THEY NEVER LEARN

New article today about the dangers of hackers attacking space assets, i.e. satellites, and causing no end of grief and catastrophe.

The way to prevent accordingly is for all the space companies and countries to cooperate in coming up with a new and improved cyber security approach that will for once and all prevent hackers from breaking into their systems.

I think the Maginot line, the Siegfried line, the fortifications at Singapore and pretty much every computer based system in the U.S. up to and including the N.S.A. has demonstrated that “fixed” fortifications do not work.

Right now there are how many hacker sin the world trying to break into various systems? For the sake of argument let’s say 10,000. That 10,000 are distributed all over the place trying to break into the thousands of space related systems all over the world which means anywhere from one to a few hundred attacking any given system.

So let’s centralize all the space based systems under one central and cooperative cyber security system. What happens? You now have all 10,000 hackers concentrating and focusing on that one single system. Think it will survive? Yea and unicorns power the Hoover damn too.

There is a pretty simple lesson here. The more you concentrate infrastructure, the more efficiently and economically you can operate them BUT the more catastrophic the effects on people when there is a problem with that centralization.

That was demonstrated a couple days ago when ONE pipeline had a break and the entire South East of the U.S. was affected. Fortunately they were able to repair it quickly and the effects are already diminishing.

I just fear it’s going to take something really, really catastrophic which causes a lot of suffering before the lesson sinks in and the drive towards consolidation and centralization stops.

The Librarian

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/cyber-attacks-on-satellites-could-spark-global-catastrophe-experts-warn-a7321361.html

WEE LITTLE TASTE

Just a wee little taste of what loss of infrastructure means.

There was apparently a gasoline pipeline break and resulting spill in Alabama over the weekend. Not that it is of any significance at all but I know that spot well and used to pass it every time I drove from Birmingham to Montgomery.

The result is a shortage of gasoline in the South East and prices have already risen significantly just within the past 48 hours

The consequence of it is being exacerbated by the Federal government who, in their infinite wise, has demanded that various studies and other regulatory hoops be jumped through before deliveries can resume. D.C. bureaucrats are, naturally immune from the travails and burdens the rest of the world bears so they could care less whether you and I have access to fuel.

If the outage affected D.C. then of course it would be declared a CRISIS and all rules would be suspended until their supplies were restored.

In any event ponder the effect of a single pipeline break which could actually be rapidly repaired if not for the Feds and the affect that single pipeline break is having on an entire region of the U.S. not just in cost but in actual shortages.

A break in a single pipeline and the effects are impacting an entire region of the U.S. within 48 hours.

Try to imagine the impact of an EMP, Solar or manmade, or a Cyber attack that shut down the grid and thus ALL of the pipelines.

48 hours and supplies are short enough to drive up prices and cause actual shortages.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/09/18/gas-prices-up-stations-running-out-after-pipeline-spill/

The Librarian

INTERNET CYBER PROBING

https://hacked.com/someone-probing-take-internet-warns-cryptographer/

Some concerning reports are filtering out about an ongoing careful, systematic and widespread probing of the Internet’s weak points looking for vulnerabilities and weaknesses that can be exploited to bring the internet to screeching halt when desired.

They are large scale enough that it appears to be a national actor and not an individual or even group of individuals.

The possible suspects are legion and there really isn’t much point in speculating who is behind it. What’s important is that someone is doing it.

When you look at the amount of commerce on the internet, the number of jobs which are dependent on it and the infrastructure which relies on it you have to be glad that we are not totally dependent on it to maintain our infrastructure and power grid… oh… wait….

The Librarian

p.s. A good reason to keep a backup shortwave tucked away somewhere.

THE FIRST PAGES…

Pretty much every post-apocalypse novel starts off with an introductory page or two explaining how the collapse occurred, what caused it and what effect it had. This sets the stage and the parameters of the rest of the story and the situations the protagonists have to endure.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-11/asian-stock-futures-tip-more-pain-as-policy-angst-ignites-swings

One of today’s Bloomberg articles reads like the first page or two of one of these novels. Full of the dangers of a trend and the consequences if that trend is continued.

What’s disturbing about articles like this is that they are, in fact, true. In this particular case Central Banks which have gotten so big that their failure could cause catastrophic affects around the world. Just like the data systems that are so large and comprehensive that a cyber attack on one of them could cause widespread and disastrous consequences.

There is always talk of what needs to be done to correct the trend and prevent it from happening in the future, what can be done to harden this system or that network.

No one however stops to ask is it wise to put some much of a particular part of the infrastructure under the control of one computer network or such massive amounts of money under the control of a single entity, bank or organization.

Are we really going to continue to centralize and grow banks, networks and systems until one day we actually do suffer a catastrophic loss, collapse, disaster when one of them fails.

At some point you have to say “This far and no further.” when it comes to building things bigger. No bank should ever be so large that it’s complete failure can affect entire nations and economies. No computer network should be so big and so crucial that it’s failure can endanger the lives of as many people as use the U.S. power grid.

All of these banks and systems are simply lessons in prudence just waiting to be learned… the hard way.

The Librarian

 

FICTION VS REALITY

There’s an old saying that the difference between Fiction and Reality is that Fiction has to be believable. Which implies that Reality doesn’t.

Good case in point the government and relief agency actions in Louisiana in the aftermath of the floods.

The government can’t provide enough boats to rescue people so citizens up and do the job themselves. The government then steps in and passes new regulations to prevent them from doing so until and unless they meet new government regulatory requirements sending out the police to prevent them from rescuing people until all requirements are met.

The Red Cross turning away and throwing away relief supplies because they do not meet with government mandated standards and rules.

http://preparednessadvice.com/self-sufficiency/youre-right-to-fear-government-interference-during-emergencies/#.V9FJsJiU02z

If someone wrote such things in a novel or short story or as a TV or movie script it would be dismissed and silly, absurd and unbelievable. Unfortunately in the real world sanity is not a requirement nor is common sense nor is whether actions are believable or not.

You know if Dunkirk happened today there would be no “Miracle at Dunkirk” as it has come to be called in history when citizens of Britain helped rescue over 300,000 men from the beaches in Dunkirk, France. Instead of rescuing more men the Coast Guard would have been deployed to prevent civilian boats which had not been “certified and properly trained” by the government to provide passage to military personnel travelling from a foreign country and until proper customs stations had been built and personnel trained to man them had been provided.

Sometimes it seems like government and “relief organizations” are as worse then the natural disasters. At least natural disasters end and eventually go away.

Something to keep in mind for those people who think the government will come to help them in the event of something bad happening.

The Librarian

WORLD WIDE INSANITY?

You have to wonder sometimes if there is a worldwide outbreak of insanity growing and spreading across the world.

In the U.S. and many of the EU countries we see governments rapidly increasing debts to the point of not just absurdity but beyond the point where the very economists overseeing it admit that it is unsustainable, unpayable and that if interest rates rise would require more then the GDP of the country to pay even the interest.

We see multiple countries continuing to encourage massive levels of immigration of people from countries whose cultures are wholly incompatible with those of the countries to which they are immigrating and who refuse to assimilate. There are daily reports of clashes between groups with mutually exclusive value and behavioral systems in these countries. Sociologists and historians both point out repeatedly that such processes never end well and always create clashes and turmoil and often bring down entire countries.

We see within the U.S. growing divides between people who want to maintain the traditional cultural values of the country and those who want to discard them totally and replace them with something entirely different. Even when the latter group sees incontrovertible evidence that what they want to institute is a failure such as in Detroit, Chicago and California they double down and their demands become even more strident and threatening.

There is not really any question as to whether these actions are destructive. There is not really any imaginable scenario in which these actions have a positive outcome. None.

In the cases of both unending debt growth and unending immigration of incompatible cultures there are no lights at the end of the tunnel, no happy ending. Both can only end in disasters for everyone involved and the effects of their endings will affect many people who are innocent and were not involved.

Which brings us back to the original question. Are these people Insane? Do they truly have no conception of the disasters to which their actions will lead? Are they truly that ignorant and incompetent?

Even scarier is the thought that perhaps the people doing these things aren’t as stupid as they appear. If they aren’t then the only other explanation is that they do, indeed, understand what the outcome of their actions will be and that is the outcome towards which they are striving.

If that were true then we are witnessing Evil and an impending human tragedy on a scale the world hasn’t seen in a millennia.

Its one thing when civilizations are destroyed through the indifference of Nature by earthquake, drought, volcanic eruptions, solar flares… there is no one to blame in such instances. It is simply an act of Nature and thus something to which we must adapt or perish. Nature is neither Evil or Good. It simply IS and there is no moral imperative.

It is quite another thing entirely when such collapse and destruction is brought about by the willing, conscious and intentional act of seemingly Rational human beings who choose Evil.

The Librarian

END OF YEAR VIOLENCE AND TURMOIL

I haven’t been adding much to the Library lately since I’ve been more concerned with the growing unrest and tension in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Between:

1. open threats of violence, riots and protests from many groups and individuals on the left if their candidate is not crowned (err.. inaugurated)

2. apparent cyber attacks on election systems in some states

3.the Federal government talking about a last minute Federal takeover of the election system nationwide

4. growing military tension in Asia between the U.S. and China

5. growing tension between Russia and Europe

6 all the rest of the insanity going on in much of the world

I’ve been going over emergency preparations, checking out stores and supplies, cleaning and replacing generator filters and the like.

I don’t anticipate a collapse of the infrastructure as would occur during a solar EMP or an EMP attack or widespread attack on the power grid. I do however see an increasing potential for at least regional disruption of some services, some transportation corridors and some services.

When single issue groups block entire highways preventing emergency vehicles from reaching hospitals and law enforcement is afraid to act out of fear of media censure or political backlash it’s not much of a step to imagine food transport being blocked from deliveries, fuel distribution being stopped or delayed and trains being blocked from delivering supplies to power plants.

With the increasing awareness of the vulnerability of unguarded power substations and how easy it is to take one offline for an extended period of time with a rifle the potential for outages increases.

Many in the media and other liberal individuals or groups are becoming increasingly strident in their condemnation of the People making choices of which they disapprove. On many liberal forums and chat rooms I’m seeing increasingly angry expressions of rage and calls to “do something” if the People are “too stupid, ignorant and bigoted” to make the “correct” choice in November.

It has reached the point where I would not be the least bit surprised to see open violence break out in the streets of many major cities if this election does not turn out as the media and the liberal left expect. The greatest danger of all is that members of the existing government might choose to reject the results of the election. While that is far fetched it says a lot about the current state of politics in the U.S. that it is actually something that does have to be considered as a possibility.

I certainly hope I’m wrong and will be more than happy to end up being wrong but nonetheless I choose to plan for the worst and be prepared.

The Librarian

p.s. On a different note we can now ship the Flash Drive Library to Canada. It’s small and light enough that the postage costs are not exorbitant. The DVD sets are significantly heavier and bulkier and more costly to ship. If you do want either sent to you somewhere outside the U.S. or Canada please let me know and I’ll provide you with the additional shipping cost involved.

p.p.s. BTW I’ve given up trying to distribute the Survivor Library on DVD since the last set I made was pushing 40 full DVDs and making copies of a 40 DVD set is massively time consuming even with a duplicator. At the moment the Library is available on Flash Drive, Blu-Ray and M-Disc Blu-Ray.

 

BEYOND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/What-Will-You-Do-when-the-Lights-Go-Out-The-Inevitable-Failure-of-the-US-Grid.html

And yet another article about the horrid vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid. This one not even dealing specifically with EMPs or Cyber Attacks but simply with the fact that the grid is too large, too vulnerable and the consequences of a failure are almost unimaginable.

I imagine that if it does ever happen the survivors will sit around scratching their heads trying to figure out why, if they knew of the danger, if they knew of the consequences of not acting, if they knew what had to be done to fix the problem…. why didn’t they act especially when in the context of other government spending the cost to fix it is almost chump change?

At some point in the future if such an event ever occurs the people writing the history books will have to come up with a new term that transcends the term Crimes Against Humanity to apply to those government members who knew and did nothing and were ultimately responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of their own countrymen.

It would make Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot seem like wannabe amateurs.

The Librarian

REMINDER OF WHAT’S OUTSIDE THE WALLS

Most of us in the Western World or the Industrialized World think of achieving a “safe” society as a “project”… a task that is undertaken and accomplished through some set of procedures or undertakings.

We often use the term “defeat” to refer to a military or physical threat carried out by inimical actors. We used the term “conquered” to refer to diseases such as cholera or polio. Polio is thought of in the U.S. as an old antiquated disease that affected people back in the last century before WWII but was long ago “eradicated”.

What many people don’t really understand is that threats to civilization whether they be military, ideological or biological are never conquered, eradicated, defeated or dealt with in any kind of final and definitive manner.

They are always just one victory away from toppling the civilized world, eradicating large segments of the world’s population or eliminating what we consider to be freedom from the Earth. The walls that we built around our civilizations and man with dedicated warriors and guards are just as vital today as they were 50 years ago, 100 years ago or 1000 years ago.

A good example is the story from Africa about the reemergence of Polio and the first sentence of the article highlights that erroneous thinking…

“Nigeria thought it finally won against polio…”

The idea that we could ever “finally win” against diseases or hostile ideologies or rogue nations ruled by insane dictators is the problem.

The barbarians are at the gate just as surely today as they were in the days of the Romans and the Greeks and the Sumerians. Don’t ever think that the day has come when we can tear down the walls and haul away the gate. Mother Nature as well as Human Nature is always standing there to remind us otherwise.

The Librarian

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/173496/20160812/nigeria-reports-2-new-polio-cases-first-2014.htm

TOO MUCH MILITARY RELIANCE ON MODERN TECH

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/justinholcomb/2016/08/10/finally-marine-general-admits-complacency-with-modern-technology-is-dangerous-n2203778

Seems the Commandant of the Marines has finally caught on to what most of us have already figured out.

Too much reliance on and complacency about modern technology is not a good thing.

I’ve been a little concerned about that myself watching so many stories about all of the new technological toys that the military is deploying and fewer and fewer references to the most basic war fighting skills that ultimately are what matters.

Since according to legend every Marine is Rifleman first and then whatever other skill they possess after training. But ultimately he is a warrior trained to engage the enemy with the most basic and fundamental of war fighting skills. Lose those and you are no longer a warrior but simply a machine operator. In the battle between machine operators and warriors ultimately the warrior is going to win.

Glad the Commandant figured it out.

The Librarian