Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime economist, trader, artist, expat, poet, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: August 6)

A collection of things that I was glad I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they’re interesting, not because I think they’re correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | PredictIt seems to be closing?


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | How many times are we going to make this kind of mistake? — I am old enough to remember the claims that we had a strategic national stockpile of poxvirus vaccines large enough to vaccinate every American. Now: "The shortage of vaccines to combat a fast-growing monkeypox outbreak was caused in part because the Department of Health and Human Services failed early on to ask that bulk stocks of the vaccine it already owned be bottled for distribution, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the matter."

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Crypto at Davos, or Harvard Profs vs. David Cameron

This semester, I'm a Teaching Fellow for CS 161, Operating Systems, taught by the legendary Margo Seltzer, former president of USENIX, advisor to Harvard WiCS, and mother of two.

She's quoted in an article by the Financial Times[1] alongside two other Harvard professors speaking at Davos[?], criticizing David Cameron's post-Charlie proposals to criminalize strong encryption:

If bad guys who are breaking laws cannot use encryption, they will find another way. It is an arms race and if governments say you cannot do this, that means the good guys can't and the bad guys can. End to end encryption is the way to go. (...)

Jonathan Zittrain weighs in:

This is not just about hardware but software. You would have to find a way for a phone not to be able to download any app that could defeat [the breaking of] encryption... That would be a referendum on our entire ecosystem. (...)

Making Zittrain's comment a little more concrete, messaging app WhatsApp would run afoul of Cameron's proposed securities policies, as

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