Clearance Paperwork

Posted February 27th, 2007 by

So it’s that time of the decade again.  I have to fill out more clearance paperwork.

I absolutely hate this stuff.  It has so many hidden undertones, like the neocons want to weed out anybody who doesn’t fit neatly into 5 sheets of “where have you lived, what have you done?”  Or they wanted to punish anybody who has moved around like the military makes you do.

  • For example…. how do I find people living in Eugene, Oregon who don’t hate my guts?  Oh yeah, I need to remember 3 of them because I lived in 3 different places in that town.
  • And then again, why did I change residences so much between 1999 and  2002?  Let’s see, got out of the army, went to school, and became a victim of Web 1.0.
  • Marital status is fun.  You can be either married or divorced, but not at the same time.  I guess I’m supposed to forget those 9 years.

If you really squint and read between the lines, it’s a conspiracy plot against anybody who doesn’t “fit the mold”.  The really scary part is that these are the same people who society depends on to actually create something instead of rehashing the same old tired ways.  Everybody who as innovated is in some ways a rebel, it comes with the territory, so to say.  If you look at the Soviets, they had a love/hate relationship with their scientists.  When they needed innovation, it took relaxing of the social rules.  The nuclear program is a good example.  But then when the scientists got too self-assured or they didn’t need creatives anymore, then it was gulag time.

I think that ultimately it comes down to an interesting factoid:  The psychological profile between most good/talented security people and computer criminals is very much the same.  Think about it–I’m the one guy that they always put in the personnel security handbooks to look out for: the guy who is highly talented, doesn’t have many friends, overlooked for promotion, in a position of high responsibility, has nobody watching them.  The only real difference is that I have a sense of right and wrong, and that’s hard to show up on a questionnaire.

On a side note, I hope a future employer reads my blog some day.  Their one comment will be along the lines of someone who will remain nameless: “Dude, you are obsessed with fish!”

Now that I’m done with this stuff, where did I put my copy of The Shockwave Rider, Ender’s Game, and Catcher in the Rye?  I need a little subversion after exposing my life to The Man.

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