Tech We Need

Boing-Boing reports: Biologist Rupert Sheldrake stabbed at lecture.

And to think I imagined, immediately, that it was some IDiot. But it was, apparently, a deranged visitor from Japan.

I seriously wonder whether it’s going to become easier, or harder, to pinpoint whether another person is a nutball or not as we get more deeply embedded into the Net in our daily lives — I mean, as the interfaces get more and more distributed to everywhere instead of just on little screens in front of us.

The scary thing is that to use the advantage, we’d have to be giving up some of our freedom of privacy. And, at least potentially, a glimpse into the virtual worlds people choose to inhabit in their daily lives might not give any strong indicator of insanity. I mean, millions of people choose to inhabit virtual worlds of a twisted kind as it is, after all… like this bunch.

4 thoughts on “Tech We Need

  1. I’ve heard (apart from the whole hatred thing) the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Most of them are lawyers to boot – the patriarch has encouraged them to go to law school in an attempt to manipulate and bring down the system from within so to speak.

  2. Uh… okay. Shudder. About three dystopias sprang into my head just now, though.

    In my experience, the appearence of niceness is overrated. The people who have screwed me over worst have all seemed very nice and polite and friendly and respectful until the moment they were twisting the knife. Just an observation. (As well, almost every case has involved an avid religionist. Except that record label, but they didn’t screw me, they screwed a whole band. Actually, two. Or more.)

  3. Oh, I know there is a difference between being nice and doing the right thing. Still, if you can’t do the right thing (let alone the wrong thing) with a smile on your face, it does detract from it a bit.

  4. Ha!

    grumble grumble

    By the way, I knew you know there’s a difference. But my point is that it’s sometimes quite hard to tell until too late…

    Though, actually, it’s weird. After traveling in places like Thailand and India — especially the latter — I have this weird instinct about it, which is usually (though not always) right, and the hard thing is dampening the overtness of my rejection of people whom I sense are just “acting” nice.

    Or, in one case, civilized. There’s a Western guy who works on campus here, and who was repeatedly sexually harassing someone else here at work. (And whose English was too poor to tell him that his behaviour was unacceptable, though she made it clear it was unwanted.) I still see him around semi-regularly, and it’s very hard for me maintain a veneer of civility with him, especially knowing how it got resolved in the end.

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