Long Live The Mono-Culture!

The worm was a nasty one.
It took advantage of a defect
In Microsoft Outlook.
The defect had been there
For several months.
There was no fix for it yet.

The worm did
What worms do.
It replicated.
It was polymorphic too,
Changing its signature
On each computer
It infected.

Because it attacked Outlook,
It was running rampant
On the Internet.
Turning up on computer
After computer
Inside of almost every company.

It read all the address books
That  each person had.
Global, and personal,
And all the rest.
And sent a modified copy
Of itself
To every address
That it found.

Just it’s propagation
Slowed the whole Internet
With the worm dumping
Billions of copies of itself
On mail servers everywhere.

And when a user checked
His Outlook e-mail.
The worm spread to
The machine that he was on.

The worm served as a back-door.
It let the bad guys in
To your secured network.
So that they could copy
All the files,
And data that were stored
On computers
And their networks
Damn near everywhere.

This was a data leak
On a grand scale indeed.
And no one anywhere
Can really say
How much data,
And what kind,
Wound up in the hands
Of the bad guys.

There were computers
That were safe
From this worm.
But they were few.
And most of them
Were generic network servers
At big companies
Like Amazon,
And Google.
That didn’t use outlook.

Computers running Thunderbird,
Or some other E-Mail client,
Were completely left alone.

The worm had worked
Just like a real virus
That can’t infect
Computers that did not have
Outlook on them at all
Were perfectly safe.
For they were
By definition
Completely immune
To the worm
And all it’s ways.

I sat at my computer
Running Thunderbird.
Outlook wasn’t on my computer
At all.

And as the worm spread
To be world wide
I sat back and watched.
And tried not to laugh.

“This is what they get
For building a mono-culture.
Where everything’s the same.
Because that means
That any flaw that exists
On one machine.
Exists on them all.”

And I thought about that
For a little while.
And found myself
“Would this be the way
That people are
When they turn their social world
Into a mono-culture too?”

And I couldn’t help but think
That the people of a culture
Such as that
Would end up
Limiting themselves.
Would end up
Very resistant
To change.

And the first thing
That came along
That any one of them
Didn’t know at all
How to cope with.
Would be something
That would drive all of them
Absolutely nuts.

I sighed.
And shook my head.
For I found it very sad
That so many people
That I knew
Had reacted just that way
When they found out
Just how different from them
I really was.

And I worry
Almost every day
That I’ll run into such a thing
Time and time again.
In this world
That we live in.

It was then
I asked myself,
“What else could you expect
When everyone owns
The same phone.
The same computer.
And the same software.
And they all own
All that stuff.
For the same reasons.”

Then I laughed.
And when I stopped
I found I had an idea
For another bumper sticker
That I’d never make.
This time it would say,
“Long Live The Mono-Culture,
And it’s economy of scale!”

Then I went back
To watching all the chaos
On the Internet.
And that worm
Wrecked havoc everywhere
That the mono-culture mind-set
And thought to myself,
“Good thing I’m a fan
Of diversity in life.”


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