The US Library of Congress has launched an interesting site called “Presidents as Poets“, which has information about the following men:
- George Washington
- James Madison
- John Quincy Adams
- Abraham Lincoln
- Jimmy Carter
The collection includes an infamous poem attributed to Lincoln:
To ease me of this power to think,
That through my bosom raves,
I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink,
And wallow in its waves.
Dag Hammarskjold, Markings, p. 190-191 (Translated from Swedish by Leif Sjoberg and W. H. Auden)
Congenial to other people?
It it with yourself
That you must live.
Denied any outlet,
The heat transmuted
The coal into diamonds.
Alone in his secret growth,
He found a kinship
With all growing things.
The manuscript for the book was left by Hammarskjold to be published after his death. He was Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) when he died in an air crash on September 18, 1961 en route to negotiate a cease-fire between the UN and Katanya forces in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). I was introduced to his writings while studying the origins of the conflict.
There’s something funny to me about seeing the name “Davi”. It’s unique enough that I rarely have the luxury of finding my name directed at some other person.
So, imagine my surprise when I was doing some research on poetry and came across a recent childrens’ book called A Boy No More, by Harry Mazer. The protagonist has a Japanese American friend who is named “Davi Mori”. I find it very odd to see the reviewers saying “Davi” this and that.
What does this have to do with security? I suspect many people who have common names use a number of other criteria to determine who is actually the subject of a phrase. Voice recognition, or even intonations, must be a big part as well as context. In a reverse sense, when someone calls me on the phone and can not pronounce my name correctly, I can immediately identify them as a stranger.
Oh, and speaking of strangers, I only just discovered that Davi Walders is a famous poet. It’s not clear how she pronounces her name, though, or if it is an abbreviation/nickname.
First we hear that Einstein and Darwin used rapid and succinct messaging as a foundation of their correspondence, and now Amazon has announced that you can buy chapters of books. Given Apple’s success in selling songs rather than albums…altogether it seems to me that Attention Defecit Disorder should be regarded as something of a normality for human consumption and communication rather than the exception. After all, why force yourself through 200 or more pages of nonsense when an important thought only needs twenty-five pages (or a brief blog entry)? Or, as some album-bands of the 80s pointed out, there is nothing particularly necessary about trying to tie a single brillant riff or expression into two or three hours of messy pyrotechnics and big hair costumes. In food terms, a lot of noise is being made about the “supersize” phenomenon, which shows that people are susceptible to wanting quantities of superficial chemically-enhanced filler instead of a simple and effective bite of nutrition. Or…dare I say it…poetry as a more succinct form of communication?
And the implication for security is that it could be easier to defend smaller packages with fewer attack vectors, but it may also be more difficult if it becomes necessary to extend beyond each instance and defend a dynamic relationship/network of connected material. In other words, it’s easy to secure a single workstation compared with securing a workstation’s network (perimeter-shift).
tonight marks my leap into cognac
the sweet smart flavor debut
mixed with a bitterness from my secret
for a night to never ensue