07
Jul

the edge of being a zero or a one


Image courtesy of njaj at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  Used with permission.

I have been watching a TV show, Mr. Robot, on the USA Network.

The show follows a character, Elliot Alderson, a young cyber-security expert who plays the role of a vigilante hacker in New York City.

The show has a dark theme which I do not like.

Elliot struggles with his own demons, he uses drugs on the show, and struggles to decide between right and wrong.

However, since I have a PhD in computer science and have previously worked on computer networks at AT&T Bell Labs and U.S. Robotics, I am intrigued by how the hackers launch hack attacks, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and other hack attacks on the networks of Evil Corporation.

I am also intrigued by how Elliot uses the Linux operating system to overcome the DDoS attack.  Linux is an operating system based on the UNIX operation system which was invented at AT&T Bell Labs.  Linux/UNIX allows a user to manipulate individual bits, ones and zeros on a computer.

In a recent episode, Elliot had to decide whether or not to join a team of hackers called the fsociety, headed by Mr. Robot.

Mr. Robot asks Elliot to make a decision.

Mr. Robot said, if you make a decision you are a “one” and you have joined the group.  If you do not make a decision you are a “zero.”  You have to walk away and will never be part of the group.

Elliot responds not all decisions are “binary.”

(Binary is a system of notation and a base two number system having exactly two letters in its alphabet, zero and one.  All information is represented by combinations of zeros and ones.  It is the base language used by most digital devices).

What is your edge of being a zero or a one?

Do you have trouble making decisions?

Are your decisions binary?

Or do your decisions have a gray area, a mixture of one’s and zero’s?

Can you make a decision quickly and definitively?

Are you a one in deciding between right and wrong?

Or are you a zero?

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Co-author of the award-winning and best-selling book:  The Plastic Effect:  How Urban Legends Influence the Use and Misuse of Credit Cards.

Regular columnist: Positive Impact Magazine

Copyright © 2015, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.