[ISN] Islands in the Clickstream. The Only Thing We Have to Fear. Sept 11, 2001

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 23:46:43 PDT

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    Well I'm sure there is not a single person on this list that is not
    affected one way or another by todays cowardly act in Washington
    D.C. and at the World Trade Centers in New York, NY.
    I am safe and secure, but not in Chicago, but at a nameless
    U.S.A.F. base some 600 miles from home where I was there to teach a
    class on information security to members of the U.S. Military,
    civilian and defense contractors and DoD personal.
    While I am told that some of the best security professionals in the
    U.S.A.F. and the OSI are watching the area where we are staying, I am
    having one helluva time trying to get some sleep and try to get back
    into the swing of things.
    I've turned off the TV, I'm going to *TRY* to get some sleep, teach a
    class in the morning, & try to give blood on base if that is an option
    for everyone here.
    While the ISN bot has basically gone into overdrive, and I have been
    scanning the mail from the over 30+ mailing lists I am subscribed to
    on various different types of security, the only post that I sending
    out tonight (and maybe for sometime...) is from Richard Thieme.
    Richard as always has hit the nail right on the head, and I am in awe
    of his commentary below...
    William Knowles
    Islands in the Clickstream:
    The Only Thing We Have to Fear
    The world just changed forever. War was declared on the whole world.
    A friend from the National Security Agency told me recently how
    difficult it was to convince audiences lately of the of the real
    threat from asymmetrical warfare. The enemy is doing what it can to
    understand our collective mind, he said, and then will use the weakest
    link in our armor to strike terror into our collective hearts.
    And so they have. With a simple coordinated attack the assumptions of
    the American people were changed forever. We live in America, I have
    been saying, as if it were America and not Israel. In Israel people
    know they are in Israel.  They live accordingly.
    Now we know too.
    War is hell. It calls forth from us the best and the worse in our
    all-too-human natures. And now everyone knows what many have known for
    years, that we are at war.
    Which means understanding who the enemy is and what it means to fight
    this war.
    The first war is against fear and terror, as Franklin Roosevelt said.
    Nameless, unreasoning fear that distorts our thinking and feeling and
    changes the way we live our lives. Fear in the face of real threats is
    appropriate. Our collective task will be to distinguish real from
    illusory threats, real from imagined enemies, and stay as
    clear-thinking and focused as we can as we identify what is important
    in our lives and makes efforts to secure and defend what matters most.
    So what, in moments like these, do we know?
    We know that the first people we thought of are the most important
    people in our lives. The people we wanted to be with or who we feared
    were dead or injured or vulnerable to attack, those are the people
    that matter most.
    Then that bond must expand and include all on whom we rely, all on
    whom we depend, all on whom we will call in the days and weeks and
    months ahead as comrades, friends, and allies. This is a moment that
    will ask everything of us as we struggle to attack and defend
    ourselves from real enemies and define our circles of loyalty and
    kinship with precision and care.
    The enemy is fear, terror, and falsehood. Our allies are courage,
    strength in the face of adversity, resilience and flexibility and our
    capacity to respond to whatever life brings with genuine heroism.
    These are the marks of the freedom that lives in our souls.
    Freedom is our capacity to live life as it is fired at us point blank
    from the barrel of a gun and never surrender that which makes us human
    and that which makes us free.
    The world has changed, now, forever, and the boundaries that we draw
    around ourselves, who is in and who is out, will change forever too.
    We will discover who we really are in the weeks ahead.
    But I know from fifty-seven years on this fragile planet who we are in
    our best moments and I pray that we have the courage to be who we are.
    I think of how I responded to someone who was worried that when I left
    the ministry, it meant that I had lost my faith in the existence of
    Do you believe, she asked, in God?
    Yes, I said, in my heart I know that God exists. But, I added.
    Thinking of the horror. Thinking of the oppression in people's lives.
    Thinking of the bloodshed.
    That doesn't mean things aren't as bad as they look.
    Our challenge now is to know both are true. Things are every bit as
    bad as they look and people do evil things and rejoice in the
    bloodshed. And in my heart I know that God exists and is manifest in
    freedom, freedom from fear and terror, the freedom to respond to
    whatever life brings with dignity, elasticity, and heroism.
    The only thing we have to fear now is fear, the primary weapon of our
    enemies.  Because I know who we are, I know that we have what it takes
    to do what is necessary now, how we must structure our world and our
    lives, and how we must rededicate ourselves to the creation of a
    global society in which freedom and not fear and terror are the
    hallmarks of our humanity.
    Islands in the Clickstream is an intermittent column written by
    Richard Thieme exploring social and cultural dimensions 
    of computer technology and the ultimate concerns of our lives.
    Comments are welcome.
    Richard Thieme is a professional speaker, consultant, and writer
    focused on the impact of computer technology on individuals and
    organizations - the human dimensions of technology and work - and 
    "life on the edge."
    Feel free to pass along columns for personal use, retaining this
    signature file. If interested in publishing columns online or in print 
    or employing Richard as a professional speaker, retreat leader 
    or consultant, email for details.  
    To subscribe to Islands in the Clickstream, send email to
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    Islands in the Clickstream (c) Richard Thieme, 2001. All rights reserved.
    ThiemeWorks on the Web:  http://www.thiemeworks.com and 
    ThiemeWorks  P. O. Box 170737  Milwaukee WI 53217-8061  414.351.2321
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