Why would I want to read Jeremy's opinion?
You wouldn't, go away.
What will the opinions be about?
Anything I want. Why are you still here? Go away!
Who is Jeremy?
Absolutely no one. I'll be dead some time before 2040. By
2140, no one anywhere will remember my name or anything about me, not
even my relative descendents. You won't care then, you won't care
now. There are a billion other pages on the Internet, please go
one... just go away.
Why are you telling me to go away? Don't you want me to read
Is this a cheap attempt at reverse psychology?
Yes. Now... go away!
What if I don't like Jeremy's opinions?
Don't read them. Forget them. Go elsewhere.
Seek therapy and/or counseling. On the other hand, why not write me? I welcome feedback and comments and will be very happy to publish
other people's opinions, comments or counter-points of/to the things I
write here. Let me know what you think via my e-mail
address. Otherwise... (you guessed it) go away!
ramblings are here: Opinionomy
|Note: the thoughts that became this article were
sparked by the infamous Bill Gates "Trustworthy Computing"
memo to all Microsoft employees. You can read it here
(Wired) or here
(ZDNet). What I have written is not intended as a rebuttable
or as an argument for or against anything Microsoft.
Analogies always have flaws, but for the virtual world of networks
and programming, analogy is the only way to achieve perspective. We all
RELY on our highways and roads for daily life. Whether it is a trucker
with cargo, an armored car, a family minivan, or a dream-machine bound
for Sturgis, we RELY on our highways. But does anyone besides me notice
that we don't have our roadways bound up with security? The highways are
not lined with barbed wire and guards. The toll ways do not require
'papers', IDs, and security checks. Our vehicles don’t have retinal
scan locks for access. Yet these highways are the ubiquitous travel-ways
of the country and the world. They are the arteries of business, but
more importantly, [dramatic pause] they transport life - not numbers,
words, codes and precious documents - they transport LIFE; wetware; the
embodiment of achievement, passion, and creativity!
Now stop and ask yourself two questions, 1) why are we casual and
accepting of the (fallacy of) safety and security on the roads? and 2)
how do we justify the irony of placing top-level focus, initiative, and
[gasp] money on making computing trustworthy and secure - to an unheard
of level of perfection? But we ignore the need in commuting? We live in
a world where chaos propels mankind forward, yet we accept the chaos of
the roadways as imperfect and uncontrollable - and so be it?! Millions
of lives are at stake every moment on the roadways. Hundreds
(thousands?) of lives are lost every day on the roads. Yet the media
makes it seem that our national priority is increasing the reliability
of the movement of digital information?
They say money is the root of all evil. Well I don't believe in evil,
but money certainly dictates an influence that certainly favors the few.
I ask you - why is it more important to achieve the final .001%
perfection to move 'bits', than to focus on the more obvious, yet almost
overlooked areas that are costing lives?
Then again, I must admit, that is not my real point here. I'll go one
step further. What is the difference between the hacker who breaks in to
a company and deletes a bunch of vital business records, and the guy who
throws a large box of tire-puncturing nails in to a busy intersection? I
am not talking about the intent, the gravity of the crime, or even the
comparative destruction and/or life threat. I am not talking about what
they have accomplished or why. What matters here are ability,
accessibility and accountability. Everyone has access to nails. Anyone
can approach the busy intersection. In contrast, only a comparatively
tiny percentage of the population has the knowledgebase to hack in to a
company using computers. Putting the seriousness and consequences of the
crimes aside, why are we *not* worried about the person with the nails,
yet we *are* worried about the hacker? Here, it seems to me, is the
heart of the matter; identity.
When we can be identified, we are inherently deterred from aberrant
(abhorrent? [grin]) social behavior. It is not logical to expect to
‘get away with’ the box-of-nails stunt, yet the nature of computers
(so far) allows for an assumed level of anonymity. The simple fact (of
my humble opinion) is that we have pushed the identity aspect of privacy
on the net too far. By allowing the perception of anonymity, we
encourage aberrant behavior. I believe we can have privacy AND identity,
exactly the way we do in real life. Individuals commit crimes when they
believe they will not get caught. They take a risk. Somebody famous said
something like “character is what we do when people are not
looking”. I don’t believe that punishment (the threat there-of)
deters crime. I believe ensuring identification would prevent the vast
majority of people from a lot of… bad things.
Laws, the media, and public opinion do a great job of keeping
businesses (groups of people) from doing wrong. Only reliable
identification can prevent an individual from their next socially
unacceptable action. I like my privacy and have no desire to give up
freedom either. But I would be proud to live in a world where my
identity could be verified and held accountable. I am positive we will
get there; it just kills me to see the billions being burned to achieve
unreasonable solutions to things that are problems, but not the heart of
the matter. I don’t believe in perfection; but one way or another,
things are getting better. Thanks to chaos, it seems that it just does
not always happen along the most logical or economical path. Who am I? I
am a man not afraid to let you know that I am Jeremy Farrance. Although
I admit, I do get a lot of spam.
me know what you think and I will respond or add it here.
- Jeremy Farrance, January 24, 2002
Teachers are not paid enough. Teachers are not
respected enough. Teachers no longer have the authority (legally,
supportively, or accountably) to do their job properly. Not all
teachers are good at what they do. Many of them are simply
amazing! Many teachers new, experienced and old, make less than
$30,000 a year. Some make less than $20k/year. This is a
crime. These are the people responsible for the education of our
children. On average they spend more time each weekday with our
children than we do...
Teachers show us how to turn on our flashlights, how to use our
compass. Not many of us will ever make it beyond the
horizon. Without teachers, none of us would.
- Jeremy Farrance, September 11, 2000
|Friend: Have you ever thought that maybe
everything that you think you know is not actually known at all?
What if tomorrow you woke up and all the rules that govern the universe
have changed and everything you thought was true is now false and
everything you thought was false is now true?
Jeremy: That happens to me every day. "They"
call it perception. Perception gives free license to flip the
True/False at random... and often creates logic that previously did not
exist. Of course, I use the term "logic" lightly.
Logic, nowadays, seems to mean that something makes quick,
on-the-surface, perceptive sense. To me, "common sense"
is akin insanity. Something obviously wrong is made right and
proved. Beautiful becomes ugly. Insulting inverts and
becomes funny... That is basically why I walk around with a look
of utter disbelief on my face most of the time. I must have
let myself get stuck in a moment and have somehow missed out on a lot of
the polarity changes.
To jump in to the bigger picture here, my favorite example is the
Butter vs Margarine debate. There is plenty to read on this
subject but I will just direct you to 2 quick examples. 1)
is better. 2)
is better (and for fun, an
anti-margarine vent - and I won't even get in to the latest trend
which is claiming that
are bad). Neither one of those articles is very good or
convincing (skeptically speaking, they are tragically flawed and easily
nit-picked), but it is enough to make my point.
Which is that just about anyone can do a damn good job justifying both
(differing) sides of any issue in the modern age. Why doesn't
politics work in America anymore? Simple, because both sides
"sound" right and logical and believable, and by our nature we
only allow ourselves to listen to the side of the story that convinces
But really, this is a huge subject that I could go on about for
hours... I probably will. Check back if you are interested. Let
me know what you think and I will respond or add it here.
- Jeremy Farrance, August, 2001 (updated May 18, 2002)