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Everything I've heard about software development in government scares me. This is just more evidence.
I really wish there were a better way to encourage better government execution. I do believe government is a necessary evil, but man, its execution is often quite terrible.
The first problem I have with the article is that its title, and much of the style of its content, aims to dissuade us from donating to "selective" schools entirely, as if it is inherently a bad idea no matter your aim. I don't agree with you that that's a theme "not present in the article": the author's vicious (and IMO incredibly stupid) comments about the real function of such institutions being to "perpetuate hierarchy" make it very clear where he wants us to land on the whole issue, and it's hard to get much balder than the headline.
The concluding paragraph or two give a weak nod to the idea that, well, perhaps donating to selective schools isn't the ideal way to help poor people, which is a much narrower argument, and the point where I respond, "but the point of donating to such schools is rarely that 'I was looking for poor people to help, and decided to give money to Harvard as a result', to begin with; the point is usually that I agree with something Harvard is doing and wish to further their mission. So who is your audience?"
Even then, the article still fails to acknowledge that the most selective schools in the very graph that it cites as definitive still accept some poor people, and financial aid at such schools is primarily -- though not exclusively -- directed towards those people. Where is the graph of "percentage of financial aid across different schools that is allocated to poorer students"? I suspect that would be far less dramatic. And in THAT sense, one can give money to a selective school -- at the very least, to the particular funds that are used for need-based financial aid -- with the aim of helping the poor in a particular way.
Incidentally, for context, I've given about $100 lifetime to Harvey Mudd, and about $100,000 to the poor or to those that work with the poor. So I think my personal donation priorities demonstrate where I rank one thing versus the other. The issue is not justifying my own behavior. It's that, in my opinion, the author makes a bad argument against what I think is a worthier cause than he gives it credit for; I appreciate both the education Harvey Mudd gives all its students, AND the financial aid that made it possible for me to attend. I don't like bad arguments. And I especially don't like smug, self-satisfied ones that sound, at least to my ears, like the author is next going to throw bricks at Google buses and yowl about all the "inequality" they're perpetuating. Perhaps that last is unfair, but honestly, inequality is an extremely complex topic, and it's not intellectually valid for the author to just name-check it in passing in an apparent attempt to win kudos.
Make of it what you want, but it's a beautiful story, really. Where in the end, everybody is happily munching on sweets :)
"My ex-wife used to say I took my work home with me, but in my line of work you have to stay sharp. I’m not the kind of husband who’s gonna say, “Honey, you wanna order a pizza?” No, instead I’ll jump out with, “You’ll never guess what this husband does after feeling a hunger pain.” And if she’s not delighted by me following up with, “He ordered a pizza. I mean, I ordered a pizza. We’re getting pizza. Feel like pizza?”—then I’m sorry, I can’t help her. Let her marry an editor for Slate or something."
Here's 's argument for: http://bitsup.blogspot.com/2014/03/on-application-of-strint-to-http2.html
and Brian Smith's argument against: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/0834.html
My point is that it is wrong to set the bar at "defeat national spying agencies". We're trying to drive the costs of pervasive surveillance up. Causing the attackers to shift to active attack raises the bar (and their costs). Causing them to move to valid certificates raises the bar further (and increases both their costs and the chance of disclosure). Causing them to have to impersonate a known certificate raises the bar (and costs and risks) even higher.
Eventually the sum of costs may make mass surveillance and post-facto discriminatory analysis unattractive compared to targeted work.
IFF you believe that, then you get to the analysis of whether unauthenticated encryption delays or depresses the deployment of even more effective methods. That's a useful analysis to undertake, and, honestly, I personally waiver a bit in my thinking on that front. But starting from the idea that it is not worth doing work to stifle one attack because other attacks are possible is, in contrast, eventually going to cause you to do nothing at all. That's clearly the wrong response.
- Geek, 2006 - present
- Stanford UniversityComputer Science, 2000 - 2005
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