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Selil’s Cyber Paradigm

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Now, in order to understand it, go here:

Information assurance and security and cyber warfare is muskets in a sharks with lasers world 

….I think that we’re diverging significantly from the old world of cyberspace into a newer set of taxonomical and ontological concepts. Perhaps we’re finally beginning to mature the thinking of the domain. The focus on offense is not yet nearly the focus we need. In my opinion we do focus to much on defense. The problem is we have continued to focus on information security as if that is a form of cyber war. The focus on computer security artificially limits what could be considered valid forms of attack and most obviously has nothing to do with nation state attackers. In reverse the language of war being applied to the management principles of information systems causes inappropriate risk calculations, increases costs outside the requirements, and inhibits innovation and efficiency at significant social costs. 

Basically, information security is a form of management and cyber war is a form of conflict. That they happen in the same domain and have different goals is no different than the gate guards that protect your gated community from bad guys. The Wackenhut security guys carry guns, but their entire mission set is quite different from the rather impressive troops of say Seal Team 6. As a community of interest we continue to conflate these two roles at extreme cost and significant increase in strategic level risk.

Excellent!  Read the rest here.

Hat tip to Adam Elkus

Selil Blog: Google is Evil

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Sam wages a different kind of cyberwar:

Evil Google: What you don’t know just might hurt you

Google as a company has a policy”You can make money without doing evil“, but the question is with a corner on the search market of the Internet and rolling out a variety of tools is that motto even possible to uphold. In a dictatorial and autocratic world where the span of the Internet crosses international borders can Google even claim to be “nice”.

To make our case that you may be in grave jeopardy up to and including national security consider this. What if the government bound by law not to gather personal information about citizens (Privacy Act 1974 could instead just purchase a large volume of information about citizens. Just such a deal was made by the government to purchase what it could not gather from ChoicePoint. Of course, ChoicePoint is the company that also sold records and personal identification information to Nigerian scam artists. Also, ChoicePoint is not above purportedly acting in an illegal manner as a corporation. We as individuals though think we have nothing to hide. That might be the case if the rest of the world was as ethical as we think we are.

And Sam has more:

….When challenged by this argument the luddites among us will of course say they do not even use GMAIL so therefore they are safe from the minions and Googliers. Of course they are right up until Google actually started taking pictures in our back yards. There is nothing like having our private lives instantiated on the web for the entire world to peruse.  You may have no expectation of privacy, but the recording of events, without your knowledge is a violation of your privacy. An argument that can be fought by different nations from different cultures. Do not worry though. Google was more than willing to violate peoples property rights to impact their privacy rights as they sought to record things they should not have had access too. One aspect is that regardless of how you feel about the technologies privacy aspects these same tools can be used by terrorists to impact national security . Of course when you have a satellite partially purchased by and used to assist the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Of course Google Earth can look down on our back yards behind our fences we erect for privacy to peer into our lives without our knowledge .

Read the rest here.

With governmental units trying to find all kinds of reasons to acquire records our DNA, we may soon see our own unique genomic code being used in massive databases to the financial benefit everyone else who can pay for the aggregation of data and to our own disadvantage. Corporations and government bureaucrats using such information (or misusing it, leaking it, altering it, deleting some of it) to make life-altering decisions for individuals or groups, most likely in secret, without notification or review. Can’t happen? Think about the shenanigans that can be inflicted (and are) upon critics and political opponents with the data already at the government’s disposal by vindictive idiots with access .

Does that worry you ?

Following the Online Breadcrumb Trail…..

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Check out Fabius Maximus on the “books vs. internet” debate with an older set of posts The Internet makes us dumber: the Bakken euphoria, a case study and Euphoria about the Bakken Formation.


Selil Blog where Professor Sam has done some cyberwar theorizing “From Information operations to cyber warfare and a new terrain”

Selil on Education and the University

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Professor Sam “Selil” Liles has two posts, thoughtful essays to be more precise, to which I must give my earnest recommendation to read in full. Here they are with some short excerpts and then  brief comments by me:

The dark ages: Modern anti-intellectualism and failure of the thinking man

….Where is the modern age renaissance man? A little over 100 years ago there were two degrees in the undergraduate curriculum. The Bachelor of Science, and the Bachelor of Arts were regarded as the pinnacle of education. Then specialization began a long swing into the collective consciousness of academia. The business world looked to academia to solve the middling problems of commerce. A government swath of intervention cut through the academic ranks of research. All of this resulted in further specialization. In the short term likely it resulted in gains in the intellectual output of a generation of scientists.

So, from a system where knowledge was gathered from many sources and a pyramid of knowledge and facts represented the intellectual catalog of an individual we have now the reverse. Broad based programs that widened in scope to a point where a person of the highest rank could discuss a variety of topics is no longer. Specialization has resulted in a trend to specious specialization where the pinnacle academic achievement is hyper-specialization. This has driven a coterie of programs into inter-disciplinary prima-facie collaborations but we know that the simple human interactions degrade the efforts.

This is the downside of analytical-reductionism, the powerful tool with which (among others) man has managed to shatter and reorganize a once unknowable reality into discernable, quantifiable, comprehensible parts. But with all tools there are limitations in terms of efficiencies as well as costs. Microscopes and telescopes are powerful augmentations to human vision but you wouldn’t look through either one while driving your car.

“….Perhaps the issue is thinking strategies. The fact remains that the common scientist is woefully deficient in thinking and intellectual strategies. Within their discipline they may be exposed to specifics that they may need but I rather doubt most PhD candidates for chemistry are being exposed to Dewey or Kant at the doctoral course work level. Specialization has eroded the human aspects of educations. The Renaissance man is dead and the University killed him. I have seen the response of several science faculty at the senior level who have realized this fact about themselves. They may be an international expert and have a great reputation but upon reaching full professor they reach out and start taking liberal arts and humanities courses. I have met many junior faculty and professionals who have a master’s degree in a liberal art and another masters degree in a science or engineering discipline. These are the hope of Lazarus rising and the rebirth of the Renaissance man. Yet in academia they are pushed aside as not having focus or depth.”

Read the rest here. Here is Selil’s next post which contains a number of visual slides that you should check out because they crystallize some of the points of the argument:

Education paradigm: How you get there may not be where you are going

“….The education paradigm is also somewhat limited. The pinnacle of the education paradigm is theory. The creating of new knowledge through the process of research as a doctoral student as evidenced by the dissertation is end of academic achievement. The missing point that the University often struggles with is the application of that highly specialized theoretical knowledge. Industry rarely has need of that kind of knowledge until there is a perceived need. This is where much of the “what use is a PhD” argument comes from. Yet it is of national and strategic importance to create and innovate not simply make small movements forward through incremental improvement. Creativity is energy fed by the fuel of intellectual discourse and domain knowledge. The broader the domain knowledge of an individual the more likely that they can draw upon new and more effective tools to solve problems.

Synthesis paradigm

For the most effective educated work force that serves the needs of all stake holders including the student a new paradigm for education is needed. The paradigm should build upon the entirety of the general education that a student receives in high school. Because the volume of knowledge is so vast it should approach the application side of the equation first thereby producing a capable work force entrant at the community college level. The bachelor degree level should have some theory and each discipline may need more or less depending on their field. The bachelor degree though should create a journeyman practitioner or engineer capable managing and inclemently advancing the discipline. The spilt between theory and application for a masters degree should equate to near equality. The master degree suggests that a student has relative mastery of a topic or discipline. At this point the student should have a breadth of knowledge that is inclusive of the discipline. At the point the doctoral degree is awarded application has been overtaken by theory. This is not the end as there is even more theory to be worked with but the scope broadens.”

This excerpt was from the second half of the post which I selected to show what Sam is driving toward, shifting the paradigm of education toward synthesis. In my view, a useful remediation of the current system’s deficiencies and a way to teach people to build their own “dialectical engines”, to use John Boyd’s phrase, for the generation of insights. Not in my view a full replacement of analytical-reductionism ( would you “replace” your left hand with your right or would you want to use both of them?) but a powerful complement and imaginative driver toward “vitality and growth”.

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