Thursday, March 29, 2007

Disturbing Internet Behavior

The anonymity the internet can so easily provide has made for ups and downs. Some people feel enabled to express themselves in various good ways, and some just waste it by treating others like crap. I really hat to see cyberbullying get this disgusting. It's not an unusual problem on the internet, but this has been worse than most. Death threats are just unacceptable, and illegal for a reason.

Unfortunately, discovering the identity of this person may be quite difficult. It appears that this started with a script kiddie (a pejorative term for a hacker wannabe who just uses tools others develop) hijacking another blogger's computer.

This is not new behavior. A webcomic called Penny Arcade came up with their own theory for this behavior in 2004 (warning: profanity). Unfortunately, some people never develop much of a moral code beyond avoiding getting caught. I got to see this in retail, in which customers or employees would steal things the minute they thought no-one was looking.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This is just silly.

I've seen stuff from 9/11 conspiracy theorists before, and, while I don't necessarily believe it, I could see how it would appeal to those so inclined. However, I am completely baffled by the way they seem to be rallying around the recent discovery that a BBC reporter apparently said that building 7 of the World Trade Center had fallen about 20 minutes beforehand. For them, it apparently is proof that the building was intentionally demolished using explosives, because someone apparently sent out a press release of some kind too early, or a reporter read from a script too soon.

Laying aside everything else a person may or may not believe about 9/11, there is only one word needed to poke a huge hole in this latest piece of "evidence": Why? Why would a press release be necessary, much less a script? Every camera that any news agency could find was being pointed in that direction by then, so why would it be necessary to script what is completely obvious to all? There was plenty of speculation for a large period of time beforehand regarding the expected fall of WTC 7, so everyone was already watching for it to happen. A press release or script would put the conspiracists in the delicate position of trusting that none of the large number of people involved in the media would expose them. Why would people supposedly smart enough to pull off such a massive attack under false pretenses do something so stupid?

I find it particularly bizarre the number of times I've seen this referred to as a "smoking gun" or some other reference to how conclusive this discovery is. Even if there is some kind of conspiracy, this has to be some of the worst evidence for it I've heard yet.

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I'm a Christian and political moderate (I tend to be more liberal on core issues and more conservative on the hot-button ones). I have a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy.