'-yet someone is clearly doing their job horribly wrong...'

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/08/19 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/08/19/8875815.aspx

There is an uncomfortable amount of truth in a somewhat offensive metaphor the recent XKCD comic:

Voting Machines

I won't claim the analogy shouldn't get panned (as the tooltip kind of hints it will be and I might agree perhaps ought).

Though it does help underscore an all-too-common problem in logic.

And rationalization.

Perhaps we could all strive to have more defensible chains of logic in our thought processes, rather than relying on the shaky logic of the unrelated precedent.

This blog is not aimed at anyone in particular; the people guilty of such lapses "know" they are doing The Right Thing; it is why the guy hanging out in the shadows of The X-Files in the first episode (CSM) was also the one Mulder and Scully visited in the end of the series as well -- such people are survivors. :-)


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# Kevin Daly on 19 Aug 2008 9:03 AM:

I don't find it offensive in the least.

# winden on 19 Aug 2008 2:30 PM:

Michael, that analogy is really the easiest way ever to have non-geeks understand the computer security issue.

Nice kanjxi today tho :)

# aaron on 20 Aug 2008 2:32 PM:

I'm not sure that the 'defensible chain of logic' would have been quite as amusing.  'Such a voting machine should only be used on an already secured network, or protected by proxy servers, such that it is never exposed to attackers in the first place.  Even if so exposed, it shouldn't accept connections from unauthenticated endpoints.'

I believe the analogy is strong -- it's disturbing that either would believe they would end up in a situation where they'd need such protection.  

# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Aug 2008 6:56 PM:

I agree, though of course amusing is not always the goal for such situations.... :-)

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2008/09/23 Survey says? Nine Inch Wails!

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