Episode 4.13: The Vulnerabilities We Choose: Emergent Tech, Emerging Threats (Rebecca Slayton)
Interviewer: ZACHARY LOEB. When high-profile data breaches or cyber attacks reveal the nation’s vulnerability to hacking, there are often loud calls for tighter cybersecurity. As scholar of science and technology REBECCA SLAYTON points out, however, in a world of limited resources and competing priorities, the degree to which we can secure our infrastructure is not absolute. In her conversation with historian Zachary Loeb, she discusses the ways that vulnerabilities change over time as technologies emerge, how vulnerability is an outcome not just of weak spots in technology but of a person’s or society’s overall adaptive capacity, the difference between the transfer of information and the transfer of actionable knowledge, and the relational nature of expertise and authority. Professor Slayton is the author of the award-winning book, Arguments that Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012.