Nick Bostrom, of the Future of Humanity Institute, uses an evocative metaphor to describe the future of humanity’s technological development:

One way of looking at human creativity is as a process of pulling balls out of a giant urn. The balls represent possible ideas, discoveries, technological inventions. …


Crossing the Bay Bridge in the smoke

Smoke chokes the city, the nearby forests are on fire, and towns are burning down as I sit here writing this. It is the fall of 2019 in San Francisco and something is clearly broken. …


I wrote this for the 2018 bay area solstice celebration. A recording is available here.

When I was growing up, I used to watch this documentary about Mount Saint Helens. It started the summer of 1980; for the first time in a hundred years, the mountain was waking up. Starting…


Until cryptocurrency has gained significant traction, prices will be volatile and unpredictable. This hurts the ability for normal consumers to use crypto-assets as actual currencies. Plenty of speculators hold Bitcoin and Ether; very few use them to buy anything. A handful of projects aim to solve this problem by using…


Criminal smart contract construction and defense

In the previous post I explained how smart contracts could make ransomware a lot more profitable and therefore a lot worse. However, the trustless key exchange model was oversimplified and has a fatal flaw. …


Blockchains are not a good fit for many problems, but they are great for solving problems of trust. In the real world, if you make a contract with someone and they break it, your only recourse is a lengthy and expensive time in court. With a smart contract, both parties…


Stanislav Petrov may have saved the world when he refused to tell his superiors that five Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles were incoming from the United States. On 26 September 1983, thirty-three years and three days ago, Stanislav broke protocol and reported the detection as a false alarm, though he had no…


If you read the news, then you are confronted with daily updates on wars, diseases, and celebrity gossip. It’s hard to get a sense of how humans on this planet are actually doing. Are things getting better for the average person? Are they getting worse? You may have encountered articles…


This post contains spoilers for the The Force Awakens, and possibly the future of humanity

Take a moment to remember the saddest scene in The Force Awakens. Was it Kylo Ren kills Han Solo? When R2D2 wouldn’t wake up, a loyal droid grieving for its missing master? How about the…

Jeffrey Ladish

Applying the security mindset to everything

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store