11 December, 2006

What are the odds?

I normally rail against "what if" this insanely improbable threat happens in this incredibly unusual way.

I call it the "what if" argument.

When I was in grade school there was a kid that liked to push peoples buttons. He would ask questions like

"What if I threw your math book out the bus window?"
"What if some guy came up and hit you in the face?"
"What if I tore your arm off in hit you with it?"

Clearly he was a bit deranged. It is also pretty transparent that he used it as a means to intimidate and control others.

I pretty regularly run into this kid in the info security world in the form of completely unrealistic risk assessments and audit findings. I am sure that the motive is better hidden from the author of these writings but the goal just might be the same.

Still we should keep in mind that sometimes the wildly improbable happens.

"What if a Thanksgiving parade float almost kills you then a private plane crashes into your house?"

Am I just perpetuating an urban legend here?

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