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Date: Fri Aug 16 2002 - 17:45:29 CDT
On Fri, 16 Aug 2002, David Benfell wrote:
> Speaking only for myself, I don't call them kids on account of my
> ability (or lack thereof) to evaluate their competence.
It's a good thing, otherwise they might be asking you to prove yourself.
That'd be a real Bad Thing eh?
> I call them children because they're behaving that way, throwing temper
> tantrums, posting porn, and generally displaying the mentality of
> 12-year olds.
Some of their actions are immature, this we can agree on. One minor point
though, conformist, normalite whitehats often view others actions as a
tantrum when in fact they are simply passionate about something. You see,
that's what separates a person like me from a person like Ron. Passion is
what keeps you from getting stale and stupid as you grow older. I can
honestly say I'm sharper now than anytime in my life; ever. I attribute
that to passion for what I believe in. The dogma of conformity often tells
people that to remain passionate in your old age is foolish, and many
social problems bear this out. Perhaps in some cases you may see a
passionate person as childish because they choose not to express
themselves like you do. However, to label their actions as a tantrum may
reflect some narrow-mindedness on your part.
> I call them children because they think they're being clever hiding
> behind anonymizing e-mail accounts while invoking images of massive
> forces of darkness advancing on civilization, presumably to the tune of
> Heavy Metal (or whatever the modern equivalent is).
You kind of derailed here. First you exaggerate using a straw-man tactic
(the "massive forces of darkness advancing.. blah blah") then you
sarcastically trivialize heavy metal. I'm not much into "heavy" metal
myself, but I'd say I'm a metal-head for sure. I'm wondering now if to you
are the type of guy who stares at me with gaping jaw when I go shop for
groceries because I have long hair and a metal shirt on. I have a little
voice in my head whispering "conformist". I guess it's something about my
experience with people who show a prejudice against metal-heads and freaks
in general. They are scum in my mind. Don't believe me? Tell it to the
parents of Brian Deneke or to Kori Pienovi.
> It doesn't take any technical competence whatsoever to do these things.
> It certainly doesn't require any of the study that
> auto461723hushmail.com asks if we have done.
Nope, and I don't believe that you and he are even on the same page. The
way I read it, it was a rebuke for whitehats. His arguments are
aggressive, no doubt, but they do well to confute the whitehat propaganda
which is definitely a bigger problem to me personally.
> Okay, I haven't studied all that material and I don't foresee doing so.
I'll bet. Why doesn't that surprise me?
> But citing it is not the same as studying it or being able to discuss it
You know I doubt that many folks could discuss every item he brought up,
intelligently. However, he did say that the el8 folks as a _group_ could
do so, and that's a critical difference. I've worked for many a large high
tech corporation, and I can tell you that usually the whole worksite put
together couldn't have an intelligent conversation about 20% of those
topics. I think I could cover about 75% of them, and especially on the
programming end of things where he seemed to focus. That is apt, because
after all when we speak of vulnerability research, we are inherently
talking about programmers.
> And I would not imply that I could by asserting that others have not.
That's because you can't. You've already mentioned that, so let's move on.
> Instead, as my black list grows,
At least that's good news.
> now all I see is pseudo-intellectual attempts to rationalize the
> "phrack" position.
You have demonstrated that you don't even understand their position, or
the technology being discussed (or it's ramifications) and thus I doubt
that you have the ability to distinguish a pseudo-intellectual argument
from an anvil.
> So the massive forces of darkness advancing on civilization imagine
> themselves blessed by righteousness.
More incoherent attempts at trivializing what you don't agree with? Nice
try but you come off pretty diaphanous.
> The first twenty years of a person's life might, if productively used,
> be spent learning to think.
I'd say programming and understanding the complex technologies at work on
The Net are pretty intensive exercises in thinking. If you are talking
about common sense or maturity, that's a different matter.
> It is evident to me that the "phrack" children have not yet completed
> this process.
Again, since you don't know them all, your arguments and attacks seem
pretty weak. To be clear, I don't support spamming the list with porn, but
as I've mentioned, I figured out how to run a mail filter a long time ago,
so I don't let such things annoy me.
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.