Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Definitions of attack and defense

I caught the following chart from Digg:

I was bothered by the fact that there was no distinction between whether Country A was the attacker or the defender. So I worked up my version of the chart:

A few items became clear. First, what is the invading army's response to a guerrilla? I believe that once a civilian becomes involved in a military action (attack), they loose the protection of being a civilian and become no different from the defending army. Terrorism in this circumstance is a civilian militant attacking a civilian from the invading nation. But, this attack opens the terrorist to retaliation just as if they were part of a formal military.

It seems that the definition of a crime is one native civilian attacking another native civilian. Society has many names for this attack: robbery, homicide, murder, rape, etc. In some circumstances, I believe that a civilian may put themselves in the category of "militant civilian" by attacking other civilians of the same nationality. This is another form of terrorism. It is not a revolt because the militant targets innocent civilians.

I'm not sure this is an advance, but it helped me to organize my thoughts.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lisa 2007

I will be presenting a paper at LISA 2007. Its the 21st Annual Large Installation System Administration conference. When I used to work at Transarc, this conference was the high point of the season. We got to meet all our customers. Transarc used to run training sessions and BOFs (Birds of a Feather sessions) for all AFS adminstrators. I never attended these events because I was part of the development side and not sales.

Well, here is my chance. As part of my research work, I have been building and administering a large distributed cluster in 9 locations across Europe and Middle East. Its been a frustrating but satisfying experience. I'll be talking about the system and our experiences on Thursday, Nov 15th. Please attend my session, I would love to see you!

LISA '07

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ein Bokek

This it the season of hiking and vacationing. One of our good friends invited us on a hike at Ein Bokek near the southern tip of the Dead Sea. The description of the hike was: "Family hike, but not for strollers". Ok, it was listed at 4 to 4.5 hours, but many family hikes are listed long because the kids drag it out.

The place was in the middle of the dessert. My wife loves the desert. Its her favorite terrain and the Dead Sea is her favorite place on earth. I'm not a desert person. It is too hot, it is empty and there is no shade.

I think that this is the first really long hike we have taken since coming to Israel. We started hiking at 11am and finished close to 5pm. I was very nervous about this hike because I have a history of getting ill in the desert. Not to worry, I was fine! We drank many liters of water (26). The biggest problem was that the final hour of the hike was basically a climb down the mountain at the beginning of this post.

My wife does not do well downhill. She is not spry or light on her feet. About a third of the way down the mountain she tripped and fell. After a short timeout to pass out due to shock, we cleaned her up and helped her down the mountain. That last hour took just over two hours. I am very proud of my sons. They basically held my wife's hand the whole way down, searching for the best placed to walk and for the path of lease resistance.

After I drove two hours back home, I called in our oldest son to take his mother to the emergency care center. We were concerned that a deep cut on her elbow might need stitches. Thanks to God, everything is fine and all she needs is a few bandages and some rest.

It is wonderful to have kids, not only will they help us when we grow old, but they are always there for us in times of need!