Aside

Polygraphs and belief

This article on the Clearancejobs.com website isn’t really an eye-opener (at least it shouldn’t be).   And it isn’t that hard to find information about how unreliable polygraphs are.  Turns out belief in the system’s infallibility plays a big part.  So it’s kind of like religion that way.  I do like the part where they will ask a person hooked up to a polygraph whether they’ve “done any research on polygraphs?”  and in this way they will determine whether a person can defeat the polygraph.  Am I the only one who sees a flaw in the logic?

Why is this on a space-site?  Because the majority of space activity right now is under government supervision and direction.  This government likes polygraphs and believes in their effectiveness so much, that even information contradicting this voodoo-tech is cause for investigation.  Some of the technology and methods in space are so interesting, that a polygraph is required occasionally.  Personally, I’ve always felt that if an organization couldn’t trust its employees to begin with, there’s a bigger problem.  There are other, more scientific and hard-working ways to identify turncoats without making the rest of the workforce feel criminalized.  On the bright side, polys can be restful.

There is a great book, Homeland, written by Cory Doctorow (of Boing-Boing fame), that contains a passage describing how polygraphs can be defeated.  It’s great book without that passage, so anyone who wants an excellent read (many different formats) can just go to his craphound.com site to see what they need to do to support him.  I doubt the administration will go after him…

So, back to satellite operations, I hope.  By the way and to be very clear, I’ve never researched how to defeat a polygraph–books like Homeland and informative Clearancejobs.com articles are just throwing this information in my face.

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