“Moral decisions are always easy to recognize, they are where you abandon self interest.”
Frank Herbert

Chapter House Dune

Five Skateboards

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Everything is Broken is a well written article about security and software … though I feel it is somewhat undermined by excess drama rooted in Quinn Norton’s activist energy.

Whey back when I worked in software analysis and design I was inspired by and specialized in UML (in it’s early years). One time I attended a talk given by Ivar Jacobson, one of the core contributors to UML, where he described writing software as a balancing act akin to riding a pile of 5 skateboards (an application on top of on OS on tops of a kernel on top of machine language on top of …).

It isn’t just security that is fragile in software, everything is. Function, purpose, performance, security, scalability … everything. I don’t know if there is another fields where there is an engineered (=man made) complexity that rivals that of software. Right now we are super-sensitized to security and this gives Quinn Norton an opportunity to pounce on the security perspective … and if nothing else it is a good opportunity to realize and appreciate how fragile software (which is so deeply embedded into our lives) really is and how much better we can make it.

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