“Data collection in 1984 was deliberate; today’s is inadvertent. In the information society, we generate data naturally. In Orwell’s world, people were naturally anonymous; today, we leave digital footprints everywhere.”
Is Big Brother a Big Deal?
“In an effort to prevent terrorism, parts of the mobile phone network will be disabled when President Bush visits Australia. I’ve written about this kind of thing before; it’s a perfect example of security theater: a countermeasure that works if you happen to guess the specific details of the plot correctly, and completely useless otherwise.”
Mobile Phones Disabled When President Bush Visits Sydney
“In the April 2007 issue of Queue, Dan Geer writes about security trade-offs, monoculture, and genetic diversity in honeybees.”
Dan Geer on Trade-Offs and Monoculture
“The Virginia Tech massacre is precisely the sort of event we humans tend to overreact to. Our brains aren’t very good at probability and risk analysis, especially when it comes to rare occurrences. We tend to exaggerate spectacular, strange and rare events, and downplay ordinary, familiar and common ones. There’s a lot of research in the psychological community about how the brain responds to risk — some of it I have already written about — but the gist is this: Our brains are much better at processing the simple risks we’ve had to deal with throughout most of our species’ existence, and much poorer at evaluating the complex risks society forces us face today.
“Novelty plus dread equals overreaction.”
Rare Risk and Overreactions
He’s so cool, I get frostbite just cutting and pasting from his blog.