Security Lessons from Dictators - Jerry Gamblin - 44CON2013

As I'm currently all aboard the analogy train I found this particularly interesting, Jerry looks at errors that dictators have made and compares that to errors that cyber security practioners make. It can be watched on YouTube and is worth 30 minutes of your time.

Jerry Gamblin is worth following on Twitter, his account can be found here: ; and I quote this tweet of his every so often:

Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

This can be read at - basically emphasise the processes in your life and you will reach your goals, rather than choosing long-term goals and then striving to reach them.

I really like this idea, and think it's a good way to approach, well, basically everything. This ties in with the Japanese idea of Kaizen, and the general ideas of Stoicism, as far as I can tell. Concentrate on small, gradual, continual improvements - so it fits in with Agile and DevOps too, but at a really high level. I'm intrigued by where this comparison works or falls apart.

Interestingly I think this would contrast with something like Angela Duckworth's Grit, a book I was rather impressed by earlier this year. Now there's a book I should have written up on here, I might have to read it again.

Why your brain never runs out of problems to find

This makes interesting reading at ; "It turns out that a quirk in the way human brains process information means that when something becomes rare, we sometimes see it in more places than ever." A few experiments were run where participants were told to define something as a threat, or as blue. Over the course of the experiment the number of items matching the original criteria was reduced, but the participants' analysis didn't reflect that. I've read the article, but not the paper, it should give you the gist.

Massive ramifications from this - regardless of changes in absolute terms does this mean humans will always find a percentage of things offensive, or expensive, or disturbing, or threatening, or....

How to become a Super-Forecaster

This article by Daniel Miessler was an interesting read, about the kind of people who are most proficient at predicting the future, and the qualities they have. I was particularly interested in this because I've always been intrigued by futurism, and in this case I like to think I possess all of the qualities listed. Those qualities are these by the way:

  • They are in the top 20% of intelligence, but don’t have to be at the very top
  • Comfortable thinking in guestimates
  • They have the personality trait of Openness (which is associated with IQ, btw)
  • They take pleasure in intellectual activity
  • They appreciate uncertainty and like seeing things from multiple angles
  • They distrust their gut feelings
  • Neither left or right wing
  • They’re not necessarily humble, but they’re humble about their specific beliefs
  • They treat their opinions as “hypotheses to be tested, not treasures to be guarded”
  • They constantly attack their own reasoning
  • They are aware of biases and actively work to oppose them
  • They are Bayesian, meaning they update their current opinions with new information
  • Believe in the wisdom of crowds to improve upon or discover ideas
  • They strongly believe in the role of chance as opposed to fate

I disagree on a couple of points, but only a couple, it'd be interesting to try this out.

Evolving The Creativity Scan

Taken from the TRIZ Journal, this article is here: ; I found it a cracking read and really intriguing, especially its descriptions of two types of intelligence, and that a lot of the criteria for creativity seemed to resonate with me. Further investigation required, as always, very interested in rating myself against the criteria listed.

Challenging local realism with human choices

At - it's been in my list of tabs for ages, it looks incredibly important but complex and would take several visits to "get my head around"

Project outcomes include closing of the freedom-of-choice loophole, gamification of statistical and quantum non-locality concepts, new methods for quantum-secured communications, a very large dataset of human-generated randomness, and networking techniques for global participation in experimental science.

I'm still trying to figure out a job where someone will pay me to read things like this. Advice welcome.