Reading List for this Week

ICANN and DNS Security

The most fascinating thing I read this week had to do with learning about the seven people who are literally tasked to hold the keys to the Domain Name System and its security.  From a building in El Segundo, California an elaborate process or ceremony takes place every three months by which the Domain Name System is kept secure.  I have to admit I wasn’t really aware of the exact process involved in securing the Domain Name System so the article was very enlightening from that perspective.  Also, the Guardian article had a really good accompanying video showing the security measures and security theatre involved in keeping the Domain Name System secure. It was really eye opening.  It’s definitely something I suggest anyone at all interested in how the Internet and the Domain Name System is run at the highest level should definitely read and watch.

Do 10,000 hours of practice make you an expert?

I found the BBC story of Dan McLaughlin who is putting the concept or theory of whether 10,000 hours of practice is enough to make one an expert in a field to the test interesting.  The article details how he is pursuing becoming  a professional golfer and testing the theory proposed in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success.  Obviously the subject of whether one can become an expert simply by practicing 10,000 hours is a very contentious issue and up for a lot debate. Having read Outliers I understand that the 10,000 hours of practice probably is a bare minimum and that the nature and quality of the 10,000 hours practiced is what matters most. Obviously, the old adage practices makes perfect is a truism but I also think that you also have to have some innate or inherent ability otherwise one will probably not have the drive to continue practicing and overcome obstacles when the learning becomes much more difficult.  I’ll never be an olympic sprinter no matter how much time and effort I choose to invest in it because I am just not gifted enough physically to be a sprinter and overcome the physical obstacles necessary to succeed.  Therefore, I think becoming an expert also has somewhat to do with your genes and who you are and it goes beyond just practicing the requisite 10,000 hours.    Consequently, I think simplifying what makes an expert to 10,000 hours of practice is unjust.  There are other environmental factors at work and play.  What do you think?

That’s all I have to say for today. The rest of the links are below.  I really enjoyed hearing John Conway on his game of life. If you are at all curious about John Conway and the game of life the videos I link to below are a good introduction and well worth watching.

Math
Security
Emacs
From Numberphile – John Conway on his Game of Life

Rob Pike – ‘Concurrency Is Not Parallelism’