LinkSpasm – 21 June 2008

These are links I have been noting recently. They may or may not be of interest to you.

Is the Universe Actually Made of Math? Unconventional cosmologist Max Tegmark says mathematical formulas create reality.

Heh.

Org charts from 1915

25 Precious Photographs from the Web

Urban Prankster

http://ddanchev.blogspot.com/2008/06/using-market-forces-to-disrupt-botnets.html :

How could market forces be used to disrupt botnets anyway, and how relevant would this approach be in a real-life situation? As every other underground market propostion, buying botnets is no different than buying stolen credit cards, as long as your have multiple propositions to take into consideration, where the price ranges often vary over 100% between the offers. With the increasing supply of botnets for sale, and degree of price differentiation, a certain country can easily buy direct access to request a botnet on demand with infected hosts within the country only and do whatever they want with them – in this case perhaps fortify and patch the host, upon forwarding it to the several online malware scanners to ensure they won’t have to rebuy access to it again. Security radicalization like in this case, is an often misinterpreted term which when applied in a free market economy can ruin a lot of, perhaps, broken business models, but will also contribute to the development of new market segments.



ISC: “How do you monitor your website?”


http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080516_004925.html
:

The truth is that there is no IT “profession.” Most of what IT managers know about IT they learn from vendors, consultants, and folks like Gartner. Because they feel isolated, and because the IT vendor/consultant/media system encourages them to worry about such things, IT managers tend to feel they must have their important decisions validated and Gartner is the most popular place to find validation. Yes they wield a lot of power, but it is often the power of discovering the obvious.
[…]
Outsourcing, while a very popular recommendation to improve IT, is treating the symptom and not the problem. The problem is IT applications require lots of ongoing maintenance and that costs labor, meaning REAL MONEY. Rather than make applications more reliable and reduce problems, IT managers seem to prefer shopping for cheaper labor. The problems are still there. It is cheaper to fix them with offshoring and outsourcing, true, but it often takes longer.
[…]
Much of this comes down to the decided lack of professionalism in IT, which is after all a very new job classification. There is a huge difference, for example, between someone with an engineering degree and someone in IT who calls himself an engineer. Real engineers are often valued employees. Their opinions matter and they have real responsibilities. Good companies know engineers are important to their business and treat them accordingly. But IT workers are a commodity and are treated as such. Many IT workers are clueless about the technologies they are working with. They aspire to be project managers and are often not very good at that either.

What Shall We Do With the Moon Once We Get There?

ID Theft In US Continues Apace Despite Data Breach Laws

http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2008/06/liberalism-and.html :

Since we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to ensure that life is fair, a truly noble imperative, capitalism is counter-intuitive. It requires unlearning much of what we learn in our earliest years and gaining a much deeper and more nuanced view of the economy and fairness. In the end, those of us who evolve in our economic/political thinking recognize that capitalism is ultimately more moral and more fair to the greatest number of people. Unfortunately, far too many Americans are economically illiterate and well into adulthood operate as if the world should be designed the way a typical kindergarten works, where adult authorities make sure everyone plays nice and that all the toys are equally shared.



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/business/08view.html?ex=1370577600&en=cb2502f9a4cb69be&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink
:

Despite these enormous advances, however, there is a backlash against globalization and a widespread belief that it requires moderation. Ordinary people often question the benefits of international trade, and now many intellectuals are turning more skeptical, too. Yet the facts on the ground show that the current climate of economic doom and gloom simply isn’t warranted. The classic economic recipes of trade, investment and good incentives have never been more successful in generating huge gains in human welfare.
[…]
Trade advocates focus on the benefits of goods arriving from abroad, like luxury shoes from Italy or computer chips from Taiwan. But new ideas are the real prize. By 2010, China will have more Ph.D. scientists and engineers than the United States. These professionals are not fundamentally a threat. To the contrary, they are creators, whose ideas are likely to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, not just the business elites. The more access the Chinese have to American and other markets, the more they can afford higher education and the greater their incentive to innovate.

Conservative and liberal economists agree that new ideas are the fundamental source of higher living standards. We urgently need new biotechnologies, a cure for AIDS and a cleaner energy infrastructure, to name just a few. Trade is part of the path toward achieving those ends. A wealthier China and India also mean higher potential rewards for Americans and others who invest in innovation. A product or idea that might have been marketed just to the United States and to Europe 20 years ago could be sold to billions more in the future.

“The report describes direct links between Saddam Hussein officials and Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zarqawi before the war began.”

Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzI3OGI0ZGI0NzFkZTY0ZDRhZDQzMjYyN2VjOGQ2MzE= :

In Indonesia, which sport’s the world’s largest Muslim population, the Associated Press reports that the government (in yet another of these Islamic “democracies” that “guarantees freedom of religion”) has ordered a “moderate” Muslim sect to return to the “mainstream” of Islam or risk imprisonment for debasing Islam. The Ahmadi — whose persecution I have detailed previously — do not accept Mohammed as the final prophet or jihad as a divine injunction. Not withstanding the above, the AP blithely reports as fact its opinion that “the vast majority of Indonesia’s Muslims are moderate” — as if the term “moderate” actually has a settled meaning and as if, even if it retained its commonly understood meaning, it would be possible for such a thing to happen if “the vast majority of Indonesia’s Muslims” were actually “moderate.”

The World of the World of Warcraft

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/020197.php :

“I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama than the prospect of an administration where any criticism of the President is treated as racism.”



http://kotare.typepad.com/thestrategist/2008/06/fancy-flying-to-london-or-new-york-in-an-airship-old-boy–in-this-post-british-environmental-thinker-george-monbiot-arg.html
:

I have to say, though, that I’m really taken by this idea. Call me a hopeless romantic, but airships appeal to something deep in my psyche. When I was a boy I read a sci-fi novel about an alternative 20th century in which the Romans still ruled the world, and senators used airships to get between “Londinium” and Rome. Airships have an otherworldly quality, hinting at parallel universes (like that in Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights) and alternative futures that might have been if fortune had taken different turns.

http://hiddenunities.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/a-new-buddhist-narrative/ :

A new narrative may be forming about Buddhism among both Buddhists and non-believers. Long considered a religion of peace and reflection, Buddhists are flexing political and social muscles from India to Burma to Thailand. Its likely most of Asia will have substantial and influential Buddhist populations within the next decade, creating a new constituency for change, patronage and leadership. This is, especially in the case of the middle class adapting Buddhism from China to India, promising news for stability and a development of a social responsibility ethos that can help bridge the divide between the haves and have nots until development more balance.

Help me, God. The designated interpreters of that which I have sworn to support and defend are looking a lot like domestic enemies to me.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30243_Obama_Campaign_Throws_Antisemitic_Blog_Down_the_Memory_Hole :

After it was exposed, the Obama campaign has now pulled down that shockingly antisemitic blog post that was on their site for more than two months.

And guess what? They’re also now blocking Google’s cache from saving their pages. And they’ve also removed their pages from the Internet Archive and the Coral archives.

They’re running scared, and they’re trying to make sure that when they throw a post down the memory hole, it stays there.



http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/11871
:

At times Barack Obama seems to engage in a childlike model of international affairs: we should all sit down and chat and respect one another. If you have kids in grade school it will sound awfully familiar. Maybe the reason he sounds this way is because his advisors given him an infantile analysis of the world. Take a look at this from a likely Obama National Security Advisor Richard Danzig: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security…

7 Ways McCain Can Use Energy to Beat Obama

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30253_Obamas_Plan_for_Iraq-_Prosecute_War_Criminals :

Discovered in the directory left wide open by the Obama site designers: a PDF file containing Obama’s plan to “hold accountable any perpetrators of war crimes” in Iraq. And something tells me they don’t mean Al Qaeda.

http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/2008/06/international-littoral-strike-group-to.html :

Note the desired forces being advocated for: Reconnaissance aviation, deck helicopters, radars, Marines and Special Forces trained in boarding and releasing hostages, armed motor-boats, five to six warships, and a flagship to support aviation capabilities. This force structure sounds a lot like an international version of what we have previously called the Littoral Strike Group centered around a mothership. The tactics advocated for include regional maritime domain awareness, maritime presence, and the establishment of convoy’s. Ilya Kramnik is describing exactly what this blog has been advocating for in regards to how to think about developing peacetime naval force structures for dealing with peacetime system disruptions: Motherships and small combatants.

Our definition of a mothership is a logistical supply and repair, command and control, and reconnaissance enabler for naval forces to forward deploy smaller platforms in forward theaters to address irregular warfare environments. The desired purpose of a mothership is to establish a mobile forward operating base in contested seas that coordinates regional maritime domain awareness through unmanned systems, and persistent maritime presence for manned platforms. The mothership represents the networked command core at sea supporting maritime manned networks for peacetime presence and engagement, and unmanned networks for maritime information dominance.

http://cominganarchy.com/2008/06/16/why-states-are-important-in-the-wot/ :

While both rogue states and terror groups would surely like to acquire both a nuclear capability and weapons, each actor has a different set of advantages and disadvantages. States enjoy legitimacy (to varying extents) and international recognition, have sovereign territory and have a variety of reason and fear based national interests. Critically, states are also subject to deterrence through retaliation by sometims deterrence by denial (more here). Terror groups, on the other hand, have less power, resources and people than states do. Yet, terrorists are more difficult to deter by retaliation often lacking any clear target to retaliate against. In addition, some follow radical ideologies unrestrained by reason or straight up political goals.

That’s all for now.

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2 Responses

  1. I have been recommending a book called “My Stroke of Insight – a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey” by Jill Bolte Taylor and also a TEDTalk Dr. Taylor gave on the TED dot com site. And you don’t have to take my word for it – Dr. Taylor was named Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People, the New York Times wrote about her and her book is a NYTimes Bestseller), and Oprah did not 4 interviews with her.

  2. […] Max Tegmark says mathematical formulas create reality.??? Heh. Org charts from 1915 25 Prehttps://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/linkspasm-21-june-2008/Time Magazine uncritically prints Nancy Pelosi’s “justifications” for the FISA “compromise” […]

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