Wednesday Links

1. Wired had an awesome article yesterday about the legacy of 9/11 and its impact on national security policy. It pretty much encapsulates all of my beliefs about the “gigantic, expensive, counterproductive National Security State,” that the risk of a major terrorist attack is generally overstated but the eventual inevitability of a minor one keeps either major party from daring to reduce our bloated defense budget due to the “political risk” of being blamed for it.

2. Wired had another awesome article (I’ve been stumbling on a lot of these lately) about a teenager who tricked employees at nearly every major tech company into helping him hack into various accounts, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Paypal, and Netflix. Much could be said about human nature regarding how this kind of thing is so easy yet doesn’t happen very often, or about why it is happening, but I also think it’s good for libertarian-ish types to be reminded about people who ruthlessly take advantage of things like this. It gives some insight into why law enforcement types tend to be nervous about alternative Internet currencies and anonymity and the like, even though I would continue to assert that there’s nothing inherently wrong with them.

3. Yesterday Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit similar to the one Obama did a couple weeks ago, although he answered quite a few more questions.

4. The Chicago teacher strike is getting vicious.