I’ve largely stopped writing about the latest study or industry analysis white paper. Rarely to they shed much new light on security. This is an exception. The statistics in the article are jaw-dropping if close to accurate. But this is the part that is scary:
As a result of these factors, the pressure is reaching boiling point for many.
Over a quarter (27%) of CISOs polled said stress is impacting their mental or physical health, while 23% said the role is damaging their personal relationships. Even worse, 17% admitted they had turned to medication or alcohol to deal with workplace stress.
Mental, emotional, and physical health all can take their toll on well-being. But that 17% number is just as telling – what happens during an event when the head of the organization is blotto?
“It’s no surprise that CISOs are facing burnout. Many lack support from within their organizations, and senior business leaders need to face the facts: the threats are real, and CISOs need to be given the resources and support to tackle them. If not, the board must face the consequences.”
The lack of support feeds into the cycle. Even if the CISO does have a health or substance problem there may not be the mechanisms in place to manage a response in lieu of top leadership. I wonder how may DR/BC/IR tabletop exercises cover absent or impaired leadership?
On Saturday March 18 1967, around half past six in the morning, the first officer of the Torrey Canyon realised that his vessel was in the wrong place. The 300-metre ship was hurrying north past the Scilly Isles, 22 miles off the tip of Cornwall in the south west of England, with more than 119,000 tonnes of crude oil. The aim was to pass west of the islands, but the ship was further east than expected.
The officer changed course, but when the sleep-deprived captain Pastrengo Rugiati, was awoken, he countermanded the order. A two-hour detour might mean days of waiting for the right tides, so Capt Rugiati decided instead to carry on through the treacherous channel between the Scilly Isles and the mainland.
Most serious accidents have multiple causes. A series of mistakes or pieces of bad luck line up to allow disaster. The Torrey Canyon was hampered by an unforgiving schedule, barely adequate charts, unhelpful winds and currents, confusion over the autopilot, and the unexpected appearance of fishing boats in the intended course. But reading Richard Petrow’s contemporary account of the Torrey Canyon disaster, a clear lesson is that Capt Rugiati was too slow to adjust. He had a plan, and saw far too late that the plan was doomed to failure — and with it, his ship.
Some accident investigators call this “plan continuation bias”. Airline pilots sometimes call it “get-there-itis”. The goal appears within touching distance; it’s now or never. Tunnel vision sets in. The idea of a pause or a change of approach becomes not just aggravating, expensive or embarrassing — it becomes literally unthinkable.
In such circumstances aeroplanes have crashed after trying to land in bad weather because the destination airport was so temptingly close. Patients have died of oxygen starvation because doctors and nurses fixated on clearing blocked airways rather than checking whether an oxygen pump was working. And the Torrey Canyon ran aground, producing the world’s first major oil tanker disaster.
We’ve all experienced “get-there-itis”. For me, it tends to emerge when dealing with family logistics. One child needs to go somewhere, another must be picked up from school. Then it turns out that someone needs to be at home to receive a delivery; the car is in for a service; the babysitter calls to cancel.
The plan seems feasible at first, but as complications mount, it starts to resemble an increasingly precarious assembly of stages and steps, lift-swaps and rendezvous, a Rube Goldberg fever-dream of an itinerary.
Read the whole article for more instances, as well as an appraisal around Brexit. My main takeaway is this:
If I’m lucky, someone finds the mental space to see clearly the fragility of it all. Someone suggests a cancellation or two, replacing the entire time-and-motion nightmare with something radically simpler.It’s that moment of clarity that is so often missing. Haste makes things worse …
You’re alive right now. In front of you sits just a handful of hours before the day is through. What tomorrow has in store, you cannot know. Piles of problems could be dumped on you. A surprise call from the doctor could change everything. You could wake up with the flu and spend the next week in bed. You could not wake up at all.
This leaves you with a few options for today: You can muddle through, you can worry about all the things that might happen, or you can seize the day–here and now. The right choice is obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
The famous Latin phrase carpe diem, or “seize the day,” has stared at us from coffee cups and motivational posters for as long as we’ve been alive. Longer, in fact; it’s from a poem written in 23 B.C. We’ve been struggling to follow this simple anodyne command basically since the beginning of time. It was hard for the ancients, and it’s hard for us.
What is cool, however, is that since right around Horace’s time, smart people–especially the ancient Stoics–have been developing strategies for how to seize the day. They’re not magical solutions, but they do help. They work if you work them. So let’s get to it.
Get up early
Do it now
Put devices away
Don’t try to be perfect
Don’t leave things hanging
Don’t defer your happiness
Demand the best of (and for) yourself
Read the article for all the details. It is worth your time. Here’s a bit from the last part of the article:
Today could be the last day of my life. It could be the last day of your life. It could also be the best day of our lives.
A few years ago, conservative commentators in America began using a term for young college students-mostly liberal-who insisted on #noplatforming speakers they disagreed with: Snowflakes. It was said with both a sneer and well-meaning wisdom because the world just isn’t going to work if you think you can block out or censure everything you find objectionable.
But here’s the problem. It’s totally _hypocritical. Because on all sides of the political debate we have this snowflake tendency. Conservatives freak out now when people question or criticize the president (indeed, the president himself loves to dish it out, but complains constantly about having to take it). You’d be amazed at the number of Donald Trump supporters-the same ones who accuse liberals of Trump Derangement Syndrome-who send in angry notes to DailyStoic.com that illustrate not just their inability to deal with views they disagree with, but also exhibit what ought to be called _Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
Why point this out?
Because the whole aim of Stoicism is to reduce the amount of offense we take from things that are outside our control. Remember, Epictetus says we are complicit when we allow someone to make us angry, when their words produce a disproportionate reaction from us. Intellectually, a philosopher has to be someone who can calmly entertain, consider, and engage with views and ideas different from their own. The notion that you would love listening to a band and then turn them off because they “brought politics into it” is positively infantile, whatever those politics are. Or that you’d turn away from a friend or a parent because they are on their own intellectual or social journey. (Or unsubscribe from a free email you otherwise liked!)
Snowflakes, whether they are on the left or the right, are miserable because they need the world to be a certain way-their way. They are constantly at risk of being upset and disturbed because someone else-someone with views different than their own-has the power to say or do or think for themselves. A Stoic, on the other hand, is open-minded and content to let others live and think as they wish. Not only that, but they relish the opportunity to have their own views challenged, because they know they grow stronger for it.
Don’t be a snowflake. Be a Stoic.
I like this.
I started using the term “snowflake” a long time ago to describe young adults who were ill prepared for the real world, like the twenty-something who wanted to bring his mom to a job interview with me.
Eventually I started using the term to mean anyone, myself included, who lack emotional or intellectual resiliency.
Once it became a common epithet of trolls and the right, I ditched it.
My interest in Stoicism developed independently, but I’m happy to merge the two as Daily Stoic lays out.
I did my KonMari before I knew I would relocate to Japan. I felt so good when I was done. There was a sad time where my house was insanely cluttered – my bedroom, living room, and basement were embarrassingly populated with stuff. It wasn’t dirty, per se, but was starting down the border slippery slope.
One I purged, I’ve not looked back. I want to start the process again as I’ve collected things here that no longer spark joy.
I’m still amazed by the Shinkansen and the ruthless efficiency (“Where’s Ruth?“) of the trains. It is an engineering and organizational marvel.
Arriving at Hakata Station (the main Fukuoka rail hub near the airport in the center of town), I had a few missteps getting to the bus to the hotel. The rain was still coming down and the signage was a bit lax.
The bus was late, and Apple Maps has ever since been wrong with every bus time. When wrong, I either found an alternate bus that would take me near where I wanted to go, walked, or took a short taxi ride. If this is the worst thing that happens on this trip, I will be happy. But it also speaks to the Silicon Valley-centric nature of tech.
I got to the hotel in a crowd of wedding attendees. When I arrived at the hotel lobby, I was processed quickly and pleasantly. Oh, what’s that? An upgrade? Yes, please and thank you!
After dropping my one bag in the room (more on the one bag later) I headed out to explore. First stop was a Tonkatsu ramen shop with one option on the menu at a crazy low price (400¥). They use the locally-common thin noodles, unsurprisingly. It was great, also unsurprisingly.
Insert lost ramen picture here
A short walk from there and I was at the Fukuoka Castle ruins. My path took me though the park that leads to the ruins, so it was quiet and peaceful. Then I discovered the cruise ship tourists from China and Thailand (maybe two cruise ships?) who massed on some key spots. I wandered through and then away to find some things I enjoyed. Sadly, the ancient secret underground tunnel to the castle eluded me. I went to where the signs said access was open but I could not get in.
From there I went to the shrine. To my surprise and delight there was an antiques and crafts and food fair going on there. I spent some ¥ on books and jewelry. I’m tempted to return tomorrow with more cash in hand. The whole fair was in my home design wheelhouse.
By the way, the sun appeared.
I left to head to a local brewery. I wanted to take the bus but the bus never showed. I walked it instead. (Note to self: when waiting for a bus, walk to the next stop and wait there instead of waiting at the start). I arrived and the beer was good. The place fancies itself as a Mexican restaurant.
My trip to the hotel was another example of the unreliability of buses and Apple Maps. The temperature dropped and the wind kicked up, together making for a much colder transit. After about 15 minutes I gave up on the bus and taxied it to the hotel.
My hotel upgrade came with lounge access for cocktail hour. I’m taking advantage as I write this. The wifi is poor – again, if this is the worst thing I have to deal with today I am a happy man.
Tonight I plan to hit the yatai (food stalls) on Nakasu Island. Stay tuned!
Ever since I started using these nylon mesh zipper bags, my travel experience has improved. I have one bag for paper stuff and pens, one for medicine and first aid, one for tools and gear, one for cords and portable power, and one for snacks. When I get home I leave the bags in my suitcase, making packing much easier the next time I take a trip. The bags are see-through and very durable.
I just bought another set of these bags to hold components for Raspberry Pi projects. I think I have a total of 36 of these bags now.
I’m on board. The ones I have, which were labeled as makeup bags, increased over 500% since I bought them last. These seem a solid replacement.
They also work at TSA, or at least I’ve never had an issue with them.
My general rule of thumb is that unless you’re a) paying for it and also b) those payments represent a significant source of revenue for the company offering it, it’s never worth investing significant effort to rely on a third-party API.
Medium is the current poster child for this, but myriad examples before and since Google killed of Reader exist.
Free/Open Source Software & Services suffer different ailments, such as developer abandonment and discoverability. At least with F/OSS the source code is available so someone else can carry on.