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Nietzsche at DefCon19

Friedrich Nietzsche will be showing up in two presentations at DEFCON this year. Last month I offered a translation of his Aphorism 146 from Jenseits von Gut und Böse (1886):

He who fights with monsters must see to it that he does not thereby become a monster. And if you look for long into an abyss the abyss also looks into you.

Not everyone agrees on the translation, obviously. Here are the talk titles.

— “Whoever Fights Monsters…” Confronting Aaron Barr, Anonymous, and Ourselves

— Staring into the Abyss: The Dark Side of Crime-fighting, Security, and Professional Intelligence

The philosopher argued that it takes courage and strength to live authentically, to find a path to follow of ones own choosing rather than follow the groups and organizations that offer an “escape”. He exaggerated his case to make a point but it still seems to have survived. Will be interesting to see if the presenters try to reconcile his harsh critiques of patriotism and regulation, or even his critique of the environment in which they are presenting.

Posted in History, Poetry, Security.


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