Permission creep
posted on 2016-08-19 with tags [code] [koan] [linux]

A novice monk, walking through the temple, came across a master performing system administration tasks. As the monk watched, the master, needing elevated privileges to delete a file, typed su to log in as root, entered a long and convoluted password, ran a single command, and exited the root shell.

The monk approached the master and asked, "Why do you not stay logged in as root all the time, so that there is no need to go through so much trouble to perform simple tasks? What is the purpose of intentionally staying logged in as a user with lesser abilities?"

Without speaking a word, the master reached into his robe, produced a treacherous-looking flamethrower, aimed it towards the novice monk, and shot deadly flames out of its end. The monk jumped back and observed that had the master's finger slipped but a centimeter, the powerful flamethrower would have fried him to a crisp.

Raising his singed eyebrows and widening his eyes, the shocked monk yelped, "I could have died!" The master calmly watched as a single fly dropped out of the air and landed on the ground. Satisfied, the master withdrew a flyswatter from his robe and delicately lifted the fly to dispose of its corpse.

In that moment, the monk was enlightened.