Availability and Response Time Affect Security

This being asserted, it is interesting to note that response time has been an issue in computing for several decades. Those of us, on the more mature side, will remember the hullabaloo about sub-second response time in the 1970s and early 80s. While those of us introduced to computers in the era of punched-card input and remote-job entry (RJE) were happy with sub-week response time, the introduction of computer terminals and time-sharing systems rapidly had us craving for the new mantra of sub-second response time for “trivial” transactions. That is to say, nobody wanted to wait for more than a second to get an acknowledgement to a simple input from a keyboard. Much of that was lost when PCs arrived. Everyone was so enthralled with having so much computing power at their fingertips that they were often willing to give up a little response time … but not for long. Today’s connectivity to vast amounts of information being sought “right away” has returned us to a former level of impatience. And we have been spoiled by the magical instantaneous response of Google and others.

However, speed begets speed. And this unrelenting quest for instant data gratification can be ruinous to our well-being. There is a value in waiting and contemplating before responding rather than reacting. Instant messaging and real-time email alerts seem to generate immediate, thoughtless responses. So what is the loss there? Perhaps slower systems might lead to better decision making.

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