Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared

Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared

does the floor color make a difference here? really?

I usually do not write here about political stuff, if not in rare occasions but, hey, this is my blog at the end so I can express my feeling and thoughts.

I was watching today some videos related to USA president elected Donald Trump and his approach to the news (he would tweet: Fake news, sad!) and, honestly, I am scared to dead.

I do not like Mr Trump, USA citizens elected him so I have to cope with that, but this does not means I have to like him. I found most of his tweet questionable, his cult of personality disturbing, his approach with media alarming.

This does not means of course that media are always right, but is unthinkable to me that in a open democracy a president can consider communication a one-way affair and anyone who criticize him is “fake news“, “bad person”, “untrusty” or whatever mr Trump consider worth to put in a tweet.

let say the first days of his activity made me more worried than ever.

It was like the silly polemic on the amount of people watching his ceremony live. more than Obama one? Less than Obama one? the point was he could have managed, for my taste, the whole affair differently… claiming false statement was not the best presentation to the world… but the whole Trump administration seems to be  suffering from a severe news detachment, funny form a man that owe so much to the media.

Will mr Trump makes America great again? I am not so sure and, honestly, I haven’t understood what means america being great again, and what will be the price the world will have to pay for his vision. for sure at the moment I saw a clear detachment from actual data (take economic and crime data in USA compared to mr Trump assumptions) and a willingness to not respond to any doubt. He is autoreferential, he is the unquestionable metric for truth, ethics and results.

I saw this in the near past, from president Duterte from philippine, or Zuma in South africa, or turkey president Erdoğan or in a less recent past from Benito Mussolini or Hitler.

What they have in common? Extreme nationalism, cult of personality, hate for free press, being autoreferential.

I am not saying here that Mr. Trump will be like Mussolini, I am saying that there is a common pattern, and when I listen to absurd justifications like the ones presented to justify the false statements related to the crowd presence during mr Trump ceremony I am frankly scared to death.

But Trump, Erdogan, Duterte are a symptom of a bigger problem

We are on the verge of a 4th industrial revolution, but people of the countries all around the world seems to be oriented to close themselves into their borders in an attempt to protect themselves from the inevitable change. Alas changes will eventually come anyway and this is scary. Protectionism and nationalism are the first answer to change. But in the new world that we are shaping what will the consequences be?

If USA citizen will try to close their country (build the wall, remember) is in their right although not sure in their interest. Sure they are a big market, but it is not self sufficient. Without selling their stuffs outside how much USA economy will be affected?  Why a mexican should then buy a USA car instead of an European or Japanese or Chinese or Indian one? or why we should take a USA air flight unless we are forced to? (I actually travel emirates when I can).

But also why we should buy apple or use googleandroid? And the whole new list of technologies that will shape the new economy?  because this is the point, the new industrial revolution will put its root on data sharing… we will move from products to services, and to justify the investment needed we will have to scale at an international level.

Hate calls hate, racism calls racism, violence calls violence, disrespect calls disrespect. I know you don’t see it in your leader at the end you have to support him because it is what you created with your hands (vote) to cover your fears, but you should try to see it in other reactions where this is going …

Like it or not, this new economy will force to change our approach to job, new jobs will comes while other will die. Alas the trend is moving away from manual jobs to more skilled ones, more focused on the new technologies. Not only engineering, a whole bunch of new knowledge workers that will reshape the current middle class.

But we are in the middle of this change, we can’t see the light yet we just see the scary shadows of the tunnel. The good news is that all the industrial revolutions increased the number of workers, but at the same times have been shaped by crisis and, worst scenario, wars. We are experiencing the economic crisis right now (it is not over i am afraid) but we are (as people did in the past) addressing the new with old recipes.

In a Hyperconnected world as we are attempt to leverage censorship are questionable. China, north korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran will be the new references for the once flag of freedom of speech?

This is not just a USA issue, the rise of populism in Europe and in the rest of the world is a sign that this feeling is running through all the population of the biggest democracies (where you do not have democracy, well, you do not have the right to question the government and its rule).

The whole Brexit rhetoric has been based on this kind of assumptions (regain the control of our destiny, of our nation, of our economy so we will be again bigger, better, stronger …)that is not so different from the Front Nationale or Lega nord statements, or the Grillo’s claim of the need of a “strong man”.

What a twisted world it has become? Ironically the champion of capitalism, at the moment, is china with its free trade and free commerce slogans, while we ought to russia the safety for someone who disclosed USA attempt to hack million of USA and worldwide citizens.

Willingly or not the change will come, no matter what. The point is how much we will have to suffer because of this resistance.and remember each time you do not drive the change the change drives you.

hope for the best but prepare for the worst… at the moment I am scared because I see the down of an old era trying to strake the last shots, and they will hurt…

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Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

There is always a lot of talk about managers and leadership, but I sometimes have the feeling there is a little confusion on the subject.

I can agree that a manager needs to have leadership qualities, as some other key soft skills, but leadership, per se, is not enough.

Wait, this means that a great leader can’t be also a great manager?

Exactly, a manager need leadership skills to be good, but this is only one of the several skills he need.

He should be able to understand the job heshe is asked to do, this means to have the correct technical and soft skills.

There is a risk connected with leadership: leadership needs to walk hand in hand with honesty and ethics, otherwise we risk to have leaders without soul.

Think about Charles Manson, or Adolf Hitler or some of the most evil serial killers, were they not also leaders?

Manipulative attitude common to many sociopaths are often seen as leadership skills, so leadership has to be one but not the only skills required to a manager.

Lack of empathy toward others are often a sign also of many successfull “managers” that makes their career on many other bodies, and is quite a common portrait in the financial sector (but not only), where dehumanization is at the basic of the speculation activities (it is business, workforce are just numbers on a spreadsheet).

So are we talking too much about leadership? Probably yes, we should talk about leadership in a context that require other strong soft skills, and mostly we should talk about management.

what do you think?

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Managers and Leaders are not the same thing was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The sunrise of hate and the sunset of reason


Statistics on political violence
Statistics on political violence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a vivid LinkedIn user, I post on LinkedIn and read posts. Is a great way to understand and know the world outside. but lately I have seen a rise of hate comments and speeches that I find disturbing.

Mostly are related to political issues (quite understandable USA election are rising the bar of intolerance and violence between the contenders) but also ethnic and religious ones are present. The most deplorable are the ones related to the never ending war between Israel and Palestine and the reaction to muslin radicalism.

I am not a religious guy, I am agnostic, and I find revolting people using religion to justify their action of hate and violence, both side. I find revolting when people claim a land for “god’s” will, i find revolting when people distort history to justify that “right”, I find revolting when people call for violence against the other, all in the name of god, country, truth or freedom.

No matter if come from ISIS, some “questionable” government, far rights xenophobic parties, Christian, Muslin or Jews  fundamentalism, radical Zionism, or revolutionary communism … nothing good could come from not respecting the counterpart, and respect means to admit that the counterpart has its reason.

you will be hero or terrorist, depending if you will win or loose

Both contenders have their heroes, martyr that are seen as evil bringer of death from the other one. And this justify the chain of reactions. So you can kill because of a strip (charlie hebdo) and be considered an hero because of your god, or you can kill a kid on the sea and be considered a patriot because of another god.

Funny more the positions are radical more the contenders use to present “facts” in their distorted way, and I am almost sure most of them does not even realize that the truth is somewhere else, and they are just covering their need to be in the right spot, and the few ones that try to rise a bit of analysis or moderation are immediately attacked, more than the ones in the opposite side.

“…there are none so deaf as those who do not want to hear, there are none so blind as those who will not see…”

Alas in a world that keep considering the other an “enemy” and so ontologically evil it is hard to find hears and eyes open. at the end if your “truth” comes from god it is indisputable that the other one is wrong, and since the truth is there if they do not get it is because are evil.

So we keep seeing the right (or conservative) named fascist, the leftist communists as the Russian and Chinese (and for some USA people also the Europeans) , the muslin terrorist as most of the the middle eastern people, the Christian crusaders murderers of Muslims and so on. In a never-ending dualism where the other has no reason because the reason is all in one side. Above all there is the absolute ignorance of what most of those terms means: communism, democracy, fascism, free market (I am so sorry for Adam Smith) and so on,  are all used in a distorted way, that not even resemble the original meaning.

History is distorted as well, with the most recent facts but also ancient and consolidated, omitting or denying, no more or less as the revisionists deny the mass murdering done by the Nazis during the second world war. But we are all Bonaparte’s sons: it is not the map in error, is the battlefield that is wrong ….

And this allow us to make the sweetest generalization because if you don’t agree with me you are against me, and so your objections are not real but vicious lies.

We are so deep into this kind of thinking that if you care about environmental problems or climate change you are a communist…the earth is not changing its climate because of mankind…. come on really? Does history teach anything to any of us? Again science is under suspicion? And believing in climate change makes you left or right? And if I believe in the theory of strings what am I?

On the other end, people happily believe in creationism, why they should even go further…they know the truth…

(and yes evolutionism is a theory, as everything else in science, as the dinosaurs extinction because of a meteor and the other 5 big extinctions on hearth … this is what science is about)

Yes we made also science (again) a matter of left and right, good or evil. Even science has been caught in this loop, like if physics of our universe does really care about our silly disputes. Seems that the age of enlightenment has passed away with no trace, and we are turned back to the darkest middle age: age of slaughtering and crusades although, we should remember, of technical innovations. would be funny if, in the meanwhile, people die.

There are voices that try to call to reason; funny enough, the head of the catholic church, pope Francis, who would be supposedly on one side, is continuously asking for a more open approach, even about relationships between religions, may be for this reason has been called “communists”, quite funny i have to say.

But in a world that cherish violence and hate speech against moderation and real talking what could we expect.

I will keep reading post on LinkedIn, sometimes makes comment. And I will keep listening to tv news and politics making fun of reality to present their vision of the world, and I will keep trying to teach my daughter that there is never one reason and one truth, and only keeping an open mind, listening and watching some sparks of the truth could be seen.

Prove me wrong, I will listen.

cheers

Antonio

 

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The sunrise of hate and the sunset of reason was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

Are we using a double standard in IT security?


chinatousaAre we using a double standard in IT security?

In the last years Cyber Security has raised as a major concern in any sector of our lives, from government to business and even at private and personal level. But I am wondering if there is a sort of double standard when we judge facts happening when they are related to cybersecurity.

Let’s make some example:

We all have read concerns rising form the rumoured new rules that china will impose to companies selling IT equipments in some sensitive sector like financial, western expert have raised all so of questions pointing out that this will damage western IT companies and claim this will be a protectionist move. So let us think a little bit about this. The new China rules are not clear right now, there are rumours that it will impose to release source code to the Chinese government and the same will impose back-door to the equipments.
The claimed reason is that it is to protect key assets in China, because government cannot trust vendors. The western answer is that this is pure speculation and a move to rise protectionist barriers against foreign IT competitors.
What is lacking in those analysis is that if those rules will be as rumours claims they will have a negative impacts on Chinese companies too.

In order to be able to sell their equipment abroad Chinese IT companies will have to, literally, duplicate their line products one for China and one for the rest of the world. Different codes will be a mandatory need to be able to sell their equipment outside the country, and they will find a competitive landscape that would be even more hostile than the one we have now, dramatically  rising costs.

At the same time is interesting to note how in some western countries, take USA as an example, the fact to be a Chinese company is enough to be banned from federal tenders just because they “could” contain back-doors used by Chinese government, companies like Huawei and ZTE are facing this sort of fate in USA. No proves or facts have to be presented, the suspect is enough. The Rogers committee voiced fears that the two companies were enabling Chinese state surveillance, although it acknowledged that it had obtained no real evidence that the firms had implanted their routers and other systems with surveillance devices. Nonetheless, it cited the failure of those companies to coöperate and urged US firms to avoid purchasing their products: “Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or Huawei for equipment or services. US network providers and systems developers are strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects. Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”
I wonder why nobody rise the protectionist flag in this case, probably because suspects are credible?
So while upon suspects of working for a government we are allowed to ban a company, in front of solid facts as

  • the NSA activities of espionage (see Edward Snowden revelations and Greenwald articles),
  • back-door implanted by companies upon state requests (think of the RSA BSAFE default crypto algorithm DUAL_EC_DRBG affair or the old FBI magic lantern trojan not detected by Norton and other antivirus)
  • Backdoors implanted modifying HWSW by NSA on major IT vendors intercepting the equipment before they reach the customers (ANT programs) without vendors agreement or knowledge see also:

https://nex.sx/blog/2015-01-27-everything-we-know-of-nsa-and-five-eyes-malware.html

http://blog.thinkst.com/p/if-nsa-has-been-hacking-everything-how.html

 

we consider it normal and trust USA equipment.

Still wondering why Chinese government do not trust western stuffs for key areas?

Another interesting example of dual behavior when talking about cyber-security is the well-known recent Sony pictures Hack. No doubt on the media has been done about the North Korean identity of the attackers, but a few solid facts (actually no one) have been presented to sustain it. On the other side Cyber-security experts have tried to rise some perplexity on this quick attribution. Sony has a long story of failed cyber security protections and successful hacks, I wrote on this since the first PSN network problem, but at those times nobody were pointing so easily to a suspect. So why media have identified this time the bad guys while cyber-security expert sill have concerns? Taia global was probably the first company to rise public concerns about this too quick attribution, followed by other serious sources, companies and researchers. If you read the news now doubts on North Korea attribution is widely accepted but in the public opinion the guilt is clear.

We could continue to show other examples, it’s common to find statistics showing that the major source of cyber attack is China, but forgetting to mentions what is the rate of attack that China face or a minimum explanation of why could there be so many sources to be used. May be if you visit China you would find out that mobile internet is so widely common that would not be a surprise to imagine how easy should be to install botnets here. Just walk on the street, you’ll see an incredible number of people walking and playing with their smart phone (there 4G connection are normal) and then using the computer at home. And where there are home users and bandwidth there  you have botnets.

We should probably change the dual standard mode and start to consider CyberSecurity as a worldwide complex problem that need neutral metric to be correctly evaluated otherwise we will base our decision on prejudices and not facts.

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Are we using a double standard in IT security? was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine