The Human Cost of Cyberattacks

The International Committee of the Red Cross has just published a report: "The Potential Human Cost of Cyber-Operations." It's the result of an "ICRC Expert Meeting" from last year, but was published this week.

Here's a shorter blog post if you don't want to read the whole thing. And commentary by one of the authors.

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 5:01 PM • 29 Comments

Comments

Denton ScratchJune 1, 2019 4:39 AM

I still deplore the use of the term "cyber" to refer to computer- and network-mediated attack and defence. I guess I'm just too old to adapt :-) That usage comes from William Gibson (he coined the term "cyberspace" in his seminal novel "Neuromancer"); but the term is derived from cybernetics, the science of control systems, which is about feedback loops. It's nothing to do with computers or networking. The etymology is from the Greek word for "governance"; the governor on a steam engine is a cybernetic device.

Fundamentally, I object to usages that deplete the expressiveness of the English language. These stultifying usages tend to be spread by journalists.

Matter of fact, I thought Bruce also once deprecated that usage.

They nearly always mean "network attacks".

The blog article uses the expression "cyber space"; that's just illiterate - there should be no space between "cyber" and "space".

Oh dear - the blog contains two malapropisms in the same sentence: "digitalized" (should be "digitized"), and "peacemakers" (should be "pacemakers"). I think I'd better stop reading.

LukaszJune 1, 2019 7:18 AM

Hi Denton,

Report author here.

I share your sentiment for the times where internet was not so popular as it is today, to the extent when cybersecurity is on the top policymaker agenda. We're stuck with "cyber". That said, I am against using "cybernetics", "cybernetic attack", "cybernetic security", etc. (which oddly is in use by some!).

Thanks for your feedback, which is greatly appreciated. I assure you that a lot of resources has been devoted to the report. We wanted to be crisp on the technical side (and I believe we achieve a good outcome here). Of course typos during editing (which is not done by report authors) might happen, as is the case in the "peacemaker" (the report correctly uses "pacemakers" consistently).

As for "cyberspace" vs "cyber space", seems we're not as consistent on that after editing phase. I personally opt for cyberspace, though I know both happen to be in use. If you're not happy with the blog post, I invite you to look in the report (perhaps go directly past introduction/etc). Thanks!

Petre Peter June 1, 2019 7:29 AM

With attribution being so difficult in cyberspace, who cares about colateral damage.

Denton ScratchJune 1, 2019 8:40 AM

Hey Lukasz,

I didn't mean to criticize the report's authors. My complaint is a much more general complaint, about the drift in English usage, and the elision of perfectly useful terminology, so that we lose distinct, meaningful words. I know we're stuck with "cyber"; I just regret it. I'm an old stick-in-the-mud.

Thank you for replying to my comment - I'm sure you have better things to do than replying to an old whinger.

Clive RobinsonJune 1, 2019 9:58 AM

@ Petre Peter,

With attribution being so difficult in cyberspace, who cares about colateral damage.

Your friends, and relatives, if the hellfire strike hits your house and not that "hack-head cabal" hiding out next door.

Mike D.June 1, 2019 11:01 AM

I work at a defense contractor, and about a decade ago, a professor asked me, "What do you know about 'cyber'?"

"... Seriously?" I replied.

"Yes, what do you know about it?" he said.

"... Any context?"

"Do you have an answer or not?"

"'Cyber' is a term referring to something like phone sex, but using online chat."

Then he goes into how he heard that the DoD was using the term to label a battlespace, in addition to the existing spaces of sea, air, and land.

Sheesh.

TõnisJune 1, 2019 11:28 AM

@Denton Scratch, I like your thoughts on the English language. English has a huge, rich vocabulary. Languages with smaller vocabularies depend much more on context.

I like your other remark about typos (peacemaker/pacemaker). I've noticed that now since we're in a full blown "cyber age" :D that articles in mainstream news sites are replete with typos and other dumbass mistakes (repeated words, two different words side by side as if in a rough draft, etc.) This happened very little in the past when it was all newspapers. Perhaps more care was taken when there was the additional step of typesetting before articles went to print? Maybe now everyone just hits send with very little proofreading or editing when it comes to publishing an article?

(Yes, I still say "he" when gender is unknown. And "everyone" is singular, a "he," not a "they." A corporation is an "it," not a "they," and so forth … )

GweihirJune 1, 2019 11:57 AM

Well, "cyber" is still a nice marker for incompetence. Those that use it are either incompetent or suck up to people that are.

albertJune 1, 2019 1:49 PM

@Denton Scratch, @Tõnis, @Etc.,

Cyber this, and cyber that, cyber everything, just ain't where it's at...
(apologies to Boz Scaggs)

Yet another term for my "don't trust" basket. There is a penchant for denizens of the computer community to appropriate terms from other disciplines, like "entropy", and give them other meanings. I still have a problem with people who use the term "methodology" all the time.

English is indeed a rich language, primarily because of all the words borrowed (or stolen) from other languages. But it appears to be easier for non-English speakers to use for -basic communication-. Isn't that the idea behind languages?r. Tenses, cases, and gender fall by the wayside, and context seems less important. Gender-neutral terms are a work in progress, and not very progressive, IMO.

. .. . .. --- ....

MarkHJune 1, 2019 2:46 PM

A certain voice among our commentariat has long been reminding us all that attribution of attacks via the global Internet is very difficult.

That's true. It's a Really Hard Problem.

But the many comments along these lines (by other commenters as well) seem to go well beyond that fact, to urge the conclusion that it's Just Plain Wrong to trust such an attribution ... especially that of the famous case related to the 2016 US election.

I invite anyone interested in the question, to ponder the following:

• Every day, people around the world successfully solve Really Hard Problems.

• In particular, law enforcement agencies have made numerous arrests and convictions founded on analytic attribution, in which subsequent search found independent evidence confirming that attribution.

• There are many tools available to attackers wishing to conceal their role, and there are many ways for their role to be disclosed nonetheless. Essentially, if you identify 50 information leaks to plug (in hopes of covering your tracks), there may be 10, or 20, or 50 more of which you weren't even aware ... anybody who studies crypto knows that avoiding information leaks is fiendishly difficult.

• The Pavlovian response to any publicized attribution seems to be shouts of "False flag! False flag!!" An attack constructed so as to appear to be from another non-cooperating agency has a high risk of being detected as such (see above). Depending on who is attempting the imposture, and whom it's supposed to be blamed on, there may be enormous costs in the event of such detection. [General Note: folks in the commentariat here consistently fail to distinguish between what might be done in principle, and what could be feasible under real-world constraints.]

• The US intelligence community likely has a greater technical capacity for attribution of Internet attacks than exists anywhere else.

• In the case of the famous 2016 attribution, when press reports disclosed that (1) a Russian official was arrested for treason in connection with disclosures connected with the attack, and (2) SIGINT had gathered communications among Russian officials concerning the attack, a certain curmudgeon here dismissed them completely.

While I can't personally confirm any of this stuff, I should think that if one really cares about correctness of attribution, that first-rate technical analysis corroborated by independent non-technical evidence should be a commendable standard.

• The frightening specter raised in response to the danger (a quite genuine danger, I accept) of incorrect attribution is that the US will start a war on the basis of some geeks looking at IP packets.

Since this alarm was raised, Israel claims to have blown up a building in response to a cyberattack -- apparently, the first such incidence in history.

The capabilities of the US are so vast, that it is (a) less likely to make a mistaken attribution, and (b) will have many alternatives to violence for responding to such an attribution.

Most likely it will be states other than the US, risking such war by mistake.

albertJune 2, 2019 10:48 AM

@Mike D.,

"Do you believe in UFOs?"

Asked by the General Manager of a company I worked for.

Ah, that life should be so simple...to see the world in Black -or- White; no Greys allowed.

But you're right, meaningless questions deserve meaningless answers.

. .. . .. --- ....

MarkHJune 2, 2019 11:11 AM

@albert:

My answer would be:

Yes! I believe that every day, many people see things in the sky they fail to identify!

MarkHJune 2, 2019 11:28 AM

@Frank Vega:

Somebody named either "Frank Vega" or "Frank Vega Delgado" seems to have proved:

In 2010, P ≠ NP

In 2012, P ≠ NP

In 2015, P = NP

In 2016, P ≠ NP

I got these from Gerhard J. Woeginger's page which tracks results in the P vs. NP problem.

The second link you posted above seems to be a newer paper (or perhaps, a revision to one of the above) proving that P = NP. I didn't find a date, but it cites references later than 2016.

Apparently, the Frank Vega proofs are now running three "not equal" to two "equal". Not equal is still ahead, but equal is catching up!

You might want to submit the newer work to Gerhard so he can update his list.

OtterJune 2, 2019 5:59 PM

@ MarkH

"Most likely it will be states other than the US, risking such war by mistake."

Us has a long history of risking, indeed seeking, war by purpose.

You, perhaps unknowning, admitted this when you said "Pavlovian response". Pavlov did, after all, provide dinner after ringing the bell.

I think you should have stopped and deleted when you wrote, "I can't personally confirm any of this stuff".

DannyJune 2, 2019 6:44 PM

Never liked the word cyber used in this context. Cyber is internet consensual adults doing/talking stuff to each other.

Ergo SumJune 2, 2019 7:50 PM

@MarkH...

The capabilities of the US are so vast, that it is (a) less likely to make a mistaken attribution, and (b) will have many alternatives to violence for responding to such an attribution.

When the "capabilities of the US are so vast", that includes false flag operation as well. It would not be the first time that the US had convinced, or at least tried to, even the UN that certain kinetic actions must be taken. When these capabilities are frequently used for political purposes to justify sanctions and/or military actions, the results of these capabilities are rightfully questioned. Especially, when within a short time frame the initial US assessment proves to be wrong. Add to this, that training material released to the public, that spells out how to perform false flag operation, the credibility of these capabilities will take a hit. Even, if the US assessment happens to be correct, people will routinely question the results. In my view, we are pretty much at that point nowadays...

As for the cyber attack question... The military is known to evaluate the impact of a kinetic strike and depending on the value of the target, certain level of collateral damage is acceptable by the military. There's no reason to believe that in the case of electronic warfare, there would be no collateral damage accepted. Not to mention that in the case of the kinetic strike, it's pretty much a single shot/action, unless others are initiated later.

In the electronic warfare, whatever had been released may reach its intended target, or may not.

It's also possible, that the intended target captures the payload and redirects it back to the origin. In which, the taxpayers paid for payload may just hit the taxpayers hard.

The more likely scenario is that the payload unintentionally gets loose, spreads around the world and destroying countries' infrastructure, even friendly countries and may include our own. After all, the vulnerability in the software, that makes this payload effective, has not been patched yet.

Yeah, I'd prefer to go out with a big boom, instead of suffering without water, electricity, or fuel in the middle of the winter for weeks...

Clive RobinsonJune 2, 2019 9:38 PM

@ Albert,

"Do you believe in UFOs?"

To which I would have replied "What Sort?"

It's a much abused term and mainly has little or nothing to do with "little green men" (LGM) that many think it's about.

For instance Military and other "raw radar image" watchers frequently see "unidentified objects" flying around. In part these are non IFF aircraft and in part other objects of terestrial or meteorological origin. Some are definitely of extra terestrial origin however, such as tiny rocks hitting the atmosphere creating ionisation trails that reflect radio signals. There also used to be the problem of not just false but delayed echos, also with lower frequency radars interference caused by "ducting" from other places.

Then there are reports of pilots who see things just as the radar operators do. People forget that temprature inversions can and often do create mirages and these are as likely in the atmosphere at certain times of day.

But as for the LGM the golden rule of "if physics allows" applies first, then if the answer to that is yes you have to consider other things. Currently the laws of physics we know preclude faster than light travel, also the energy required to reach even 90% of light speed is immense. No matter what people might think, energy on that scale is prohibitively expensive, thus traveling between the stars would be way to expensive to contemplate. Thus any LGM would most likely be "little grey machines" passing by in a mater of seconds or minutes.

That said I believe it's more or less inevitable that mankind will move out into the Solar System in some form fairly soon. Further that mankind has no choice as energy and raw materials will be needed on larger and larger quantities which will only be practical from rocks etc floating around our solar system.

The real trick to getting that going will be in "gravity well energy reclamation systems" such as the "Space Elevator" that Arthur C Clark described in "fountains in Paradise". NASA are certainly spending money encoraging people to "aim high" on the idea.

Mind you before the Iraqi "big gun" Gerald Bull worked on the idea of using the equivalent of a big gun (HARP) in Barbados to shoot packages towards space... It started nearly sixty years ago and the altitude record set in late 1966 still stands today.

Various sciences with respect to "big guns" have moved on significantly in that time, thus it may be possible to launch small rockets up to the point they could push into stable LEO...

MarkHJune 2, 2019 9:49 PM

@Otter, @Ergo Sum:

If I understand correctly, you both seem to address the dangers of intentionally falsified attribution, whereas I was discussing inadvertently incorrect attribution.

While the thesis "attribution is hard" is not precisely equivalent to "forged attribution is (sufficiently) easy," they are certainly closely related.

In the case of the 2016 "hacking", consider the following:

• If it was a forgery by US intelligence, it was done either under the command of the Obama administration (national policy), or by a group of intelligence officers committing an atrocious, unforgivable and likely criminal betrayal of their duties and oaths (renegade spies).

• In the latter case, the renegade spies either persuaded hundreds of colleagues to enter their conspiracy, or successfully deceived them.

• In either scenario, who would have an incentive to encourage -- or even risk accidentally -- kinetic warfare with the Russian Federation? [A reality the "Poor Russia" crybabies never acknowledge, is that an attack on Russian soil would have astronomical risks, and no counterbalancing benefits.]

• Despite much blubbering among commenters here, the US never made such an insane response to Russian hacking. The actual response was a rather modest increment to economic sanctions.

• To what end would such a forgery have been made? Was it an elaborate conspiracy to make Russia even more unpopular than the Kremlin has achieved? Or an elaborate conspiracy to impair a potential President Trump, at a time when his presidency was thought to be most unlikely? What sense would it make? Is there any plausible purpose, that couldn't have been achieved by simpler means?

• Virtually the entire justification for the US intelligence community, and the vast resources which flow into it, is the integrity of its product. Intelligence assessments are often enough mistaken, and many times have missed important pieces ... but convincing evidence of intelligence FRAUD could cause terrible damage to the intelligence apparatus.

People who haven't slept through the past two decades, will recall that the baleful NeoCons of the G. W. Bush administration had to create their own shadow intelligence apparatus, because the authentic intelligence community didn't support their fantastic allegations concerning Iraq.

When the intelligence community was under extreme pressure to produce fraudulent intelligence, it refused to comply.
_____________________________________

As I wrote above, preventing information leakage is a fiendishly difficult problem.

Anyone attempting a "false flag" cyberattack is running a serious risk that their imposture will be exposed.

I suggest that the most likely actors to attempt this, will be those who attach little value to trust that is reposed in their word ... this will be fertile territory for rogue states, or non-state actors, rather than the wealthy states of the West.
_____________________________________

There's a particularly precious equity, which the US would be incredibly foolish to sacrifice.

In the event of an extremely high-cost cyberattack -- a scenario the defense establishment takes very seriously -- the US will feel the need to make a commensurate response.

Against such a scenario, the US needs (a) the capacity to make attribution with great confidence [I am sure NSA has been instructed to develop its attribution capabilities as far as can feasibly be done], and (b) trust on the part of other states that the US attribution is reliable: a perception that the US is striking out blindly would have severe international ramifications.

To destroy that trust, for the sake of some stupid senseless stunt, would greatly aggravate the difficulties the US would face in a major "cyberwar."

If there are any adults in charge of the relevant organizations, they will do everything in their power to prevent such suicidal tomfoolery.

my_real_nameJune 3, 2019 1:11 PM

@MarkH

I'm in Europe and I don't follow internal US dramas too closely, so please correct me if this is inaccurate, but I seem to remember the '2016 hacking':

1) exposed among other embarrassing things that the supposedly neutral DNC had been involved in damaging Sanders' campaign while favoring Clinton's during the primaries

2) the Russian attribution of the hack was a recurring talking point of Clinton's presidential campaign every time the topic of the leaked emails was brought up.

If those two points are correct, there's only one and depressing answer to your question: 'In either scenario, who would have an incentive to encourage -- or even risk accidentally -- kinetic warfare with the Russian Federation?'

It was irresponsible or maybe just childish for a US presidential candidate to 'risk accidentally' a confrontation with Russia for such a petty purpose as deflecting attention away from one's own campaign' dirty laundry. One could have expected somebody like Trump to act like that in disregard of consequences, not a former Secretary of State. The only responsible course of action would have been for Clinton to deliberately downplay the Russian attribution, irrespective of how certain or not it may have been. More than any other country the US has powerful ways for conveying to anybody the message 'we know it was you' and 'take this in retaliation so you won't do it again' without making a disgraceful public roadshow of it. Which by the way boosted Putin's domestic ratings and offered some sad entertainment to the rest of the world. A better way of saving face would have been owning up to the mistakes of the organization/collaborators as a mark of leadership and accountability, if not authentic at least for the appearance.

MarkhJune 3, 2019 2:51 PM

@real_name:

1. As to the first observation, so what? Almost all of the potential candidates certainly could have been embarrassed by disclosure of illegally obtained information.

2. I thought this would be obvious from my comment: by my question, I meant "in either scenario, who among the set {Obama, intelligence officers} would have an incentive to encourage -- or even risk accidentally -- kinetic warfare with the Russian Federation?"

Are you suggesting that Clinton, long separated from the administration, had the authority to cause the intelligence community to make a fraudulent attribution?

3. I don't defend either of the Clintons -- my attitude toward them is visceral revulsion.

That being said, show me a plausible path by which the chin-wagging of an old lady could lead to an American military assault against the homeland of a nuclear superpower.

Like it or not, public denunciation of harmful/unlawful acts by hostile states is a long tradition of many governments, including that of the U.S.

The quiet "let's iron this out" approach is perhaps more effective between allies.

In any case, the Russian Federation made an intolerable attack against U.S. sovereignty. It has been necessary and proper to communicate this emphatically to the public.

It's very regrettable that it fell to two moral cripples, Clinton and Trump, to undermine this in their distinctly damaging ways.

OtterJune 3, 2019 6:51 PM

@ MarkH

"If I understand correctly,"

You don't.

"you both seem to address the dangers of intentionally falsified attribution, whereas I was discussing inadvertently incorrect attribution."

You were discussing "A certain voice" and "other commenters as well".

Until "attributions" are stamped and notarized, as "intentionally falsified", or "inadvertently incorrect", or "cross my heart and spit to die", we must rely on our Pavlovian histories ... distrust every attribution.


"If there are any adults in charge of the relevant organizations"
"regrettable that it fell to two moral cripples, Clinton and Trump"

I think you have negated your own conditional clause.

MarkHJune 3, 2019 7:52 PM

@otter:

Snark much?

Clive (along with others) has written many times -- correctly -- that attribution of "cyber" attacks is hard. The precise implication of this, is that sincere efforts at attribution are liable to some non-trivial error rate.

What particular individuals choose to trust, or distrust, is in almost every case no concern of mine.

As to negation of the conditional ... neither of the two loathsome 2016 candidates has ever been assigned to head an intelligence agency, and I'd bet every dollar I could raise that neither of them ever will.

The people who actually DO run such agencies in the West, seem to have in common with the great majority of such security agency heads, that they take their mission quite seriously, while at the same time jealously defending the status and institutional interests of their organizations.

Most of the time, this seems to discourage them from asinine stunts like treason, or fabrication in order to please some political master.

The example I gave above about Iraq doesn't stand alone: during the cold war, some politicians wanted exaggerated threat estimates concerning the Soviet Union, and had to create their own ad-hoc committees to come up with this hogwash, because the intelligence professionals stubbornly adhered to their best estimate of reality.

Yes, Mr Otter, there really are grown-ups left in the world ... just don't look for them in the Oval Office.

Clive RobinsonJune 3, 2019 8:47 PM

@ MarkH, All,

A certain voice among our commentariat has long been reminding us all that attribution of attacks via the global Internet is very difficult.

Why be coy, you have in the past accused me of a number of things including some very warped notion that I must be suffering from some delusional state due to a problem that some aging gentlemen suffer from (what ever that was supposed to mean in your mind, the @Moderator saw fit to deleate it but not before it had been coppied to various and numerous places on the Internet).

But again you either do not have a clue about why I make the statments I do, or you deliberatly misrepresent them as you do yet again here,

But the many comments along these lines ... seem to go well beyond that fact, to urge the conclusion that it's Just Plain Wrong to trust such an attribution ... especially that of the famous case related to the 2016 US election.

What I have plainly said repeatedly and you have disingenuously failed to refrence is my advice not to treat blanket assertions as the truth, instead look at the evidence presented --if any at all-- and see if it is actualy of a level admisable to presented in a criminal court.

If not then it does not even make the grade of circumstantial evidence.

Likewise you have failed to mention the logic behind what I say and why it is important. You would rather float this sort of unsubstantiated psycho-bable statment,

The Pavlovian response to any publicized attribution seems to be shouts of "False flag! False flag!!"

All I've ever done is shown ways that it could be done fairly easily, and remind people that not just the CIA but the US NSA and UK GCHQ SigInt agencies are known to not only have such tools but actively to use them, including "boasting about the fairycake recipie". Because of the comparative simplicity by which such activities can be carried out including the more complex "first packet to target" and using some of the known TAO tools, it's a reasonable assumption that other Western and probably 2nd and 3rd world countries that can stump up a comparatively modest fee to any one of several non governmental organisations can likewise do the same. Or like Saudi Arabia, just get personnel on loan from various US entities to do it for them.

But people need to consider a couple of things, firstly the assertions made by US companies has a strange parrallel to the US Gov assertions of who their current "cyber-existential threat actor" is at the moment. But more interestingly why the US only has four cyber-existential threat actors, of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia, all of which US foreign policy is to "go to war with" either directly or through proxy. I've long warned that the US War Hawks want to forment trouble in the South China Seas and against Iran and other Middle East countries. So far they appear to be running to form with the campaign against Russia being almost entirely political. Any half way curious people would ask, "Why just four nations?", "Why only one of those nations at a time?", "Why US companies dependent on US Gov money can always find evidence of that one cyber-existential threat actor of the month?"

But also why atribution by these companies are so weak, falling to spelling of words, phrases and simillar supposadly "indicitive" snipits that get re-used in a circular fashion. These are not evidence, circumstantial or trace, they are not smoking guns or other analagies, they don't even make it into the faux science much of the mumbojumbo forensics of the likes of frenology, and ear-lobe measurment.

The one saving grace these security companies might possibly claim is that it would not be leagle for them to break into computers not just in the US but other nations as well (Remember the US started the extra-teritorial legislation nonsense as well as the kinetic response doctrine, both of which other nations have responded to in like terms or even worse if you consider the Russian extra-teritorial execution legislation).

Which brings us on to your assertion of,

The US intelligence community likely has a greater technical capacity for attribution of Internet attacks than exists anywhere else.

I actually find that statment quite funny in a very sad way. Because the only people who we know have obtained verifiable HumInt not just dubious unverifiable SigInt in such things are the Israelis, Dutch and other non-US countries. Why do we know this? Well thats the sad part because the US once again for political reasons decided to burn their allies "methods and sources". It still amazes me that the US actually has allies any longer with reoccurring behaviour like that. As we know with regards UK methods and sources the US burnt some of those causing President Mr Trump to get a fairly frosty phone call from UK Prime Minister Mrs May, further it also damaged the ability to bring forward to court and prosecute. Likewise if you can remember back a little further President Mr Obama likewise got a frosty phone call from a different UK PM for the same offence of burning intelligence assets.

The question people should be asking is why other nations appear to be doing what the US apparently can not?, and more importantly why the US feels the need to burn those "methods and sources" as frequently as it does?

But I guess you will not be asking them if you actually believe this assertion of yours,

The capabilities of the US are so vast, that it is (a) less likely to make a mistaken attribution, and (b) will have many alternatives to violence for responding to such an attribution.

Which flies in the face of such questions and the reason for asking them.

But when you strip asside a couple other of your statments, we get to this,

a certain curmudgeon here

You are again back to your very sad little games. I have no idea why you want to behave the way you do but it's actually realy quite sad at best, and may be indicative of something you realy should get help for.

JackJune 3, 2019 9:02 PM

@my_real_name wrote, "1) exposed among other embarrassing things that the supposedly neutral DNC had been involved in damaging Sanders' campaign while favoring Clinton's during the primaries"

Furthermore, it exposed DNC colluding with mainstream media in framing the presidential candidate debates to provide Mrs. you know who an unfair pre-access to debate questions.

The 2016 Hacking itself wasn't a "glaring attack" on american democracy. It was an unbiased exposure of how the hacked party attempted to hijack a democratic process.

MarkHJune 4, 2019 2:56 AM

@Clive:

I much regret the sting you plainly felt, from my tactless (and, as you say, deleted) remarks from more than two years ago.

If I'm as foolish (or in as much need of help) as you seem to believe, then isn't the wisest course to let it go?

Remember, Billy Joel advised "you should never argue with a crazy ma-ma-ma-man, you ought to know by now."

And as Shakespeare had it, if I'm an idiot, then the tales I tell surely signify nothing.

Peace

PS It's startling to me, that anybody other than the Wayback Machine would republish these threads in which any useful wheat is often buried under heaps of chaff. What a wondrous rubbish tip is the Internet!

WeatherJune 4, 2019 3:40 AM

@mark h
Its a changing battle field, what was Wikipedia, is now more human

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.