The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!


Why No Terrorist Acts and Why No Mac Viruses

I can think of a few situations in which reality doesn't behave as I'd expect, as though hidden (or poorly understood) laws of the universe are at work.  And I wish we better understood those laws, because I feel they are important, and would help us better control our future. 

Why do Macs get a (nearly) free ride when it comes to viruses and malware, to the point that almost no Mac user bothers with anti-virus/anti-malware programs? 

I know enough about the Mac (historic and current) operating system to know that there's no magic involved.  The operating system was for some time more secure than its Windows counterpart, but never astonishingly so.  There was nothing so special about the Mac OS that would explain its seeming imperviousness.  There have been viruses/malware for Macs, don't misunderstand, but not to the degree that most users were much bothered or motivated to install antivirus software.  The ubiquity of the Windows platform is usually cited as the primary explanation; those seeking to cause mischief would target the OS with the largest user base, and those seeking to cause mischief are far more likely to have Windows available as their development platform.  And this makes sense, to a point.  Clearly the majority of virus/malware activity would be expected to target Windows because of these reasons, but why so shockingly few devastatingly targeting the Mac?  Malicious people are marvelously good at finding vulnerable targets, and it can't have escaped notice that the Mac platform has been in many ways largely unguarded.  My only conclusion can be that there must be something else going on, some other something restraining malicious people from targeting Macs to a greater degree.  My best guess, my only real theory, is that the developers who use the Mac enough to know how to create exploits for it, have a certain respect and fondness for the platform, which their equivalent miscreants using Windows don't have for Windows, and thus the potential Mac exploiters with their warm feelings find themselves naturally restrained under a "Don't sh*t where you eat." policy.  No idea if that explains it, but that's my guess.

Why have there been no terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11?

It seems inconceivable to me that there have been no foreign terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11.  And the only things that come close are the arguable domestic terrorist events of the DC sniper and Ft. Hood.  Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. appear to be awash with explosives for IEDs, machine guns, RPGs, etc.  Various news agencies have reported for years that our ports are almost completely insecure: less than 1% of shipments from overseas are inspected by customs and anyone with a few thousand dollars can get into the country via our Southern border, just by paying a "cayote".  We've been told that thousands of foreign terrorists made their way to Iraq to commit various atrocities and commit suicide in the process, and yet not a single one has packed his toothbrush and an IED and made his way across the seas and caused mayhem here?  And it they could leave the IED at home and just come and do any manner of horribly improvised thing.  But they haven't.  And it just seems inconceivable to me that no one has tried anything.  And surely if they had tried, we'd have heard about it, because we have heard about several truly unremarkable and speculative plots by people who seemed only slightly likely and slightly capable of doing anything.  So it makes me think something else is going on here.  My best guess/theory combines the idea that terror networks are not nearly as (and probably never were as) sophisticated/organized/funded as people have speculated and, more importantly, these terrorists are looking to "vent" their anger, and as long as they feel like they are doing some blood letting somewhere, they are disorganized enough to not escalate.  Perhaps they get their jihadist "fix" killing soldiers and civilians in Iraq, and as long as they can look themselves in the mirror and say they blew up an infidel that week, they don't feel compelled to try and spread their terror.