting the former is less clear. As Admiral Bauer put it: “the Armed Forces are not the national firewall”. Yet it is clear that by developing cyber weapons and cyber defences, their impact (both positively and negatively) on cyber security increases. This requires closer cooperation with the government, law enforcement, the private sector and research institutes. Admiral Bauer would like to invite people from cyber industry to work directly with or for the Armed Forces.” [From 1st link above]
    Another non-sequitur. As if the CHOD could not see that border defense (what are ‘we’ doing in all sorts of places around the world, then ..? Far, far overstretched, qua capacity and capabilities) is the same, either physical or abstract. If people had to defend for themselves … they should have the right to all bear arms in ‘cyber’space, to defend themselves, just as they would have the right to bear arms in physical space, right? With those arms necessarily being of at least equal combat value as the opponents’ ones. I can have my own F16 squadron! (And I would certainly want it to be as great as ‘my’ 322sqn … with Block 52+ Advanced / -V or what have we … Hey isn’t this a great and desperately cheap alternative to (jump) the money guzzling F35s ..!?)
    And “no physical sand bags” (2nd link) ..!? What are patches, then?
  • Et cetera. One could go on, ever more certain that this is not the official military stance on the issue but some sickly surrendermonkey civil servant (if only they did) kind of underling dweezil sort of misinterpretation of seriousness.

[All analog (literally, slides!) to digital scans; from the time we built (rather, had around still from years before) diarama’lets and there were shows for the public when Twente AFB still existed – like, 1983 or so, you know, from times when Defence was something Real]

Me-meme tiredness ..?

Ryou serious ..? One does not simply … What about the Dos Equis Man ..? I don’t often call something over the hill, but when I do …
But just about then, the Humint meme turned up. And of course this here (#3!) and scores of similar sites, remain ‘healthy’. May memes even remain one of the mainstays of Imgur. Am I feeling like an awkward penguin now ..?

Nope. Point still stands. Other than (high?)school kids of a certain age and subsubcultural denomination, not many are even aware there was such a phenomenon as memes – in the way portrayed here the other massively more general kind of course prevails almost totalitarianly completely over all of the worlds’ culture(s)..!

[Edited to add:] Dammit Atlantic! I drafted-scheduled this post 2 days ago and now you come with this ..? Though it doesn’t go nearly as far as the above… ;-]

Oh well. And:
[Typical display (of typicality of …, ad infinitum), V&A]

A different take on fireworks

Yes dear people it may be unbelievable to some but there’s some local areas, like the EU, where in some spots/countries, fireworks are still allowed to be lit by just about anyone [age limits for buying, much more overeasily circumvented than e.g., alcohol sales], on Dec 31 – and no-one seems to care about earlier (days in advance) occasional severity-max hindrance to the elderly, dogs, and generally phobic/gravely-disturbed-by-fireworks public. “Tolerance” never seems to go the way of the Meek.
But, when societal discussions go to maybe possibly impinge on these ridiculously-lax liberties, there’s hope. Of a replacement of sorts. Not (only) by means of public fireworks displays – that are, admit it, always much more beautiful then your own, and just noise doesn’t impress anyone but prepuerile boys – but also by, tadaaa:
This here idea of Drone-on-Drone contests. Should be fun! If only we could attach the equivalent of reactive stuff, just for the light show effects.

That was all, folks. Out on a bang with:
[Hey those things are still quite prevalent in Knightsbridge; are they anti-drone security devices or how backward can one be ..? Good riddance from the EU ..?]


The Doors to Which, you understood.
hat were delivered by all the other posts of this here blog you’re on.
T hough here, I meant it to refer to the cliché that recently rose up again from the dullness of repeat, being stated as “If a door closes before you, there will be another door open to go through” or something similar.

Which of course is very wrong.

When a door closes before you, you open it again. That’s how doors work.

Somewhat different, eh? Even when you’d have to kick it in. Or, reality being too complex to capture is such a short bon mot, indeed you take another door; (but only) when you’re tired of kicking. Whatever your perception of reality, the choice is still yours. Either take any flimsy, tiny hair of a threshold as an excuse to run away (from difficulty that you’ll find eve-ry-where, in particular when you run away so easily – ever more easily, ever less easily overcome), or you stand for what you set out to achieve.

On that festive note, I’ll leave you with:

[Dropped the true idea of Christmas, being thankful for having survived another year and with a glimmer of hope that next year might be a sliver better, now just called Winter Wonderland and being the worst (or over-the-top) consumerist-commercialised dump of rubbish packaged as Christmas market. With stalls from everywhere, in particular Germany, Belgium, Hollund. With merchandise from eveywhere though mostly from China. Now in Hyde Park]

Debatable socmed flame tactics

For ten points (each), please comment on the following ideas re arguments in a proper (?) debate [after the pictural intermission]:

  • Is this picture correct, in your opinion?
  • At what layer does your comment on the previous question sit in the picture?
  • Does the picture portray the debasement of your arguments, when you have none (left) at some higher level, to a lower level to try (ex ante in vein due to the debasement) to still try to win an argument?
  • Would one’s inability to remain at the upper levels (allowing Quintilianus‘ essential remarks and tactics, i.e., allowing well-controlled level variation) or one’s inability to partake there in the first place, be an indication of allowance to (be!) shut up? As in this.
  • Given chatbots’ ability to process comments at much higher than human, sufficient, speeds, could they intervene to silence, as above?
  • How would AI tools have to develop to play a role in that, given the necessity to understand far- and wide-reaching contextual awareness, understanding of historical perspectives, puns of all sorts, etc.?
  • How would that AI have to be trained, and continuous-learning-maintained, to capture societal, history and slang development?
  • How would that AI have to be trained, and continuous-learning-maintained, to prevent it/them from slipping down the slope it/themselfves? [As here and here, to name just a few of the big ones’ misses, no to mention the great flood of chatbots that aren’t called out yet for the same and/or worse]
  • How would that AI have to be trained, and continuous-learning-maintained, to prevent it from becoming the Central Scrutiniser, or Skynet ..!?
    Take into account we all want a free society (plural or global), and censorship of any kind runs against that unless applied diligently against flames, threats etc. on social media where the purpose seems to be one-upmanship among … [friends ..!?] and absolute fear of death by utter remain of anonymity regardless of the damage inflicted, where only the most retarded (furthest away from actual contribution) ‘win’ the battle for worst comment, thus ensuring their incredible unremarkability on the world stage [they’re not even anything near the stage, on another planet rather… If only they were] to continue. But when comment(or)s are overly easily branded that way, stifling of sane political discussion is ’round the corner.

Asking this for a friend. All answers need to be supplied with ample valid argument. Cartoons may be used. Comments on the author will be treated as indicated above, or worse. Much worse. Do not I repeat do not bet on it / your cunning. A picture to relax:
[Sturdy XOR attention-seeking pink; your choice. London, a couple of years ago and not really downtown or is it ..?]

Quo or Misquo

tation, that is.
Either here.
      Or here.

From which I have learned, essentially this: Never trust. [Oh wait; here]
XOR never verify. Depends on which world you want to live.
So much for quotes. Let’s use our own insights. Preferably of the kind that is hard to relay, because that is (may be …!) an above-50% sign that it’s genuine and profound. Since putting things into words is hard, so when the process seems not so hard, the content probably is flimsy, to make it not so hard.

Circles… Now, on to the Weekend! And:
[Just your average Noto’an]

In Controllusion

After a good receipt of this, I kept on receiving nudge-pointers about a related issue. Being, that so many are, have become, control freaks. Micro-managers with such enormous blind spots, blinkers/blinders.
With a thesis developing that this is caused by sheer frustration of not being able to shake off the being controlled. Since individualism, the societal buddy of pure neo-capitalism the fascist kind intertwined with consumerism and the blow-out of traditional social group cohesion(s), demands we are Free. Or so. And find ourselves [well, not me] still tied up tight in (whether private or public) corporate dictats. Having to let off all the steam, it explodes (short of detonation) through the escape vent of downward bullying – in perception from all sides.

Hope I’m overstating this. But a fuzzy-logic sort of partial acceptance of the point only, will point the point towards resolution of at least one contributing part of the stifle that is so rife in modern (not) organisations. Capice? Capisco..?

[Apparently not when this of course is Dyon.]

Lagging, nagging ‘Coin feeling

Somehow, the many (?) Cassandra’s messages of late about Bitcoin being a hyped-up bubble about to burst and how it’s the laggerds (only) that now want to jump in, drive up prices but will be the Greater Fools in the game, sounds a bit … false bottom.
[Unsure what the exchange rate is, today. Has the bubble burst already, or ..?]

I’d say, how many countries, and moreover how great a many financial organisations (private or public, or regulatory or inter/supranational) may have an interest to blow up Bitcoin, as a demonstrator that all that blockchain stuff isn’t any good after all ..? Because the promise of blockchain was, and is, that it will not need any, traditionally somehow still geography-bound, standing governing body avalanched-under by politics, gross misunderstanding of the core concepts ruled over, etc. In short, power struggles.
And that, of course, may be a future that some will not allow. And fight to their deaths – inevitably, not by nature but by cause and earlier. But still they simply won’t have it, that blockchain/Bitcoin/smart-contract/whatevva shazam. With the only way to get rid of it in an inconspicuous manner, is to … inflate it till it goes borsht. Risk, but possibly profit hugely during the trip ..? Case in point: this one [hope the link is still valid, and it’s in Dutch which may mix semantic levels to be tauto]

[You get a golden bullet-like thing on your pillow. With compliments and filled with chocolate, that is… In Salzburg of course]