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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
10/26/2017 9:44:10 AM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
> Not unlike stepping over a two-foot gap between a cliff and a stone pillar, with a thousand foot drop all around.

> Thus does calculus make cowards of us all.


This is probably the best analogy/explanation of risk management and business change I've ever seen.

Of course, with risk and uncertainty like that, I would think you'd want it to do a heck of a lot more than pay for itself.

In that sense, it's like being the kid on the playground who asks the other kids, "How much will you pay me if I [tremendously dangerous and/or disgusting stunt]?"

(Yours is still better.)

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
10/25/2017 9:59:18 PM
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!
Well, duh. We have a secure backup for everything. After the project's over we'll let him go home, so for his sake if not your own, hurry up.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
10/25/2017 9:54:13 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
Joe, well, Risk=Loss*Probabilty, which is why when losses get near-infinite (for example that the whole corporate data resource might be lifted. erased, or corrupted in a single brief breach) and probabilities non-zero but arbitrarily small, it's pretty hard to formulate any rational course of action. Some security transitions are like that; there will be a stable period in which the conditions are the ones under which no loss has occurred (yet), followed by a stable period in which the probability will actually be lower, and using simple discounting, you can figure out when it will have paid for itself. But in that brief transition, the estimates of the probability are very highly uncertain, and it's pretty hard to prove that they won't be high (as intuition suggests), and if the loss is big enough ... you can decide never to take the step. Not unlike stepping over a two-foot gap between a cliff and a stone pillar, with a thousand foot drop all around.

Thus does calculus make cowards of us all.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
10/25/2017 9:42:09 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
DHagar, The ancient Greeks figured out that an infinite series could have a finite sum but had a real hard time accepting that (that's what Xeno's Paradox of Motion was all about); thousands of years later medieval and even Renaissance Christian scholars struggled with the same idea. It's not intuitive -- but it works. And learning to trust what works is one of humanity's major accomplishments.

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DHagar
DHagar
10/25/2017 5:14:20 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
@JoeS - fascinating reflection on the poem and the meaning, in addition to the security issues in the industry.

I find interesting the effectiveness, however we analyze it, in the fences and the "sense of security" it provides neighbors - real or imagined!

Your thinking is much deeper than cartoons alone - great critical thinking!

Regarding the security with IT - I believe this moves us to recognition of the true impact of the individuals and the organiztion culture, as much as the capabilities of the technology itself.

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DHagar
DHagar
10/25/2017 5:10:36 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
@JohnBarnes, fascinating, Professor!  Great background and insight - thanks for sharing!

What's amazing when you get to the end of the hall of mirrors is that it works - which is another entire discovery and lecture I am sure - about our sense of reality!

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
10/25/2017 2:55:32 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
@John: One of my favorite poems -- although my favorite from that same collection ("North of Boston") is "The Generations of Men".

FWIW, I've always tended to interpret "Mending Wall" such that the narrator gradually realizes -- and wants the neighbor to admit -- that the neighbor himself is wrecking the stone wall every year. But perhaps I overinterpret. (I wouldn't be the first to do so w/ Frost's poetry.)

More directly on the subject at hand, your point about the poem reminds me of the one-off security issues that occur with digital-transformation initiatives and other IT projects. They may (or may not) be a technological improvement that can and should lead to better security, but the complexity factors and/or change-management/culture factors can lead to a net negative for security (at least in the short term) -- and those factors, indirect as they may be, are just as relevant to assessing outcomes and ROI.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
10/25/2017 2:47:52 PM
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Re: Cartoon Contest
The old professor in me can't resist pointing out that "Good fences make good neighbors" is from the Robert Frost poem Mending Wall, in which Robert Frost depicts his neighbor as being a primitive caveman for believing that. Then he depicts himself as unperceptive for not realizing that although the fence doesn't make him and his neighbor into good neighbors, repairing the fence does. It's sort of an infinite regress of mutual error ... which, of course, the fence doesn't actually do anything for, except that only because they build the fence do they ever perceive and fail to address it ... mirrors facing mirrors facing mirrors ...

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srufolo1
srufolo1
10/25/2017 10:23:35 AM
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Platinum
Caption Contest
"Well, he's promised an 'open workspace' to all the Millennials he's trying to attract to this place."

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srufolo1
srufolo1
10/25/2017 10:20:41 AM
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Platinum
Caption Contest
"I don't know about you, Frank, but I feel a little marginalized."

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