Black Hat Month

I lied, work is insane at the moment and will be until June. With great regrets, blog posts will be almost non existent until then. There goes real life interfering with my online existence. Even with weekends, I can’t really stay abreast of current events to the point of writing something that is better that “Hey, check out this link!”. Stupid pontificating and the time it takes to do it :(

So as a cop-out till I get back, “Hey check out this link!”

Catch Up with DEFCON

Hey Kids, I’m back from catching up with my work load in the wake of Rock Beyond Belief and the recent 4 day holiday. The feeling of a clean inbox is a satisfying one indeed. Regular updates will resume tomorrow but, I wanted to highlight an interesting speech from DEFCON 19. My current obsession is learning about the latest and greatest stuff happening in the computer security world, especially after I recently realized how much my script kiddie skills have degraded over the past year. So I present to you Richard Thieme.

The Worst Company in America

The Consumerist awards the 2012 Golden Poo.

Oh Internet, I love you and your rampant hate speech, terabytes of malware, and your silly little polls.

What company is the worst in America, dear reader? Is it oil companies and their nasty habits of employing PMCs to inflict violence in the third world or their less than stellar environmental record? Is it the banks and financial products markets that pushed consumers towards houses they could not afford and then delivered robo signed foreclosure notices (sometime to people who actually paid their loans)? What about the general government contractors who continue to rip off the taxpayer? [Read more...]

“God” Loved/Hated Rock Beyond Belief

The first Atheist event in a military context ever.

Rain poured from the sky as I ran from a Wallmart to my rental car, my new raincoat in hand in preparation for Rock Beyond Belief.  When I arrived on post, Justin Griffith, Richard Dawkins, and a full bird colonel were engaged in a press conference while volunteers prepared the stage and did all that was humanly possible to keep the electronics from being soaked from the rain.

When the internet heard about the rain, I sadly was not IN B4 GOD HATES ATHEISTS. But, the rain didn’t last, although it did (presumably) impact attendance. RBB ended up kicking off about an hour and a half late yet as soon as the event started, the sky cleared and blissful sunshine rained down upon us.

IN B4 god loves atheists. [Read more...]

The Conversation I Never Thought I Would Have at Rock Beyond Belief

The Conversation I Never Thought I Would Have at Rock Beyond Belief

A friend reveals his thoughts on God.

Yesterday I had an absolute blast at Rock Beyond Belief, I got to hang out with my fellow bloggers Ed and Justin, rocked out to Aiden, and got one of my unit t-shirts signed by many of the performers and speakers at event. It was a beautiful day and a welcome change of scenery from the normal deserts that define my life.

The after-party was also a fun and positive experience; at least it started out that way.

So, no shit, there I was. It was 2 am and the party was still going strong. The weakest of the pack had been culled; an inebriated Ed Brayton was transported to his room via one of those wheeled baggage cart things. I really didn’t know a man could projectile vomit such a large amount of fluid and I think he might still be hung over well into May. But the largest shock of the party was still to come. [Read more...]

God Given Morality

The Moral Argument.

Since I am a nerd, I often listen to debates on Youtube with one ear bud while I continue to grind to level 30 on LoL. In the past week, I have heard the argument that morality can only have originated from God repeated dozens of times. I dislike this argument, more so because I have read a book that indirectly speaks to this issue quite well. So here is something for my fellow members of the godless horde to toss in your debate “kit bag” as we surge ever forth to fulfill Glen Beck’s paranoid prophecy to destroy grandma, America, and apple pie.

So if you want a good case study in how our morals evolved in respect to homicide those morals are expressed in humans before cultural militaristic / violent societal indoctrination, I present On Killing by LTC Dave Grossman.

On killing is the story of how western governments first recognized an apparent instinctual avoidance of inflicting fatal wounds during battle which was expressed by around 80% of Soldiers. The author goes on to discuss how governments have learned to retrain humans to improve their likelihood of killing in combat with an in-depth discussion on how the United States mastery of Pavlovian training has assisted in the military’s dominance on the planet. In the modern American Military, 9 out of 10 Soldiers will shoot center mass if presented with a situation where he or she deems deadly force is required.

A thesis emerges from On Killing, barring Sociopaths (at least 10% of us), human beings will go through elaborate measures to avoid killing; even doing things that increase the likelihood that the person themselves will kill, such as purposely shooting over an enemy’s head or using melee weapons in the least lethal techniques. Interestingly, these methods of avoiding killing blows are employed by the majority of un-trained Soldiers around the world with absolutely no formal instructions on being less lethal, according to Grossman. [Read more...]