I’ve been alarmed to hear about some rather scary things happening in the last few days (possibly due to Black Hat and DefCon which I was unable to attend). I can see the end of internet optimism rapidly approaching, and it will most likely be replaced with justifiable paranoia.
In no particular order, the things that have struck me as particularly disturbing:
Xerox copiers silently changing digits in documents.
Hard drive back doors
Sim card vulnerabilities
Infrastructure takeover attacks
Lethal pacemaker hacking
Any of these things individually wouldn’t bother me too much, but taken together they leave no realm untouched. We can’t trust our communication, our memories ( even on paper ), or our computers. We (well some of us) can’t even trust our hearts.
I also can’t ignore all this recent NSA stuff, and my growing suspicions that there is another internet bubble happening concerning crowd funding and startups in general. There certainly is a lot of potential in crowd funding and in the startup ecosystem, but the hype surrounding it is astounding. Con artists and other parasites are going to start dragging things down.
I’m starting to look at alternate measures of value in relation to effort, and was struck by the realization that compared to programming, quality construction takes a relatively short time, and has a long lifetime measured in decades, or even hundreds of years. That’s lasting value. A 5 year old program on the other hand is almost worthless, even if it took 5 years to write.