Turn it Off

Just finished reading the book The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Little, Brown and Company. Lots of great content about networks and their impact and implications on everything. There is this great quote about how to really, really secure your computer:

Robert Morris Sr., a cryptographic and security genius who towered over NSA code-breaking programs for decades in the last century, compressed his lifetime of experience cracking machines into three golden rules of computer security:

RULE ONE: Do not own a computer.

RULE TWO: Do not power it on.

RULE THREE: Do not use it.


This is hilarious but it goes with my prior post. The footnote indicates that he might not have actually said this, but it is attributed to him by multiple sources.

The book is about how connections are having significant and unstoppable changes to everything: government, military, commerce, social, etc. Everything is changing and we don’t understand this fully yet. Consider the following:

This new set of forces, invisible to many, is now applying a merciless and grinding pressure to the familiar structures of an older age. The struggles of our cherished institutions—the U.S. Congress, the military, the news media, our universities, our once-inclusive capitalism—to achieve the very aims that they once elegantly and efficiently met is visible evidence of this shift. Repeated government shutdowns. Years of unwinnable war. No news source we feel we can rely upon. Expensive, debt-funded degrees that don’t fit our modern economy. An ever-more-skewed distribution of profits. Pull your focus wider to encompass Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and you find similarly vexing struggles as nations try to dig their economies out from financial landslides or resist nationalism and unrest. Power is now passing with a rippling, ripping energy from old, once-useful people and institutions. If this passage has so far wiped out only encyclopedias, telephone companies, and taxi medallions, it is merely because it is just beginning. Buried underneath these failures and the impending collapse of many institutions is a common force.

The title of the book about the seventh sense, is really then, “the ability to look at any object and see the way in which it is changed by connection.”

Also some great material on AI and what that really might mean.  Not AI as we traditionally think about it but really just fast access to lots and lots of data and the associated correlations.

Really good ideas. Recommended.

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