Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Jailed for Extreme Cleverness

Sugar. Zip-lock bags of sugar. I have several in my apartment, because some time back Tortfeasor decided to destroy the last bag of sugar and I didn't want to throw away a lot of perfectly good sugar. I sometimes worry that police will raid my apartment, think it's cocaine or something, and haul me away. I remember seeing on TV that they often will take a taste of it first to identify it, and some part of me then has the bright idea to instead have bags of something really poisonous laying around, so if they taste it they'll die. And then I'd go to jail forever. And also be a total dick. Even though I have a bit of it in myself, I think it's silly and childish how some people have a fantasy about going against the police, or hate them, or things like that. I would guess it's just one of those rebellion-against-parental-figure things that is repurposed once parents cease to have authority. Or perhaps it's just that it makes people feel empowered to imagine being badass. Meh. I've come to add another level of analysis to how I listen to people talking about philosophy or politics - I look for if and how certain positions come from the ego of the speaker.

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up around noon and almost went to the Beehive (the cold weather and slow-to-arrive bus convinced me to stick around in SqHill. After a tasty meal at Pamela's, I (in theory) finished bringing my rewrite of PSMail up to the functional level of the old version (with much more intelligent MIME handling). I also put some time into integrating more music into my collection, read a bit more of Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown, and then had dinner with Eric at Milky Way. I finally lazed out at home with some tea, pizza leftovers, and some old Dr Who episodes.

Recently, Jonathan Coulton wrote in his BLOG about some recent difficulties on Youtube with large amounts of content being taken down in response to mass untargeted requests by copyright groups. The second part of his post is an important reminder - for those of us who participate in group creation of content (part of what "Web 2.0" is about), the content is there by the grace of "those who make the login pages". In some cases, this is positive - sometimes people abuse sites by using them for unintended purposes, but whether positive or not, it's worth remembering. If google decided to close up shop tomorrow or make all their services pay-only, there's very little we could do about it. Is there an alternative to centralised coolness? Slashdot gave two examples of a related issue -- responsivity to public complaints. It's interesting that the examples appear to suggest different approaches to two instances of similar issues without suggesting why they should be handled differently - while I think there are many potential principled differences between being responsive to muslims who accept no criticism of their faith and being responsive to people who feel that animal fighting magazines are inappropriate to sell, the article doesn't even try.


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