Everything is Broken: On Software, Security, and All the Flaws Therein

Everything is Broken
is a fascinating (and quite terrifying) look at computers, software, and security by Quinn Norton. I’ve been following Norton’s work ever since I came across her essay How to Be Polite… For Geeks (she’s pretty great, and you should follow her too).

Being someone who works with technology and security on a daily basis, Norton has a lot of insight into how things are structured behind the scenes. And from what she reports, it’s not a pretty sight.

[…] looking for good software to count on has been a losing battle. Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. What we get is mostly terrible.

There are tons of quotable bits here, and I’m trying not to copy/paste half the article here in this post. You should go and read it yourself. Even if you’re not someone overly technical, I think the essay is very accessible (and there are tons of additional links to more info, if you’re on the geekier side).

And now, I’m thinking once more about Stuxnet, and how effing crazy that was. Is. Will continue to be.

Empathy, Theory of Mind, and the Loneliness of Umwelt
Writing the Right Stuff: NASA’s Elite Coders
Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus
Politics and the Stuxnet Worm: A Declaration of Cyber-War

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