What is “Security”?

Security is critical to making things safe.  In our society, we have to protect/defend because there are individuals [with agendas] that we cannot trust.

Lack of trustability is the root cause that creates a desire for security.  I wrote recently:  “A foundation for a healthy society is trust.  Trust comes with shared values, respectable goals, consistency in behavior, demonstrated acts of care/sacrifice for you, and probably several other things.”

The more people we are surrounded by, the more we are concerned with security – this is why we hire Security guards for large events.  But why is this?

I believe that over time, more people are growing corrupt.  Unfortunately, our society is more tolerant and accommodating of corruption than in previous centuries – it even celebrates and glorifies corruption [movies, tv shows, books, magazines, news].  If you move fast, you can get away with almost anything.  If nobody is watching, they must not care.

So how do we identify trustable people – or at least untrustable people?

What ancient societies did

If you stole, one hand was cut off – you were marked for life.  A man with one hand was easily recognized as not trustable (a security risk).  If you were repeatedly corrupt, you were dragged into a public area and stoned to death – this was a very effective lesson to entire communities.

For an interesting read, see the review of “Trust and Power” by Prof. Geoffrey Hosking at https://reviews.history.ac.uk/review/287a

What modern societies are doing

China is using a digital reputation-tracking system tied to your ID that affects your ability to buy/sell and live.  It’s similar to the ancient “marked man” method, but isn’t as effective or obvious in public settings, and doesn’t immediately eliminate the security risk [person].

A related article for software designers is “Trust metric” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_metric

Something you can use:  Mobile phone apps TrueCaller and Hiya (my favorite – no ads) tell you who’s calling before you answer the call.  Cool crowdsourcing solution to “mark” bad actors.

What you can do

  1. Invest in your family and society, giving them a motivation to be trustworthy and have integrity
  2. Move yourself and your valuables to a remote place with less people 🙂
  3. Design security solutions with physical barriers that cannot be reached via the Internet

“Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety [security], deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin