Saturday, April 07, 2012

Prementia - a new medical term

I'd like to propose a new word...

Prementia - from latin... pre (meaning before) and ment (root mens - the mind)... this would be when someone falsely assumes they are of sound mind before it actually comes to pass.

Prementia commonly occurs in subjects ranging from 3 to 30 years old, depending on the specific subject area and level of inexperience.

Treatment options - exposure to large amounts of experience has been shown to help mitigate the symptoms of prementia.

1. While somewhat inefficient, direct experience has been shown to be effective in almost all cases of prementia. Employment and living on ones own accelerate the effectiveness of this course of treatment.

2. Carefully administered doses of distilled experience with someone who is fully sound of mind and well versed in this manner of treatment have been found to be very helpful. In fact, in most states, this form of treatment has been subsidized regardless of insurance status.

3. Some patients are very resistant to treatment. In these cases, isolation for an extended period of time can be beneficial, if not to the patient, to those around them.

ContraIndications - If prementia is suspected, be careful disclosing this status to the patient, as they may become agitated and insisting that "I know how to do that already" or "I'm an expert". Sometimes it is best to ignore claims of competence, and switch the subject.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

If you can't even express a correct answer, you'll always be wrong.

In response to an ongoing thread on /. about computer security... I wrote this

What we have here, is a failure to communicate...
It's not the user.
Nor is in the internet
Nor is it the administrator
Nor is in the OS vendors
It's a very deep paradigm/vocabulary issue
The problem IS lack of security.... quick... how can You, in YOUR CHOICE OF ENVIRONMENT tell your OS that you want a program to enforce this set of rules on a program you want to test:
  • read access to itself, and it's install directory
  • read access to all of the system libraries
  • read-write access to a single folder
  • access to a specific set of windows in the gui (if any)
  • and nothing else?
If you can even begin to fulfill this list of un-restrictions, you're probably approaching it in terms of a locked down user account, which is exactly the problem. This list of un-restrictions is otherwise known as a capabilities list, and should be assigned on the basis of the needs of the moment, not some static definition.
If you can't even express the correct answer, you'll never get it right.
While people remain unable to even express ideas in terms of capabilities, it won't happen, and we'll be vulnerable... I suspect it's going to take about 12 more years.