Thursday, October 23, 2014

We Were All Born Ignorant

from here

At first blush this doesn't seem to relate specifically to security, however the phrase "you can't fix stupid" (and it's variants like "you can't patch stupid" and "you can't cure stupid") is something that gets repeated ad nauseum within the security community. Guess what? It's a meme, and unfortunately it happens to be an exo-toxic meme - which is to say it's toxic to others. It causes harm by fostering a culture of withholding knowledge that would enable people to help themselves and instead keeping that knowledge confined within an elite intelligentsia who then help those who need it as they see fit. It's egotistically self-serving and, because the growth of that upper class is slower than that of the general population, it is ultimately unsustainable.

So, I figure we need an immuno-meme to counter it, and I think reminding people that
We were all born ignorant
could just fit the bill. It's short, it's self-evident, it restores empathy with the people who don't know what it is you know, and it suggests that ignorance is something that can change. Just because someone hasn't learned something yet that doesn't mean they can't. We all have different experiences and are exposed to different things and someone's lack of knowledge is just as likely a result of a differing set of chance encounters than the ones that made you what you are today.

So what do you think? Are you willing the challenge the "conventional wisdom" that you can't fix stupid?