Category Archives: Security

Mapping Genocide in California

A while ago I wrote about Stanford’s role in genocide, as well as Polk.

The California Historical Society has a webinar coming up on November 30th with more details: “Truth & Resistance: Mapping American Indian Genocide in San Francisco”

The American Indian Cultural District (AICD) in San Francisco is undertaking a project called Mapping Genocide to examine the intentional erasure of American Indian history and contributions. AICD’s Co-founder and Executive Director Sharaya Souza (Taos Pueblo, Ute, Kiowa) and Director of Community Development & Partnerships Paloma Flores (Pit River, Purhepecha) will discuss some of the individuals San Francisco has chosen to honor and their role in American Indian genocide. The panelists will also talk about how you can help create resistance against the systemic erasure of American Indian history throughout San Francisco.

Could Interoperable Decentralization of Data Help Its Integrity Problems?

Ivermectin research is plagued with data integrity failures, raising an important question for security and privacy professionals: what better data control options are available?

The latest news seems right on track to demand interoperability from technology that facilitates more individually controlled patient data stores:

…calling for scientists to adopt a new standard for meta-analyses, where individual patient data, not just a summary of that data, is provided by scientists who conducted the original trials and subsequently collected for analysis”.

In other words using the Solid protocol would enable patients to participate in a consensual study by opening access to their data for research, while still allowing the highest possible integrity.

Saying “accuracy is still bad” is the defining security story of the 2010s and now 2020s as well… seriously holding back technology usefulness by undermining knowledge.

Integrity is lacking innovation and needs a complete new approach; it’s way too far behind where we are in terms of confidentiality and availability control engineering.

RoboDebt and the Algorithm-Industrial Complex

This paragraph caught my attention, as I’ve been trying to shift the discussion from surveillance to debt capitalism.

What does this algorithm-industrial complex look like and who is involved?

Perhaps our first glimpse of the catastrophic impact of algorithms on civil society was robodebt, deemed unlawful by the Federal Court in a blistering assessment describing it as a “massive failure in public administration” of Australia’s social security scheme.

Very well said.

Is Belief In the Supernatural Declining?

A rather annoying conversation I had recently with a farmer in a southern U.S. state went something like this:

  • Him – i’m telling you that UFO are real
  • Me – in what sense is a UFO real?
  • Him – scientists admit flying objects can’t be identified
  • Me – you believe something observed may be open to interpretation? like a point of light could be Mars until we realize it’s Venus?
  • Him – right, therefore aliens are real

Hopefully you see the problem. There was no convincing him that aliens aren’t real, because there could be doubt — at any level — therefore everything could be doubted at every level such that anything imaginable was as good as real.

Think of his position like this. If a car approaching you at night is missing a headlight, you might wonder if it’s a car or a motorcycle. Yet this guy seeing a single light believes he is about to be the first to prove the existence of a one-eyed space monster. Probability?

Philosophers dispensed with such nonsense in the 1700s with empiricism, and certainly in the 1900s established logic and reasoning to guide our rational approach to the unknown. Popper’s work in particular is important using a falsification method.

Unfortunately, an allure of mysticism is strong especially during uncertain times such as domain shifts in technology that force people to deal with lots of unknowns (technology destroying some of their assumptions, like suddenly losing old routines of working from an office and commuting in a car everywhere).

Bennett discuses the problem a bit in the 1999 book “Alas, Poor Ghost!”

It must be stressed that these women were not ignorant or ill-educated; nor were they socially or geographically isolated. They were dignified, sensible, experienced women, living in a middle-class suburb in a large city. Neither were they in any way eccentric;
on the contrary, they were pillars of their church and local community, essentially “respectable” in even the narrowest sense of that unpleasant term. Figures such as these do not at all give the impression that belief in supernatural cause and effect is declining.
It would seem that the world view of quite a substantial proportion of the population is probably decidedly less materialistic than scientists and historians imagine.

I’ll go one further. The celebrated Winchester House in Silicon Valley wasn’t about lack of education, and especially wasn’t about eccentricity, despite all appearances to the contrary.

Winchester was a foreshadowing of power and cognitive blindness, spending money into fraud, much in the same way that Silicon Valley today sees their “singularity” and “metaverse”. People are building a modern software version of Winchester’s infamous hardware “stairway into the ceiling” and “doors that open to a giant drop”.

Source: Alas, Poor Ghost!

I’ve written before about this and presented it many times in terms of Advanced Fee Fraud. The more I study the problem, the more widespread I’m finding it as a function of human susceptibility to social engineering.