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(IT World)   The Secretary of Homeland Security doesn't email, text or tweet; she's also not too keen on digital watches or push button phones   (itworld.com) divider line 53
    More: Ironic, watch, office pools, Homeland Securities  
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3019 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Mar 2013 at 9:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-28 08:40:42 AM  
So, why does this matter? As long as she has an understanding of the technology and how it applies to homeland security she is fine. People got shiat done before email, text and tweets.
 
2013-03-28 08:44:51 AM  
Sure frees up time that would otherwise be spent trying to cover up an electronic paper trail.
 
2013-03-28 08:59:56 AM  
How can you work in government and not use email?  I swear that 99% of what I do is via email.
 
2013-03-28 09:15:57 AM  
Digital watches? I still think they're a pretty neat idea.
 
2013-03-28 09:16:49 AM  
Who cares? She's just a secretary...
 
2013-03-28 09:20:19 AM  
Well, to be fair the whole administration isn't channeling the Amish like she is.

Biden is constantly giggling when they give him his Speak 'N Spell on those long trips.

And the secret service set up many of their prostitutes through Craigslist.
 
2013-03-28 09:24:07 AM  

ongbok: People got shiat done before email, text and tweets.


So? People "got shiat done" before the assembly line too. They "got shiat done" before telephones as well. And electricity.

Doesn't mean smart people eschew those things if they want to be competitive with peers who use them.

cdn.theatlantic.com

Nice little pop there starting at the end of the 90s.... wonder what that might correlate well with.... hmmm.....

And, furthermore, I think it's perfectly sensible to question a person's capacity for understanding applied technology when they don't use it. Maybe that doesn't really matter and she's just an organizer who leaves all the key decisions up to her lackeys who know better, but it's a question worth asking.
 
2013-03-28 09:30:35 AM  

skozlaw: I think it's perfectly sensible to question a person's capacity for understanding applied technology when they don't use it.


I don't necessarily think so.  I'm a perfect example:  I don't own a cell phone.  I wear an analog watch.  I do e-mail and of course post on Fark, but I don't text or tweet.  I still use a slide rule for many calculations, and I even use a manual typewriter when I want to be especially snarky:

i47.tinypic.com

I write software for a living.  I've got a pretty solid understanding of how Twitter and texting work, both from the technology side and from the social side. I just chose not to use them.
 
2013-03-28 09:32:12 AM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Sure frees up time that would otherwise be spent trying to cover up an electronic paper trail.


And that alone may be the smartest reason not to use something like that, especially if you are a high level government employee.
 
2013-03-28 09:37:17 AM  

dittybopper: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Sure frees up time that would otherwise be spent trying to cover up an electronic paper trail.

And that alone may be the smartest reason not to use something like that, especially if you are a high level government employee.


I'd think its also a warning to the rest of us about how insecure our communications have become.
 
2013-03-28 09:40:12 AM  

CPT Ethanolic: How can you work in government and not use email?  I swear that 99% of what I do is via email.


Probably has her office admin print/type email for her.  Several high level gov't officials used to do that all the time and some probably still do.  I  wish I were joking.

ongbok: So, why does this matter? As long as she has an understanding of the technology and how it applies to homeland security she is fine. People got shiat done before email, text and tweets.


That assumes she understands the technology.  As DHS is tasked with protecting the US Federal IT infrastructure, she is being asked to make decisions in areas she has (consciously) chosen not to use (not just too busy to learn, but opting-out).  It only matters if she decides that her worldview should be extended to the entire government (i.e. Internet Infrastructure isn't important - she doesn't use it, so why bother?).

/she has also expressed interest in running for Pres.
 
Juc
2013-03-28 09:41:20 AM  
It's just probably because she doesn't like having people eavesdrop on her conversations.
 
2013-03-28 09:42:36 AM  
She doesn't use email, so I guess her assistant/secretary has to compile communications for her.  Because it is simply not possible that she isn't finding things out that were released in emails.  So, in that case, WTF is the difference?
 
2013-03-28 09:45:33 AM  
Holy crap, she's not a useless farktard who wills up her day with narcissistic postings on social media sites? What's she doing with a government job?
 
2013-03-28 09:50:23 AM  
skozlaw:
Maybe that doesn't really matter and she's just an organizer who leaves all the key decisions up to her lackeys who know better, but it's a question worth asking.


To me this is a perfectly sensible trait for a CEO or even POTUS.  But SHE is in meetings where her lackeys won't be and she'll need to be able to accurately answer questions and relay issues without her lackeys and unless they all jump on a conference call she's obviously not shooting off a quick email to them.

If you're the ultimate decision maker it's good to have people right under you who know their shiat.  If you have to give information to the decision maker and you don't know your shiat.......that can be a problem.
 
2013-03-28 10:04:23 AM  

CPT Ethanolic: How can you work in government and not use email?  I swear that 99% of what I do is via email.


I think work is the operative word here.
 
2013-03-28 10:16:15 AM  

CPT Ethanolic: How can you work in government and not use email?  I swear that 99% of what I do is via email.


If you are a in the cabinet of the most powerful nation on Earth, you are provided with a devise called a secretary.  Not a secretary made out of transistors and diodes, but one made out of meat and covered with cloth.  (Actually multiple secretaries....)
 
2013-03-28 10:17:45 AM  
Old people run our government and make decisions about how technology is used.

How is this a good idea?
 
2013-03-28 10:21:53 AM  
If you said things you didn't want people to know, you wouldn't use electronic communication either.
 
2013-03-28 10:29:10 AM  
She's a crazy mix up of flavors.
 
2013-03-28 10:31:12 AM  

Sybarite: Digital watches? I still think they're a pretty neat idea.


You're probably also just a miserable primative, moving around green pieces of paper to try and stay happy.
 
2013-03-28 10:31:58 AM  

dittybopper: I write software for a living.


That makes you a completely invalid comparison to the extreme. We're questioning her chops in being able to make informed technology security decisions because she doesn't even seem to have a passing acquaintance with the userland systems she's overseeing. You, on the other hand, have experience in the guts. You may not be specifically familiar with how Twitter works from the user's perspective on a day to day basis and that would lead you to use it less than ideally, but you understand the core bits that make it work. She, however, would appear to not only have no idea how to use it, she also (presumably) doesn't understand what makes it work under the hood.

For example, I'm a systems admin. I don't really have any idea how to use Microsoft Office, but my experience with all the other "guts" tech I work with gives me a leg up on making decisions about it on anybody who has never even touched a Windows machine before. There are people that would be better at explaining it or making deployment decisions about it than me, obviously, but in their absence, my experience with the key components under the hood still give me an advantage even though I don't actually use it.

Having that guts experience is key. She lacks both the basic userland experience AND guts experience. I question, then, how she could form a useful opinion about any of it.

Maybe she does have an understanding of it solely by theory, but I find that to be particularly unlikely. Very few, if any, human brains seem to work like that.
 
2013-03-28 10:38:44 AM  
But the password on her laptop is Bunker43. She has it on a sticky note on the laptop.
 
2013-03-28 10:40:28 AM  
I don't get people who are arbitrarily against technology.  I agree that email makes it too easy just add randoms onto existing threads and blow up inboxes, but that doesn't make it a useless tool.

My dad is one of those people who refuses to learn anything about texting because 'it makes people lazy and they stop communicating meaningfully.'  Anyways, I ran the Chicago marathon last year and was trying to find him after the race.  I couldnt get through on my phone because there were ~100k people in Grant Park all trying to call each other.  A text message just to let me know where he was would've sufficed, but instead I had to spend 25 minutes trying to call him (after running 26 miles) to finally get through.

My BIL always makes fun of me because I use twitter and he doesn't like how companies build a profile about you and draw insights about you.  When I point out that his cable box is capable of the exact same thing and within 5 years they'll be ultra-segmenting their customers to serve highly targeted ads -- *shrug*
 
2013-03-28 10:43:05 AM  
IDK, sounds pretty secure to me.

skozlaw: Having that guts experience is key. She lacks both the basic userland experience AND guts experience. I question, then, how she could form a useful opinion about any of it.

Maybe she does have an understanding of it solely by theory, but I find that to be particularly unlikely. Very few, if any, human brains seem to work like that.


TFA says that she used to use email but then gave it up as too time-wastey.

On the other hand, TFA's author seems to be concerned that apparently Twitter is a probable attack vector for state espionage.
 
2013-03-28 10:46:59 AM  
If she doesn't do email, she is likely pretty damn computer illiterate.  Reminds me of this Fark blast from the past:

http://www.fark.com/comments/3664359/McCain-admits-he-doesnt-know-ho w- to-use-a-computer-promises-to-throw-bones-at-giant-black-obelisk-until -economy-recovers

People like this who are not famous end up being the people we hear complaing that nobody hires anyone who is over 50.  Bullshiat.  Nobody wants to hire anyone who is out of touch, gramps.  There are plenty of highly employable old folks out there.  They are the ones who were smart enough to realize pushing a button on a machine might not carry them through their entire career.  But when you are like McCain or Jan Napoleone and spend your entire life working for the government you CAN be employed your whole life with your 1972 skill set.
 
2013-03-28 10:57:36 AM  
so she's doing the job of a tenth of a person?  sounds like government work to me.
 
2013-03-28 10:58:56 AM  
Bah. Does she also travel to work in a horse and buggy?
 
2013-03-28 11:02:56 AM  
It would be ironic if she owned airline stocks.
 
2013-03-28 11:35:31 AM  
This is the same person that is buying up all the bullets in the US - enough for 20 Iraq wars.  No, I'm not concerned.
 http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-round s-o f-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/
 
2013-03-28 11:39:09 AM  
The fact that she doesn't use twitter is a huge plus in my book. Skipping the other items, not so much.

Twitter is farking stupid.
 
2013-03-28 11:41:36 AM  
Email is a waste of time? Let's compare shall we. Note all the "header" and "footer" garbage that needs to be included with the simplest of phone calls.

Telephone Call, elapsed time 5-10 minutes:
Hi Bob, this is John. How are you doing this morning?
...blah blah blah
...Nicks game the other night
...blah blah blah
...Anyway the reason I called is the we're running out of TPS cover sheets..
...Oh yeah I forgot to order them because...
...blah blah blah...
...blah blah blah...
...Great, well I'll talk to you later, say hi to the wife and kids for me.

Email, elapsed time 5-10 seconds:
Bob, Please order some more TPS cover sheets.
--John

God I hate the telephone.
 
2013-03-28 12:07:47 PM  

DoBeDoBeDo: skozlaw:
Maybe that doesn't really matter and she's just an organizer who leaves all the key decisions up to her lackeys who know better, but it's a question worth asking.


To me this is a perfectly sensible trait for a CEO or even POTUS.  But SHE is in meetings where her lackeys won't be and she'll need to be able to accurately answer questions and relay issues without her lackeys and unless they all jump on a conference call she's obviously not shooting off a quick email to them.

If you're the ultimate decision maker it's good to have people right under you who know their shiat.  If you have to give information to the decision maker and you don't know your shiat.......that can be a problem.


And I'd argue that she probably doesn't have good people underneath her...
 
2013-03-28 12:11:55 PM  
I hate the phone too.  I can type faster than I can talk, and read faster than anyone can type.   How is the phone 'more efficient'?

It's only more efficient if you:

a) can't type
and/or
b) can't read and comprehend quickly.
 
2013-03-28 12:23:45 PM  

ongbok: So, why does this matter? As long as she has an understanding of the technology and how it applies to homeland security she is fine. People got shiat done before email, text and tweets.


I think it matters that we even have a farking DHS in the first place.
It is a farking shame.that we even have one.
there is no need to have one.
It's a waste of money and time and involves a significant loss of civil liberties.

Put me on a list, but FARK the DHS, TSA and Patriot act!

And Fark the secretary of ignorance, too.
 
2013-03-28 12:46:48 PM  

Rhypskallion: I hate the phone too.  I can type faster than I can talk, and read faster than anyone can type.   How is the phone 'more efficient'?

It's only more efficient if you:

a) can't type
and/or
b) can't read and comprehend quickly.


The phone is better than texting when driving a stick shift while packing a one hitter and drinking a beer.
 
2013-03-28 01:32:42 PM  
Didn't hurt Paterno...
 
2013-03-28 01:42:08 PM  

redmid17: DoBeDoBeDo: skozlaw:
Maybe that doesn't really matter and she's just an organizer who leaves all the key decisions up to her lackeys who know better, but it's a question worth asking.


To me this is a perfectly sensible trait for a CEO or even POTUS.  But SHE is in meetings where her lackeys won't be and she'll need to be able to accurately answer questions and relay issues without her lackeys and unless they all jump on a conference call she's obviously not shooting off a quick email to them.

If you're the ultimate decision maker it's good to have people right under you who know their shiat.  If you have to give information to the decision maker and you don't know your shiat.......that can be a problem.

And I'd argue that she probably doesn't have good people underneath her...


Indeed, that is a separate argument though.   But no the DHS is sorely lacking in the information security field.   Mostly because they keep saying "Cyber".
 
2013-03-28 02:48:35 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Sure frees up time that would otherwise be spent trying to cover up an electronic paper trail.


I do not trust people who do not use e-mail. I had a boss who refused to use e-mail and the above reason is exactly why he refused to do it. If a government official refuses to put something in writing you can be 100% sure something nasty is going on. It was in his case. If a person doesn't want to e-mail in their personal life, that is OK; to each his own. But on the job...no way.

/Former Gov. Pete Wilson used to require everything sent to him be addressed to "file" so that he could claim he never saw it.
 
2013-03-28 03:03:41 PM  
My company used to be 500 people large. Due to the clusterfark of a hierarchy we had, people would often send company-wide emails multiple times a day because it was too much trouble to figure out who exactly the email should go to. As a result, 90% of my emails were completely superfluous and meaningless to me. It had the effect of me beginning to just ignore all emails after a while.

My company expanded to over 2000 people over a few years and it only got worse. I only read emails from people who I personally know now. Unfortunately I'm finding that I'm missing more and more important things by ignoring these emails, but it's still better than spending 1/3rd to 1/2 of my day sorting emails.

Keep in mind this is a 2000 person org. I cannot imagine how bad it is in the clusterfark that is DHS.

I do not blame her. Email makes it too easy to communicate, and people abuse it.
 
2013-03-28 03:07:40 PM  
I hated getting calls from my old boss he would repeat the same thing over and over and still not get to the point. While his emails were still filled with stupid I could at least figure out what he wanted in less time.
 
2013-03-28 03:10:41 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Sure frees up time that would otherwise be spent trying to cover up an electronic paper trail.


this. i assume you should go off the grid in that position.

perhaps we should have a series of shadowy characters codenamed 'l'
 
2013-03-28 03:25:11 PM  
MithrandirBooga:
I do not blame her. Email makes it too easy to communicate, and people abuse it.

I notice that at no point do you refer to your company as an 'organization'.  With proper management and planning, calling internal spam "internal spam", making it a 'no-no'  and locking down the all company email lists to a select list of HR senders, this can be fixed.

If DHS has this problem, it should be fixed.
 
2013-03-28 04:08:28 PM  
I for one have understanding of digital watches
 
2013-03-28 06:40:54 PM  

skozlaw: Doesn't mean smart people eschew those things if they want to be competitive with peers who use them.



Are you aware of how stupid this sounds? Who is she competing with? The answer is: we don't know, they are her enemies, and enemies in a way that simple capiltalism can't really describe. And this competition you speak of is for whose benefit? A potential employer? An investor? The only good use of e-mail the SDHS would be for civilian oversight, but those days are long gone.
 
2013-03-28 07:14:30 PM  
I for one am glad that the head of the most intrusive government agency is afforded the luxury to live in a pre-1990's bubble of her own creation. I highly doubt it speaks to her mindset of wasting subordinates time with endless conference calls and one on one calls. It must be fantastic working in an environment where the bottleneck is at the top... but only a millimeter wide.

If the people who work for you get to read my emails then you should have to read your own.
 
2013-03-28 07:16:14 PM  

Bennie Crabtree: Are you aware of how stupid this sounds?


No. Probably because it doesn't.

And the rest of your post makes no sense and makes me think you're drunk. Or high. Or drunk and high.
 
2013-03-28 09:28:38 PM  

MithrandirBooga: My company used to be 500 people large. Due to the clusterfark of a hierarchy we had, people would often send company-wide emails multiple times a day because it was too much trouble to figure out who exactly the email should go to. As a result, 90% of my emails were completely superfluous and meaningless to me. It had the effect of me beginning to just ignore all emails after a while.

My company expanded to over 2000 people over a few years and it only got worse. I only read emails from people who I personally know now. Unfortunately I'm finding that I'm missing more and more important things by ignoring these emails, but it's still better than spending 1/3rd to 1/2 of my day sorting emails.

Keep in mind this is a 2000 person org. I cannot imagine how bad it is in the clusterfark that is DHS.

I do not blame her. Email makes it too easy to communicate, and people abuse it.


My first IT gig was at DEC while it was being absorbed by Compaq in the late 90s. I noticed the same thing and it used to irk me.

The little email notifier was going off all the time while important emails were lost in the shuffle.

/dull story, bro
 
2013-03-28 09:29:49 PM  

Bennie Crabtree: skozlaw: Doesn't mean smart people eschew those things if they want to be competitive with peers who use them.


Are you aware of how stupid this sounds? Who is she competing with? The answer is: we don't know, they are her enemies, and enemies in a way that simple capiltalism can't really describe. And this competition you speak of is for whose benefit? A potential employer? An investor? The only good use of e-mail the SDHS would be for civilian oversight, but those days are long gone.


Gov't agency, oversight...LOL
 
2013-03-28 10:22:03 PM  
Let me help everyone with this:

Over the Phone::

The Secretary: John, seems like we have to implement BLUE

John: But Madam Secretary, BLUE is risky. It could cause the deaths of-

The Secretary: Just do it!

** BLUE of course goes completely cluster fark and dozens die in fiery and sparklie ways **

Congressman: Madam Secretary, did you order BLUE to execute?

Madam Secretary: I don't recall.

Congressman:John, did Madam Secretary order BLUE?

John: Yes.

Congressman:John, do you have proof?

John: Ummm No, but I did talk to her-

Madam Secretary: Congressman, I DO have this email where John is giving the order for BLUE.  In it he says I ordered it? But I have NO idea what he's talking about. Something this big should have a papertrail...unless John was going rogue.

Congressman:  Hmmm...You know, John does look a bit... radical
 
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