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Apollo's Folly — A Warning About the Future

Written by Sean McCloskey
Posted June 11, 2021

The hot, dusty battlefield stood silent for the first time in 10 years.

A strong ocean breeze cooled the air, bringing sweet smells that masked the acrid aroma of burning chariots and death.

King Priam, with his daughter Cassandra and son Paris beside him, looked down from the mighty walls of Troy, trying to make sense of what he saw.

Before him and the rest of his proud city, was a mighty wooden horse set on a wheeled platform.

What King Priam didn’t see was the massive fleet of Greek warships and thousands of soldiers who had waged war on his shore for a decade.

To him, it was a great omen from the gods. The Greeks were finally gone. The war was over.

“Burn it,” Cassandra cried almost immediately. “Don’t let the horse into the city. It will be the end of us all.”

“Nonsense,” roared Priam. “It is an offering from the gods for staying true to them and defeating the Greeks after these many years. To burn the horse would be a great dishonor to the gods.”

That night, the Trojans celebrated the end of a decade at war with wine, meat, and every other indulgence you can think of. As they slept drunkenly and unaware into the early morning hours, a door at the bottom of the wooden horse’s hollow belly opened. From out the door came a small force of Greek warriors. 

These Greeks set upon the city without mercy. By the end, Cassandra, princess of Troy, was right. The Trojan horse was nothing more than a harbinger of doom.

Cassandra Complex

Even though Cassandra was right, no one believed her. She’s one of Greek mythology’s most tragic figures, gifted with the ability to see the future but cursed because no one would ever believe her.

According to the tale, Cassandra was the most beautiful woman in antiquity. The Greek god of the sun, Apollo, son of Zeus, was overcome. In an effort to win Cassandra’s heart, Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. 

However, Cassandra’s heart and mind lay elsewhere, and she refused him. In a fit of rage, Apollo cursed Cassandra, making it so while she could still see the future, no one would ever believe her. 

Like I said… tragic.

Yet there are times many of us feel like Cassandra — privy to some great knowledge but for whatever reason, you just can’t get others to believe you. 

Modern psychologists call this the Cassandra complex and use it to describe the physical and emotional effects felt by people who experience distressing personal events. It can also apply to people who always suffer the humiliation of never being listened to or believed when they try to explain themselves to other people.

Some people who have a Cassandra complex can see things before they happen. For example, a dip in a company success rate or profit rate. This is what happened to Warren Buffett, who earned the name "Wall Street Cassandra" for trying to warn people about the latest crash.

Here’s what I know… 

The Next Big Cyber Hack Will Be Catastrophic

Years ago, before my career turned to market analysis, I was working with a group of IT professionals to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum for young IT students entering college and corporations that needed to get their workers up to speed on the latest protocols. 

That was years ago, and while the delivery methods and interfaces used in modern cyberattacks may have become more sophisticated, the actual methods of attacks are still the same as when I wrote about them years ago. 

Things like old, outdated legacy systems, using single-factor authentication, and operating systems from the mid-1990s are why our nation is so vulnerable. 

In fact, we just learned that the Colonial Pipeline hack — the worst one ever on American infrastructure — occurred because one simple password on a legacy system using single-factor authentication (I have multi-authentication on my damn email) was compromised. 

One password!

What a JOKE!

The bottom line is over the past 30 years, our cybersecurity networks have become sorely outdated and littered with vulnerabilities. And while I applaud recent congressional efforts to fix this major problem and call into focus the vast inadequacies of America’s cyber infrastructure, it may be too little too late.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

To your wealth,

Sean McCloskey
Editor, Energy and Capital

follow basic@TheRL_McCloskey on Twitter

After spending 10 years in the consumer tech reporting and educational publishing industries, Sean has since redevoted himself to one of his original passions: identifying and cashing in on the most lucrative opportunities the market has to offer. As the former managing editor of multiple investment newsletters, he's covered virtually every sector of the market, ranging from energy and tech to gold and cannabis. Over the years, Sean has offered his followers the chance to score numerous triple-digit gains, and today he continues his mission to deliver followers the best chance to score big wins on Wall Street and beyond as an editor for Energy and Capital.

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