Where Operational Security Meets Lifehacking: Announcing Your Plans Is A Bad Idea

Rule #0 of operational security is not telling the adversary what you’re about to do. That’s, well, kind of the whole point of operational security…

But is there a deeper psychological benefit of translating this paranoia into day to day life?

Not saying you’ve gotta be one of those guys that runs around with the “EDC kit” ready to fend off the zombie apocalypse should it happen while you’re on the bus, but…

…there’s scientific evidence which suggests announcing your intentions makes you less likely to achieve them, no matter whether this is because your announcement was intercepted by the adversary or heard by your friend.

The Ycombinator Hacker News comments suggest there are situations where this is not the case, but I’m of the opinion the rule holds more often than not.

Remember how I mentioned the “comfort zone” phenomenon — in which the desire to stay with what makes us feel comfortable can override huge benefits, and terrible risks?

It definitely applies to social situations, too… where people want their friends to “stay the same” and will to that end (usually subconsciously) sabotage their friends’ efforts at self-improvement.

So maybe the operational security comparison isn’t so far off after all. Look out! The adversary is invisible, and everywhere!


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