So Probable

Thu Feb 11, 2010

Like many citizens, I’ve followed the Google in China case somewhat. This Wired article caught my attention for a different reason. Look at this quote:

“If you’re a law firm and you’re doing business in places like China, it’s so probable you’re compromised and it’s very probable there’s not much you can do about it,” Mandia says.

Is there a way of parsing this other than “it’s like so probable” ? Not that I can see. (“It’s so [holding up hands to measure] probable” ?) When I read the breathless write-ups in venues like Wired, I think of the alternately amusing and terrifying possibility that these various attacks are so nested, so concealed within levels of duplicity, that two guys in adjacent cubicles are unwittingly doing it all to each other. Or, even better, that some type of obfuscated PHP code has become self-aware and is targeting a similarly self-aware bit of code with results ultimately not dissimilar from what you see in Lem’s Fiasco. If I were to write a novel using this premise (its lack of novelty is part of the amusement, I think), I would have to call it Thank You, Thank You, Little Dinosaur. (Or, The Rain-drops on Feste’s Tabor, with the added twist that one self-awarelet taunts another with Feste’s wellfed wit.)