Last week’s internet worm, which overloaded computers running Microsoft’s SQL server, caused 13,000 bank machines owned by Bank of America to malfunction, and generally overwhelmed Internet backbones worldwide reminded me of the very first Internet Worm and it’s creator, Robert Tappan Morris and how any sense of security we have in computers, or in our own existence and daily life in general is unfounded.
While my own experience with last Friday’s worm was limited to a quick troubleshoot, call to my colo provider (who was having BIG problems), and remote fix from the comfort of my king size bed, I realize that many system administrators (most of them with far less brain capacity and skill that I esteem myself to possess) spent much of Friday night and Saturday working to get their systems working, under control, patched and back online. Poor slobs.
But the real message in my mind is how lucky we are every day. Although wars, hunger and plague kill millions every year, there is some good news. The sun hasn’t exploded, no giant asteroid has hit the Earth in epochs, people aren’t burning to crisps from radiation storms created by giant sunspots, giant gaping continental rift volcanos haven’t opened up and swallowed the majority of civilization. Because of the Internet and the unprecedented ease of communication it brings, we are experiencing a renaissance of knowledge unparalleld since western civilization heaved itself up from underneath the oppressive dogma of the Catholic Church.
People need to learn that life, security and prosperity are tenous things, never realized by the majority of souls that have walked this Earth, and that we should never trade freedoms for a phantom increase in security. Community and brotherhood are the watchwords we should be concerned with, not security and defense. These watchwords stand for values that create a much better world for all than any search for security from other people(s), whether they be different or seemingly threatening. Do what you can to spread them, and the values they represent.