July 22, 2006

More Brittle Security -- Agriculture

And we thought Thunderbird's security was slow and brittle -- consider Nick's comments on agriculture:

The crucial role of security for the history of farming may also shed light on the birth of agricultural in the first place. Hunter-gatherers were very knowledgeable about plants and animals, far more than the typical modern. It would not have taken a genius -- and there were many, as their brains were as large as ours -- to figure out that you can plant a seed into the ground and it will grow. There must have been, rather, some severe institutional constraints that prevented agriculture from arising in the first place. The basic problem is that somebody has to protect that seedling for several months from enemies, and then has to harvest it before the enemy (or simply a envious neighbor) does. Security and allocation of property rights between providers of security and providers of farm labor were the intractable problems that took vast amounts of trial and error as well as genius to solve in order for agriculture to take root.

Nick's referring to the arisal of property rights:

There were at least eight centers of secondary innovations (e.g. crop and livestock domestications and agricultural tools) that look independent: the Middle East, China, India, sub-Saharan Africa, Peru, central America, eastern North America, and New Guinea. But they all occured within a few thousand years of each other, after at least 100,000 years of anatomically modern humans.

(My emphasis.) He refers to it as a cultural revolution, perhaps in deference to its title, but what it really is is the arisal of patterns of cooperation, in this case through the particular mechanism of property rights.

I've postulated in the past that property rights needs two essential elements: 1. the claim, a.k.a. the declaration of a title in property, and 2. the defence, a.k.a., the big man with the pointy stick. I'll stick to that hypothesis as the two essential elements of property, although running the experiment seems longer than worthwhile.

(See recent posts on negotiation for another form of cooperation.)

Posted by iang at July 22, 2006 07:46 PM | TrackBack

can you say naked transactions? .... leaving a bunch of valuable stuff laying around fairly unprotected.

in a past life, there was a situation involving legal action over theft of trade secrets ... claiming several billion dollars damage. the judge made some ruling that something worth several billion dollars is an attractive, unresistable target ... and therefor it was necessary to demonstrate that there were protection processes and countermeasures in place that were proportional to the value.

i've commented in the past that this is somewhat akin to the swimming pool as an attractive nuisance, owners of swimming pools can be held liable if tresspasers drawn in their pool unless they can show they've fortified the area (and most people can't resist stealing something worth a couple billion if it is just left laying around).

this is somewhat the security proportional to risk theme

and of course the naked payments/transaction threads
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#5 New ISO standard aims to ensure the security of financial transactions on the Internet
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#7 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#8 Microsoft - will they bungle the security game?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#9 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#10 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#12 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#14 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#21 Use of TPM chip for RNG?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#22 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#25 FraudWatch - Chip&Pin, a new tenner (USD10)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#26 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#27 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#30 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#31 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#32 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#37 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#38 Interesting bit of a quote
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#41 Naked Payments IV - let's all go naked
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#42 Naked Payments II - uncovering alternates, merchants v. issuers, Brits bungle the risk, and just what are MBAs good for?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/aadsm24.htm#43 DDA cards may address the UK Chip&Pin woes

Posted by: Lynn Wheeler at July 23, 2006 09:30 AM

and slightly related to this thread drift:

'House to Vote on Bill to Weaken Current Identity Theft Protections...'

Groups Slam Data Breach Notification Bill

The Financial Data Protection Act of 2005 Introduced; Would Require Tighter Store Level Security

Specter, Leahy Introduce Personal Data Privacy And Security Act Of 2005


Posted by: Lynn Wheeler at July 23, 2006 11:33 AM
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