Benkler on Wikileaks, media, distributed models of mutual criticism  23.3.11

Yokai Benkler, A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks And The Battle Over The Soul Of The Networked Fourth Estate, forthcoming Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 66 pages (

It forces us to ask us how comfortable we are with the actual shape of democratization created by the Internet. […]

NATO and its role in internet security – geopolitics of intenet security governance?  20.3.11

“The threat is there to see and if the worst were to happen…” (Donald Rumsfeld, Feb 2003)

Looks like Stuxnet is the best of all electronic Pearl Harbours, so far. The signs on the walls of what could be. The “game changer” (DHS cyber director), the menace that seems to convince politicians, media and the public alike that there is something potentially very threatening. It has taken some fifteen years of fear mongering to achieve that.

Menaces, threats, risks, dangers require responses, yet which? […]

House of Cards  19.3.11

I couldn’t possibly comment:

We’re delighted to tell you that in late 2012 Netflix will be bringing to our members in the U.S. and Canada exclusively “House of Cards,” the much-anticipated television series and political thriller from Executive Producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. We’ve committed to at least 26 episodes of the serialized drama, which is based on a BBC mini-series from the 1990s that’s been a favorite of Netflix members. (Netflix)

Or, maybe: If you’ve ever wanted the essence of politics, the schemes, the manipulation, the games, the viciousness, condensed into a timeless, enthralling play, enjoy Ian Richardson performance as Francis Urquhart, a modern mix of the Shakespearean figures of Richard III. and Macbeth, who succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minster. (IMDB)
Some of the political wisdoms the series conveys:

  • Power and its volatileness: “fear that this might be the day we wake to find the magic gone” (youtube)
  • Political loyalty: “a helping hand in these rather trying days” (youtube)
  • Leaking: “beware of an old man in a hurry” (youtube)
  • Social responsibility: “let’s give our young people a chance to learn self discipline, again” (youtube)
  • Power, terrorism and leadership: “Deeper than honour, deeper than pride, deeper than lust, deeper than love is the getting of if all. The seizing and the holding on.Tthe jaw is locked, biting into power and hanging on. Biting and hanging on.” (youtube)
  • Trust and power: ” But they all, all of them, betray us eventually. They love us, but not quite enough. They trust us, but not quite enough. And we trust them to be entirely human, meaning less than trustworthy. Which means we cannot entirely sleep. As the cat’s eyelids flicker, some part of us must stay awake, always, ready, as the coiled spring is ready.” (no link here, alas)
  • Role of a parliamentary majority leader: putting a bit of stick about

“Intensification of civil-military cooperation”. Some comments on the recent Dutch National Cyber Security Strategy on incident response  18.3.11

In February, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice released its “National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) – Success through cooperation.” ( Section 5.4, “Response capacity for withstanding ICT disruptions and cyber attacks”, is particularly interesting and highlights the ongoing transformation of the organisational landscape. While the strategy’s briefness makes a refreshing change for lazy readers like us, is also raises a couple of questions.

Enter life  6.3.11

The singleton entered the extrauterine sphere on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. She was coloured purple, exhausting awe-inspiring screams with all of her body tensed, her arms raised, moving and shaking wildly and her fingers crampily stretched. After half a minute or so, she quickly quieted down, ignored the blood, slime and what else her body was covered with, relaxed. She began to exertedly glance through the narrow cracks between her eye lids, aiming at grasping the situation and considering her options. Geworfenheit, thrownness, is Heidegger’s term to describe what every human being faces: “There you are, you haven’t been asked, no idea what ‘you’ is, let alone who you are and what ‘there’ is.” Naturally, she quickly went screaming again, coming up with all the strength shrouded in that 4,4 kg and 57 cm body. Positioning her on her mother’s upper part immediately freed her from those unsolvable existentialist contemplations and made her swing into the flow of life.

Some thirty six hours later her skin was overwhelmed with the influx of new hormons, as usual for babies her age. Other than in some thirteen years’ time, she didn’t care about it. Her priorities were different. We were sitting in our bed. She was lying on my legs, her head on my flexed knees, her feet pressing against my underbelly. It was around 4 a.m. She was gazing at us with her steel-blue eyes. For long minutes. Endlessly. Constantly and without interruption. Highly awake. Evaluating her situation. Facing her parents with a piercing glance as if she was pondering the trustworthiness of those whose reproductive instincts have brought her into that situation. Hopefully future will tell that she had not erred when she quietly fell asleep in that night after the first day after her birth.