A dozen SureFire CR123 batts showed up the other day in the mail. No note, so I can’t say who the generous sould was but…thanks!
Friend of the blog, Self Sufficient Mountain Living, has a post up about keeping his road private. In the comments was this:
I’m fortunate that I don’t have to take any other individuals into consideration when I make my plans. If I had to, it would be much more difficult and far less effective. My location makes this a fairly easy place to maintain security as long as you are methodical and do some minimal planning ahead.
Thats a problem for myself, as well as many other folks. How do you make something so secure, and the means of bypassing that security equally secure, when you have to share that information among several people?
There’s an excellent scene in Heinlein’s book ‘Friday’ where Friday needs to traverse a secured tunnel to safety. She was told there was a switch to deactivate the defense system but is not told where it is. From the minimal information given to her, and some very good deductive reasoning, she discovers the location of the switch and disarms the defenses….allowing her to travel through the tunnel to safety.
So it’s the age-old dilemma where the more you share the secret the less secure that secret becomes. We face this every day when we give someone our phone number, email address and that sort of thing. But how do you keep the right people ‘in the loop’ while maintaining the needed level of security? Tough call.
Personally, for most physical things I like ‘programmable’ locks. Any padlock can be defeated, but locks really are just to keep casual violators away…the truly determined will not be stopped by anything other than violent force. The gas cans we keep in the back of the truck, for example, use a ‘programmable’ lock. I know the number and the wife knows the number. Thats it. But if I needed someone to get the cans from the back of the truck I could simply give them the combination and theyd have access to the fuel cans. It is for this reason that I almost always prefer combination locks over keyed locks.
When you have to run out the door at 2am with whatever you can grab in five minutes, you may not have time to find the keys to the gun case, the keys to the ammo stash, the keys to the fuel bunker, or the keys to much of anything. But you can always carry the combination in your head. And when its time to have someone else do the work you can always give them the combination in a text message, phone call, or even in a code spraypainted on the side of a building…something you can’t really do with physical keys.
If I needed to have a trusted friend get some valuables from my house I could call them, give them the codes to the locks, the combination to the safe, and they’d have the information they need without the need for a physical key exchange.
If I had a miles-long diveway with a gate on the end I would probably have a combination lock of some type on it. Something where we and our friends knew the combination and no one else. But if something happened and we needed an ambulance or something like that, we could tell the person on the phone what the combination is rather than have to send someone down there with a key to let them in. (And if its just two people and one is laying on the floor gasping for air and the other is franticallyon the phone with 911, then you probably dont have the manpower to spare to send someone running down there with a key.)
Keyed locks do have their uses though. When I travel with guns, I only use keyed locks on my luggage and gun cases. Why? Because I’m not telling some worthless sack of crap TSA flunkie the combination to my locks so they can open the darn thing like they own it. They want in, they gotta come get me.
But don’t get wrapped up in locks, combination or otherwise. Anyone with a hammer, a crowbar, and a brief minute or two can pretty much open any padlock. BUT, for those times when a padlock makes good sense I go with the combination type for the convenience of not having to track keys, and the ability to grant access by simply telling someone the combo. And, especially nice, is that you can then reset the combination to something new once youre done letting others have that access.