Friday, September 19, 2008

Hacking Sarah

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
For there are many here among us
Who think that life is but a joke
'All Along The Watchtower - Bob Dylan'

A message I received following the hacking of Sarah Palin's email:

What worries me though, is always the possibility that something underhanded could also be taking place, and everyone is rushing to get their stories straight, and cover things up, and that it will be two years from now, just like with Watergate, before we find out who lies at the end of the money trail.

Trust but verify.

This release has all the signs of an amateur and a kid. So I believe the story out of Tennessee.

Think about this: Obama's camp is a coalition of forces that hate each other only slightly less than they hate the Republicans. That's been the Democratic Party for years, but this time Obama's message has stirred up a hornet's nest of accusations of racism sexism, ageism and the other isms. On top of that, the millenials are out for themselves and Obama is the golden path.

That is a LOT of rage, anger, whoopee and hurrah. This cranks up the mammal brain. It's called endorphin addiction. It results in oxytocin going to the brain, the so-called 'pleasure' hormone. The rage is making them feel good. It affects all of us and if you stir up enough of it, you can drive an election like cattle to the slaughter house. This was the trick of George Wallace, Huey Long and yes, George W. Bush. All you have to do then is play multiplication by division, such as playing the evangelicals against the hispanics, thus the double message out of the Obama camp last week.

Along the way, this activity causes the fringes to become active. People feel empowered and they take rash actions because they are trapped in that endorphin/oxytocin cycle. So kids toss rocks at cops and the technically trained hack web sites. It's not different from what we did in the 60s.

Don't attribute to malice that which may be simple stupidity, the sign says.

There is one thing to watch out for. Endorphin-addiction is just like any other. Once the rage is removed, the body is still hungry for it and tries to get the same high, so it will transfer the addiction to another substance or cause. When done to large groups of people, post event, they start to mill around like cattle looking for fresh grass and a watering hole. That makes them easily led.

Note that the feminist movement followed hard on the heels of the anti-war movement that followed hard on the heels of the civil rights movement. Once these things are spun up, it's hard to stop them and easy to direct them. Thus in the early 70s, we saw those posters that said "Beware leaders regardless of their calling cause."

Dampen the paranoia. My guess is this was just a kid with connections and some simple social hacking chops. It's a lesson to any of you using Yahoo and Google Gmail. It isn't secure and it is harvested for fun and profit.

That's the Web. Let the buyer beware.

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