A strange and sometimes violent movie, OldBoy sprinkles dark humor in among the scenes of torture and fist-fights to lighten things up now and again. I couldn’t help but chuckle when a man found three chopsticks on his meal tray and opined (roughly translated):
All I could think now
was that my neighbor next door
ate with one chopstick
The production is Korean, but it’s definitely a Japanese story. Perhaps most interesting, at least from a security perspective, is that the protagonist is suddenly free from solitary confinement after fifteen years but entirely unsure about who or why he was imprisoned in the first place. Like Kafka’s Joseph K, he sets out to figure out what his crime might have been and in the process continuously stumbles into the question of whether to trust anything or anyone.
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
by Li Bai
Among the flowers from a pot of wine
I drink alone beneath the bright moonshine.
I raise my cup to invite the moon, who blends
Her light with my shadow and we’re three friends.
The moon does not know how to drink her share;
In vain my shadow follows me here and there.
Together with them for the time I stay
And make merry before spring’s spend away.
I sing the moon to linger with my song;
My shadow disperses as I dance along.
Sober, we three remain cheerful and gay;
Drunken, we part and each goes his way.
Our friendship will outshine all earthly love;
Next time we’ll meet beyond the stars above.
by Sarojini Naidu
Men say the world is full of fear and hate,
And all life’s ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.
But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.
What care I for the world’s desire and pride,
Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide,
The homing pigeons of Thine eventide?
What care I for the world’s loud weariness,
Who dream in twilight granaries Thou dost bless
With delicate sheaves of mellow silences?
Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom,
Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom,
The mute and mythic terror of the tomb?
For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee,
O inmost wind of living ecstasy!
O intimate essence of eternity!
I have setup my webcam to be able to prove that Euclid sits in the window all day watching the ocean and the birds.
It is hard not to notice bloggers are taking over the web. They are easy and fun, but I do not think I could put it in perspective any better than This Old Weblog. Speaking of links, SecurityFocus has a radio interview with Jennifer Granick regarding digital forensics and the law. She explains why investigating computer crime is different from regular forensics and gives some basic legal advice for companies. Digital evidence is more “fragile” she says. This is definitely not rocket science.
Salon ran a story called “The price of milk (and sex) in Cuba” and I had to write a somewhat prosaic letter to the editor in response. This letter, as well as the constant urging of friends and family, has led me to create a writing section where I will put my own travel stories.