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Stone Soup Security, (Sun, Jan 7th)

Humans have been telling stories to each other much longer than we’ve had computers.  I still think it’s a powerful tool.  Over the holiday I’ve been telling various updated versions of the “Stone Soup” story to various groups in the security community.  There are many versions of the Stone Soup story.  They all fall into the “clever man” category of the Aarne-Thompson-Uther index.  Think of it as a CVE for folktales.  Specifically, Stone Soup is a type 1548 folktale.  Such stories normally involve a stranger who comes to a house or village and promises to demonstrate that they can make soup from a stone.  The first time that I heard this story, I was in kindergarten and in that telling, travelers came to a poor village who didn’t have enough food to spare, so they promised to show them how to make soup from a stone.  First they needed to borrow a pot and some water and some firewood and they began to boil the stone.  Periodically tasting it and noting that it would taste better with an onion, or carrots, or chicken or what have you.  Eventually the makings of a real soup were found by the villagers and a proper soup is made.  At kindergarten, it was a lesson on sharing and coming together.  In this telling of the story everyone wins.

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