(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Signal To Noise and Garbage Men

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Signal To Noise

I opened my RSS feed today to a treasure trove of unbelievable bullshit coming from the media on NATSEC and INFOSEC. At first I thought same old same old and started to riff on all of the derp but then as I went along tweeting out my angst I began to feel rage. I know what you are all thinking “That’s nothing new Scot” and you would be right but it was at the moment where I was reaching a critical mass in my frontal lobes that I stopped and thought “What’s the point?” Why even bother? I mean sure, it can be pithy and ironic to tweet our snark at it all but really, other than release in a comedic or sardonic vein what good does it do for me or anyone to do so?

A friend of mine has been frustrated with life in INFOSUCK recently and in a conversation with me said he wanted to change things, he wanted to be signal and to cut out the noise. I thought about that for a bit and suggested that there will always be noise and that perhaps he was expecting way too much from the community as well as the universe at large outside of our particular little sector of echo chambery goodness. You see, as we know from the big bang, there is a lot of background radiation to any universe and ours in INFOSUCK is a particularly noisy one. In fact I’d dare say that there are vast swaths of the INFOSUCK universe that are not only filled with harmless background radiation but also with high levels of “DERPION” radiation so we all need to wear our lead suits for much of the safari.

While I appreciate the sentiment to the allusion that he has been trying to make I am too much a pragmatist to think anyone can be forceful enough to push that kind of signal to everyone nor do I think that the larger verse is able to even deduce what the signal is. Look at it like the idea of how we beam out welcoming signals to deep space in hopes of getting aliens to talk to us or placing gold discs with images and music on them from Earth. To date we have had no contact and I for one think that perhaps no one has reached out because they fear that we are all too primitive to even consider talking to. Coincidentally this is how I am feeling about our community and the issues around which we all worry and talk about. We are the aliens and the masses are the Earthlings. We have been trying to communicate to them all but they are too busy watching re-runs of Snooki’s impregnation on national TV to care about what we are trying to say.

Alternatively, are we really “signal” here? Look at this community of malcontents. Look at me for instance, I am a right bastard and really, were I a nice guy without being in the C level position of some company would I be paid attention to at all? It’s usually the loudest and the most vociferous that gets the attention and that usually really only means if you are being obnoxious that perhaps people will listen and remember what you had to say. We in this community spend a lot of time playing games of one upsmanship while the government and military types go to their secret squirrel lairs or offices of state where they make new and incredibly stupid laws or plans to cyberize the nation. I don’t think we can be the signal because the noise is coming from those who we need to get through to and they are the ones making the noise in the first place.


Speaking of all those squirrels and gov types, they are the ones along with the media that finally had me contemplate what I am writing of here. I am tired of being the squeeky wheel. I am tired of the onslaught every day of half baked media stories on cyberwar and of course now how the US is going “offensive” on the whole deal. I fear that the lunatics are truly running the asylum and there are more than a few charlatans in our community egging them on in hopes of making a buck. Offense,Offense,Offense, is the mantra that I fear in the end will only end poorly for us all. We are in perilous times, more so than before because the blind are leading the stupid who are in turn leading the country.

No matter what I say, no matter how mercilessly I mock, it will not make one whit of difference. I saw this in my attempt at publishing my rebuttal to Lieberman in the NY Times. They did not even allow it in the comments section and really, I worked hard at not being the bastard in that conversation. So it’s time to hunker down and crack a beer while sitting on the roof with some guns because the zombie apocalypse should at least be fun. Well that is til the beer or the ammo runs out. The same can be said for this whole issue over national security where we are now the “Nuclear Weapons of the 21st centruy” I still chafe at that descriptor but at least what the media failed to get across was that Kerry was talking about diplomacy and it’s use in this arena. So I guess I can kinda forgive him a little bit on the nuclear weapons comment…

A little.

Philosophical Garbage Men

So where does that leave me? Well, I guess I will continue on my way with this blog going back to the old school interesting things I used to write about. I am sure I will have the occasional mental break down and epithet riddled response to something incredibly stupid put out by the mass media. On the whole though, I think I just need to ease back and become a garbage man. Though not just a garbage man but a philosophical one to boot. Perhaps we are all garbage men and women in this business huh? I mean, really, we get the shitty job of trying to secure our environments and herd executive cats who collectively couldn’t hunt down a cheeseburger in a Wendy’s right?

Time to get that poop scooper and clean the INFOSUCK cat pan I guess…

Oh and to my friend who wants to be SIGNAL.. Sorry man  but there is too much noise being created by the INFOSUCK universe and no matter how big your antenna or how you boost the gain on it you will never overcome the background radiation. So come on down, get your overalls on and start picking up the garbage. It’s great manual labor and you can just think and philosophize.

Peter Gibbons had it right man…


Written by Krypt3ia

2013/01/30 at 16:28

Posted in Infosec

2 Responses

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  1. I’ll be a shmoo with a bottle of *really* good absinthe if you’re interested. I’ll be with Boris if you’re around. Which I probably already asked. Too much absinthe, I suppose.


    2013/01/30 at 19:26

  2. Collectively, we’ve been here before. There’s an essay/article that comes to mind, authored by a reasonably well-known journalist 20 years ago titled ‘On Hearing of the Electronic Bogeyman’. Sadly I can’t recall his name off the top of my head, but he voiced exactly the same arguments we’re trying to convey now, calling BS on exactly the same stuff, in a time when senators and representatives were peddling exactly the same FUD. The terminology was roughly the same also. Perhaps this thing happens in cycles/phases.

    I’ve already done about three or four posts explaining in depth why ‘cyberwar’ is straight-up BS (even after reading Jeffrey Carr’s books, working regularly now with carrier-grade stuff, administrating servers, programming the odd PLC for a small industrial system, etc.), so there’s not a lot else I could do without repeating myself.


    2013/02/01 at 05:55

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