“How many security pros does it take to change a lightbulb?
One to do the risk analysis, one to perform the pentest and one to spread fear of defective lightbulbs.”
Back in the day (when I was very young indeed) we used to spend half our lives in total darkness. As soon as the sun went down our productivity levels dropped to absolute zero. Even those new-fangled carrots the tribe had started eating couldn’t help us find so much as a club unless we left it right by the entrance to the cave and had a large moon to see by.
As I advanced towards by eighth birthday things began to improve though. One of my wives was carrying my tools home for me when, clumsily as ever, she dropped the lot. Flint toothpick fell on stone path and sparks flew. Literally.
We were quite progressive back then and always liked new inventions and tried to think of as many uses for them as possible. Still seething at my wife’s clumsiness I considered using this new fire thing to burn the witch but, fortunately, such thoughts never caught on. Instead, we discovered that fire could light our caves and allow us to do things at night that were never possible before. Nine months later the size of out tribe had doubled.
Mind you, all was not good, and many accidents occurred along the way. Fortunately, in my case, the skin I burned off wasn’t really useful anyway and helped inspire many religious practices in the future. Others in my tribe were not so fortunate though. Picking the leftover food from their hair by firelight lead to a shift in our evolutionary development otherwise known as male pattern baldness. I guess we should have thought about the risks before we started using fire but we were inquisitive, impatient and could not see past the benefits.
It wasn’t until my teens that we learned to take responsibility for our technological developments. Having upsized from my original cave (I had to relocate to get away from those damn Leprechauns too) I found myself in something called a town. Managing a bread making facility known as Thomas Farriner’s bakery I learned how to contain fire in a metal prison. The accidents of yesteryear were now a thing of the past.
One week, when I had graciously been given my first ever break, I put one of my wives in charge for the ten minutes I was away. I should have learned my lesson back at the cave for, you guessed it, it was Mrs. Clumsy that I chose. The silly fool decided to make some puddings. Despite months of training and being made well aware of the security controls surrounding the metal fire prisons she chose not to take heed and left the door open.
Of course we had professionals to deal with such scenarios but they were distracted, wasting all their waking hours on this new entertainment thing called theatre. Unable to pull themselves away from the stage for even a few minutes the fire ultimately destroyed my town. Leaving the clumsy wife behind I took the other one hundred and twenty-seven spouses and the kids with me to something called the new world.
Upon our arrival we encountered some very strange people indeed. Though they killed all my wives and removed their scalps I forgave them as I could understand their insecurity over hair. After all, I was there when the baldness that afflicted them was ingrained into their tribe’s DNA. They did, however, spare me and taught me a few new uses for fire. Mind you, I suspect those plants they made me inhale will either be the death of me or lead to future problems with the Sheriffs.
Its amazing how we never know how a new invention is going to be used as us humans can always be relied upon to do the unexpected with just about anything. Maybe we should have thought about that back in the caves?
But in civilised life things were taking a turn for the better. Fire fighting teams were improving all the time following an incident in England that I claimed to know nothing of and home and business fires were prepared with much more thought. Huge accidents were, by and large, a thing of the past.
After all these years fire had evolved beyond merely providing a source of light. I was amazed at how the tribes of the world had taken such a simple discovery and made such use of it. But more was to come in this new world I now found myself in as illumination again received attention.
After sticky moments with candles and the discovery that oil had more than one use we had found that fire wasn’t the safest way to illuminate our homes. Some bright spark decided there must be a better way.
And so came the lightbulb. A small glass vessel of brightness that could enlighten any room without the risks presented by fire was, surely, a major leap in our evolution.
From that day forth no-one ever died or lost their hair from trying to brighten up their abode. Many did still die after inhaling sleep-inducing herbs which fell onto their straw mattresses before being stubbed out but that was considered a lifestyle choice.
This electricity thing was set to revolutionise our lives in much the same way that fire had done back in my youth. The difference this time, however, was that we had learned from our past and were not doomed to repeat the mistakes of not thinking of the consequences of our new inventions. And we would ensure that we put safety first and consider the security implications of what we were doing.
Well, a few years after the first lightbulbs appeared I remember having to change a bulb. They never came with instructions but then what man reads those anyway? I took the old bulb out and went to put the new one in. I was shocked. If I had any hair left it would have stood up. No-one ever told me to turn the socket off before putting something into it. Fortunately, though, I now lived in a civilised part of America known as Texas and knew the likelihood of hundreds of people dying in the future via an overdose of electricity was very slim indeed.
Nowadays, as an old man, I look around and see that this craze that started all those years back has really gotten out of control. Making fire was cool and it took us forever to learn how to handle it, if indeed we ever have. But these kids today. They make new stuff all the time, often without any thought about how it will be used or by whom. Heck, sometimes I even think they make things with no uses just because they can. Then again they don’t call me Ol’ Curmudgeon for nothing.
But even the older stuff like lightbulbs still seem to pose problems for my fellow man.
Some guy called Hue Phillips has made some new fangled thing that does some strange things with Androids and Apples (don’t ask; read). And apparently some men in black capes and dark hats can do some weird stuff with it to leave households in perpetual darkness. I guess we just like to make things that are so complicated that we make it easy for these evil people to mess them up huh?
Why, oh why, can we not take existing inventions and make them simpler rather than more complicated?
Like this guy, Alfredo Moser, who keeps tech simple –
Maybe we should take a step back and take a good look at ourselves and ask why we are creating new tech far quicker than we can learn how to use and secure it?