Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homework assignment

You probably already do this, but...

Next time you are somewhere with any (preferably non-IT) security or safety concerns, look for the stupidity.  If you don't know where to start, the poor folks in healthcare are a great target- that may be the greatest concentration of really smart stupid people in our society.  (Yes, even worse than government).  And, there may be even more minions of the demon checkboxes in healthcare than in IT compliance. 

Wherever you try this, look for the measures taken in the name of security and/or safety.  Now, look for the blatantly obvious oversights and outright dangers- they won't be hard to spot.  Now, think about what kind of convoluted thought process could lead to things like wheelchair safety rails on all the ramps- but no child-protection bars on the same railings, made even more dangerous to kids by the footholds provided by the wheelchair rails.  You will probably start to see a misunderstanding of fundamental concepts such as risk and threat, and then you will spot the corresponding misguided attempts at addressing them.

While it may be amusing to ridicule others (OK, it IS downright fun), the point of the exercise is the second phase- where you turn that skeptical eye back on your own world and try to spot the obvious and glaring oversights in your own environment.  Not so much fun now, is it?  Instead of "fun", you might have to settle for "enlightening" or "effective" in your own world.