“Don Juan had always said to me that our great enemy is the fact that we never believe what is happening to us… when we finally realize what is going on it is usually too late to turn back. He contended that it is always the intellect that fools us, because it receives the message first, but rather than giving it credence and acting on it immediately, it dallies with it instead.”
Carlos Castaneda

The Second Ring of Power

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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