The reason I like talking about fear is that it’s a human experience. We know that security is important, and it’s only going to get more important. So as we look 10 to 15 years out, what I want to do is to think: What do we really need to be afraid of? I’m on sort of a personal campaign against fear. When we talk about what it means to live in a safe and secure world, there’s a lot of misinformation and a lack of information out there. Because of that, people are creating bogeymen. We’re creating these irrational things, and that’s very dangerous—especially when we’re making decisions, whether it’s hardware design or something else. We need to take a fact-based approach to what should we be afraid of and what shouldn’t we be afraid of. And the stuff that we shouldn’t be afraid of, we need to push that aside. The stuff we should be afraid of, we really need to dig into.
What’s frustrating is that talking about this fear is not usually a technology question; it’s a cultural conversation. When I’m out teaching or lecturing, 50 percent of the questions I’m asked have to do with fear, something that someone is worried about. Let’s find out what people are afraid of and attack it. I’m an incredibly optimistic person. The problem with fear is that fear sells. It even has policy implications. I want to pull people away from the fear because otherwise people will gravitate toward it. Very few innovations have come out of being fearful.