Islands In The Clickstream

The Brain Needs Time to Catch Up With the Body

May 8, 2003

“Is that how you experience Israel?” asked my friend when I shared what I wrote about a week in Tel Aviv and Eilat. “With all the bombs, guns, and weapons, it sounds more like Texas!” I was in Israel to keynote the security track of an annual Microsoft Israel conference. I arrived in Tel Aviv […]

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Looking Through the One-way Mirror

April 22, 2003

Narcissism is endless, and deadly. When narcissists look around, like God on the seventh day of creation, they love what they see because everything looks good. But all they see is themselves. Think of relationships you have had with narcissists. After a while, it feels like we’re on the outside of a one-way mirror looking […]

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The Problem of Empathy

March 26, 2003

It feels like that moment when Obi-Wan Kenobi suddenly lowered his head as if he had a bad headache and said he sensed a disturbance in the force. In that Star Wars episode, Obi-Wan was feeling the explosion of a planet and the dying of all its inhabitants. It’s hard to stay in denial when […]

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A House Divided

February 13, 2003

A house divided against itself can not stand. Nor can a people, half slave, half free, long endure. Or we might say in a network-centric world: a society divided between those who manage surveillance, intrusion and data-mining on behalf of the rest of us – and the rest of us, who lack access to the […]

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In the Crazy Place

February 7, 2003

The internet like a kaleidoscope unceasingly juxtaposes images in different patterns. Turning on the computer in the morning is almost like casting the I ching or throwing bones. Sometimes the images form a coherent picture of everyday reality, but sometimes …. sometimes they illuminate a crazy place. Three translucent images came to the desktop the […]

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Whistleblowers and Team Players

January 17, 2003

It was only after whistleblowers came out of the closet during the Great Deflation that Time Magazine honored the practice of what team players call “ratting out your pals.” Conservative magazines like Time may give lip service to whistleblowing in the abstract but never champion whistle blowers until after they have sung. Instead they support […]

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Flesh

October 11, 2002

“I am obsessed with the body,” Isabel Letelier said. “I turned from painting to sculpture because I needed to work with something I could feel. Bodies are so open, so vulnerable, so easy to abuse.” Isabel Letelier had just read my column (When Should You Tell the Kids?) about proposals to use torture to elicit […]

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When Should You Tell the Kids?

October 4, 2002

A newsletter for former intelligence officers (no, I am not one, I just read it) contained two requests this week from researchers. One is a Washington Post intelligence reporter who wants information about “that particular moment in a clandestine agent’s life when he/she tells the children what they really do for a living.” The other […]

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Do Terrorists Really Have More Fun?

September 26, 2002

Bruce Schneier, the author of Applied Cryptography and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, told me that he can not walk through a department store without seeing security as a challenge. How, he asks himself, can he outwit the coded tags and markers, surveillance cameras, and guards? That’s what gets his juices flowing. That mindset is […]

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The Crazy Lady on the Treadmill

September 19, 2002

We’ve all had the experience by now. Someone next to us – in this case, the lady on the treadmill at the fitness center – suddenly starts laughing. She didn’t snicker as if she had just thought of something funny. No. She laughed loudly for a long long time. Laughter is a social event. When […]

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