January 4, 2012

Ocean Marketing Supports Obama

missileCommand.jpg
this better be worth it

What?  Another catchy title that doesn't mean what it looks like it means?  No, I meant it.  If I had to guess I'd say Ocean Marketing actually supports Romney, but that doesn't change the truth of it.

For those who don't live on the internet: a customer service dispute ended up on the internet.  The specifics are below, but they aren't relevant:

A guy pre-ordered an Avenger Controller from the manufacturer.  It never came, so the customer complained.  Ocean Marketing ran the customer service for the manufacturer, and Paul Christoforo was the contact person.  The general form of Paul's responses to the customer were, "you're a jerk, I have no time for jerks."  That may be a slight mischaracterization, but not really:

Buddy your asking for free stuff and I am trying to help you , You have no idea what happened to our ordering system or our old customer service reps that told you they were going to send you a 100% COUPON AND FREE CONTROLLER  but never did . So calm yourself down , be respectful and do as I say or ask to get your free controller. I DEAD SERIOUS ! Be a little more humble we can refuse the right to ship out anything to anyone we want , I'm trying to help you. Small claims court for 49 dollars haha ... that's cute . I'm the President of my company not The Avengers so keep  your punk smite  ignorant comments to yourself. If I wasn't trying to help you I wouldn't have emailed you back. Customer service of old is gone were in a new generation now. Sorry for any inconvenience , this will ship tomorrow I'm putting in the order now .


The customer is only N=1, so he used the only power he had: he forwarded the emails to the the Penny Arcade guy, who also happens to own the entire internet.   The result:  it gets to Reddit, who send him thousands of emails, phone calls, outing him as a possible steroid user, discovering a police report of domestic abuse charges, etc.

He's tried to apologize, but his ego keeps getting in the way.

II.

There's one other thing you need to know.  Paul Christoforo looks like this:


paul christoforo.jpg

Paul's an idiot, and a bully.  So what?

Paul appears like he's the bully because in that interaction between him and the gamer, he is.  Additionally, he is pictured, in the mind and on camera, like a bully, and a jerk, and once you know what he looks like you can't unknow it.  So it becomes impossible to judge him in any other way, which is bad for him and necessary for everyone else. 

Here's what no one on Reddit seems to understand.  To anyone not in the demo for an Avenger Controller, the Avenger Controller is a joystick.  Which means that thousands of people ganged up on this guy, got him fired, harassed him, and potentially ruined his career-- over a joystick.  I can see you want to interrupt me and say something about the principle of it, let me just say one more thing and I'll give you your time: to the United States government, it looks like the dangerous party is the internet.

Paul's a bully, but bullies can get bullied, right?  Reddit just went Dylan Klebold on Paul Christoforo.  Who is the state going to side with?

I say this is narcissistic rage, but how I see it isn't as important as how The Big Other sees it.  Did the guy steal billions of dollars?  Kill his followers with Kool-Aid?  No, he was a lousy businessman in a "meaningless" business.  So a bunch of 4 year olds, arguing over a toy,  rage like 4 year olds, i.e. use maximum force for every single sleight, because anything less than maximum is barely felt. 

The trouble here is that it's not one 4 year old, it's thousands.

You can't argue this point because I am not telling you what is reality, I am telling you how it "looks" to the suits and ties who generate your world.  The Law doesn't see Paul Christoforo's hair plugs or legal blindness or broken spellchecker.   It sees a businessman, it agrees to believe he is a businessman so that it can believe he is under attack.   It is fortunate for Reddit that this picture existed, because they'd have to invent it if it didn't, because if Paul was pictured in a suit and tie, if he was in his sixties, if he looked like the symbol of businessman that the Law already sees him as-- Reddit would cease to exist.

The government's claim is that we need increased security on the net to protect us from criminals, hackers, and terrorists, but that is the lie we all agree to believe.   The real threat to the system, the one that will eventually result in the abolition of anonymity is the deepest fear of all Americans, it is so deep that it shaped the Constitution: tyranny of the majority.

The internet community thinks it exposed a bad dealer, gave him what's coming to him.  I won't disagree.  I'm only telling you that that's not what the government sees.  It sees this, and only this:

I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed," [Penny Arcade's Gabe Krahulik] says. "When these assholes threaten me or Penny Arcade I just laugh. I will personally burn everything I've made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

Don't yell at me, I love Penny Arcade.  But the government sees only this, and it sees this written by someone who has way too much power for an internet cartoonist.

China requires all internet users to register their real names.  So does Google+.  They're not afraid of criminals.  They're afraid of ____________.



http://twitter.com/thelastpsych








Comments

A salient analysis. But wha... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 12:53 PM | Posted by Mark: | Reply

A salient analysis. But what it boils down to is that a bunch of septuagenarians are noticing they've lost touch with a culture that has changed out from under their feet, and in their panic are trying to legislate an impossibility into fact. Those thousands of people ganging up on him understand anonymity and the internet mob effect, and they indicate millions more who aren't afraid of it, or who are at least less afraid of it than they are of the law.

Let Congress fear what they want to. Knowing why they're scared is interesting, but it doesn't change the bottom line: They're not going to adapt to the present, and soon enough they'll be too dead of old age to do try to turn back the clock.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (19 votes cast)
you spelled "marketting" wr... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 12:55 PM | Posted by p chrstforo: | Reply

you spelled "marketting" wrong hahah

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (28 votes cast)
Telling your dad about the ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 1:04 PM | Posted by so so so so so: | Reply

Telling your dad about the meanies who are picking on you just got 2.0

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (20 votes cast)
I feel it's important to no... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 1:24 PM | Posted by John Millikin: | Reply

I feel it's important to note that the Avenger is not just a joystick -- if it were, this would have been just another story of bad customer service on a blog somewhere.

More important (from the Internet's perspective) is that the Avenger was designed by an art teacher, to let a student with physical disabilities play games with his friends. The inventor knows very little about the internet, and placed his trust entirely in Christoforo to handle customer support.

So the narrative transforms from "rude to customers" to "exploiting a kind teacher's trust to insult and berate disabled children", which elicits a much more emotional response.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 32 (36 votes cast)
Sheep Think is genetic and ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:30 PM | Posted by Judge Wilhelm: | Reply

Sheep Think is genetic and just plain basic human nature. Like Nietzsche says, true courage requires going against your peers. We can't do that, of course, because that would leave us friendless.

But the even bigger problem isn't this. People don't know the truth even if you smack them in the face with it. I used to think that if you could just explain things clearly and simply for people, they would learn. I was wrong. There's something constituted in people that refuses to accept certain truths because subconsciously they know to accept them would ostracize them.

So, Nietzsche was right. But how can one be morally indignant towards those who cannot help themselves? It's like asking a man to stop drooling at beautiful tits. Sorry, that's like asking a scorpion not to sting.

Maybe you're saying that we're ultimately fucked. I don't think so. I think we all have an old way of looking at privacy -- those of us old enough, anyway. The fear isn't 1984 Big Brother. All the bureaucrats have read Orwell and Huxley. They aren't going to fuck with our private lives. They're going to fuck with our public lives until those people that are sufficiently different are weeded out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 23 (31 votes cast)
So the narrative t... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:48 PM | Posted, in reply to John Millikin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

So the narrative transforms from "rude to customers" to "exploiting a kind teacher's trust to insult and berate disabled children", which elicits a much more emotional response.
It's more of a rationalization for the rage than it is the reason for it (or so I feel).

When you ask some dude why he took the time to send him death threats, he can say "What really gets to me isn't that this guy is an asshole, but that he's exploiting the labor of a kind teacher who want to reach kids with disabilities". And now you look noble (well, nobody's buying it but it works in the court of justifying yourself to other).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (18 votes cast)
"I feel it's important to n... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:51 PM | Posted, in reply to John Millikin's comment, by Atari 800: | Reply

"I feel it's important to note that the Avenger is not just a joystick -- if it were, this would have been just another story of bad customer service on a blog somewhere."

That's his whole point- that to the government this is just a joystick, Dylan Klebold-ing a businessman over a toy.

I can't help but wonder if the stronger the Reddit backlash and the more power they show they have to stop things like SOPA or influence elections, the more likely we're going to get internet regulation. On the one hand, the internet should be free. On the other hand, should it be controlled by adolescents? Whatever your take, I think we can agree the government will say no.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (16 votes cast)
It matters to lawmakers, wh... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Mark: | Reply

It matters to lawmakers, who may be inclined to react differently if the groups are switched around. They may find it more understandable. If it matters whether the guy was photographed in a suit (e.g. whether he will be seen as an archetypical businessman), then it certainly matters whom he seems to be exploiting (e.g. whether he will be seen as an archetypical Roald Dahl antagonist).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
"Let Congress fear what the... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Mark's comment, by Atari 800: | Reply

"Let Congress fear what they want to. Knowing why they're scared is interesting, but it doesn't change the bottom line: They're not going to adapt to the present, and soon enough they'll be too dead of old age to do try to turn back the clock."

You couldn't be more wrong. Reddit has power, but the real power lies with the government. (Unless you think Reddit is going to overthrow the government. Dream on.) If you hit them too close to home (e.g. their election) they're going to react.

And the other thing you're forgetting is that in ten years, those very same Reddit users are going to be want protection from the younger generation of internet bullies. Hooligan laws in Britain were enacted by former hooligans.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (12 votes cast)
These people were born two ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 3:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Atari 800's comment, by Mark: | Reply

These people were born two generations ago. Reddit doesn't have to overthrow the government because demographic forces overthrow it continuously. And if the generation that elects their replacements decide they want that kind of protection, then at least they'll have grown up with an understanding of exactly what it is they want protection from, and how it might be possible to achieve it. Thirty or forty years down the line, when the culture has changed again, I expect the entire drama will repeat itself.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
..." a bunch of septuagenar... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 5:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Mark's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

..." a bunch of septuagenarians are noticing they've lost touch with a culture ... '

Mark, don't put too much faith in a new generation that is going to know how to do things better. That's what the 60's were about. Oops. I'm sure you'll do better, but while you are, you might think about Kurt Vonnegut's construct of "granfaloon":

"A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle), is defined as a "false karass." That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless." (Wikipedia)

What happens is that people with power try to pass it along to their ilk, be it blood, money, philosophy, whatever. It doesn't always work their way, but they have the odds in their favor.

Abandon the "wait'll we get there" routine. Your generation is already within the power structure, you're just not in it. Try another Hollywood happy ending.

I'm not saying it's hopeless. I'm saying the already in-place, heir-apparents have a ticket and they're laughing at you because you make their lives easy. Whoever has his/her hands on the Internet spigot, has the power.

Do you think the Phillips Exeter/Yale/Harvard/Columbia inheritors of all that is good are going to say, "You know, Mark's our age, ask him what's best. He'll know what to do." They don't ask. They act.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (14 votes cast)
Remember that guy who wrote... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 6:37 PM | Posted by DensityDuck: | Reply

Remember that guy who wrote the book about "Digital Brownshirts"? Yeah. He and Christoforo would probably have a lot to talk about.

You know who else was a middling-talent artist, frustrated by what he saw as personal humiliation in his early years, who developed a huge cult-like following? That's right.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (10 votes cast)
Do you think the Phillip... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 6:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Do you think the Phillips Exeter/Yale/Harvard/Columbia inheritors of all that is good are going to say, "You know, Mark's our age, ask him what's best. He'll know what to do." They don't ask. They act.

It's not that good. They'd rather be free than enjoy anything.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
I'm tired of the internet. ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 7:33 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

I'm tired of the internet.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 18 (18 votes cast)
I do appreciate your point,... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 7:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Mark: | Reply

I do appreciate your point, but the absence of a common unifying purpose isn't necessary; just basic working familiarity with the thing they're trying to regulate. My age group doesn't know much but at least, having grown up alongside the internet, they aren't afraid of it. That simple difference is enough to curtail a lot of overreaction; they might still try to end anonymity but I'm still naive enough to believe that at least they'll do it in a way that isn't as much of a minefield of disastrous unintended consequences as SOPA.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
My age group doesn't kno... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 9:38 PM | Posted by Grilled: | Reply

My age group doesn't know much but at least, having grown up alongside the internet, they aren't afraid of it. That simple difference is enough to curtail a lot of overreaction.

Like it did here? Read that quote from Krahulik again, and remember: that man is thirty, he has a wife and child, and that's how he presents himself to the public when he is not anonymous.

It's more significant than you think; a lot of people have pointed out how different the Penny Arcade guys look from their drawn selves. Krahulik cares about how he's perceived, that's why Gabe and Tycho look like they do instead of tubby nerd with glasses and baby Uncle Fester. "I will personally burn everything I've made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames" is filtered.

If anything, Reddit politics make the regular kind look positively sensible.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 14 (14 votes cast)
But it's not specifically *... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 12:48 AM | Posted, in reply to John Millikin's comment, by Or: | Reply

But it's not specifically *for* people with disabilities.

"The Avenger is an external adapter that houses the existing XBOX 360® controller, helping to improve your situational awareness, accuracy, agility, and reaction time. The Avenger allows for rapid, fluid movements between individual buttons and analogue sticks. Equipped with a stabilizer stand, customizable levers, high-precision tension straps, hair-trigger capabilities, and sensitivity adjusters, the Avenger can be fine-tuned like an instrument."

Its target market is gamers who are dissatisfied with their gaming experience and desire absolute perfection. The kind who will act like dicks if something they ordered doesn't arrive on time.

But that's just me and my interpretation of those people from my own experience. If we're gonna focus on what some gray-haired government man (or anyone not in the geek community, really) would see in those emails, he would see:

1) a customer service representative who always replies within the hour, often within fifteen minutes,

2) a customer who launches a tirade with ad hominems and foul language, and

3) a customer who forwards this tirade and the whole email thread to a web comic artist and a bunch of gaming news sites *before* receiving rude replies from the representative.

To keep with the theme of little kids being bullied, remember our excuse for escalating confrontations in first grade was always "He started it".

All of this is irrelevant to the big picture as Alone points out, but it does speak to the incredible lack of self-awareness of all the parties involved.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (6 votes cast)
Ooooh! There's going to be ... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 12:58 AM | Posted by Bruce N. Stein: | Reply

Ooooh! There's going to be an interview posted tomorrow!

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/paul-christoforo-ocean-marketing-emails (bottom of page - YouTube preview!)

And you thought the internet had already taken this out of its 48 hour short term memory....

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Like you spelled "stratagy"... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 1:54 AM | Posted, in reply to p chrstforo's comment, by DataShade: | Reply

Like you spelled "stratagy" wrong in your new twitter handle?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Sadly, I don't see how this... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 2:19 AM | Posted by DataShade: | Reply

Sadly, I don't see how this post boils down to anything more than "old folks are scared of young folks," where the delineation between "young" and "old" is arbitrarily rendered somewhere between 12 and 40.

It's really unquestionably stupid to burn down your entire life just to ruin an old folk or two, but if you're that stupid you might not think to stop yourself. And if you're actually young, you might have time to rebuild, so, ultimately, it's the old folks who have something to lose.

And they know that. Which is why they'll fight so hard to protect it. Which is how the young folks know the old folks don't care about them, the young folks have proof:

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/11/joe_paterno.html
"Notwithstanding that the future is demonstrably more valuable than the past, forgetting about that-- it is the responsibility of the older generation to take the bullet so that the younger generation has a chance. "I don't know who the hell spilled all these banana peels and ball bearings, " says Mr. Expanding Waistline And Declining Penile Tumescence, "but I got to clean it up so the kids don't trip over it."

This is why CEOs step down and generals resign, it isn't simply that "they are ultimately responsible" but that it is their job is to throw themselves on the grenade so that the area is cleared for everyone else, and if your CEO or general or father isn't willing to do that, then you don't actually have a CEO or general or father, you have a politician. Enjoy your democracy."

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
"-thousands of people gange... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 7:35 AM | Posted by meistergedanken: | Reply

"-thousands of people ganged up on this guy, got him fired, harassed him, and potentially ruined his career-- over a joystick."

OK, so enlighten me: What value of the product would then excuse/permit their behavior (to you and/or the government, which you seem to understand perfectly, for some reason)? A $200 bottle of wine? A $2,000 rifle? A $20,000 car? Or an order of 2,000 joysticks, instead of merely one?

I think we all instinctively sense that there IS a price point somewhere that does justify this. But finding it is subjective - and that's where your argument falls apart.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (10 votes cast)
...and what's even more int... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 7:52 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

...and what's even more interesting, is that if you then believe that getting stiffed for an order of 2,000 joysticks (say $30,000) is wrong and would justify this guy's harrassment, you have to ask yourself this:

who could afford such an order? ANOTHER businessman? some rich guy? Maybe even someone in the 1%? So basically you are saying, in a roundabout way, that there is a different set of rules for the people of means and businesses than for us peons. Thanks a lot. Yeah, those stupid and childish principles...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (6 votes cast)
Christoforo was behaving re... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 11:32 AM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

Christoforo was behaving really badly for a customer service person: so badly that it was funny. Which makes him great material for Penny Arcade, whose main business is satirizing the computer games industry; with him, they didn't need to write an over the top satire, they could just quote him verbatim.

Behaving like that might well have got Christoforo fired in pre-Internet days.

But where it gets wierd is the way the Internet sometimes gathers a huge mob against some random person who has done a moderately bad thing. You could argue this is unjust, because punishment isn't targeted at the offenders who have commited the most serious crimes, but against the people who've done something that is particularly memorable or funny.

"Mob rule" and "lynching" existed before the Internet. But it's downright wierd that just a communications technology - the Internet - could bring them back. Many people have suggested that the role of the Internet in the Arab revolutions has been overplayed, and they'd still have happened without it. But Christoforo? I'm not so sure. Could you have got so many people worked up about one guy being a jerk without it?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (8 votes cast)
Gabe's power is equal to Op... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 12:16 PM | Posted by spriteless: | Reply

Gabe's power is equal to Opera's power. Dun dund DUNN! I just wish I could make it obvious to others.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Speak for yourself. There i... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 2:25 PM | Posted, in reply to meistergedanken's comment, by Mia: | Reply

Speak for yourself. There is nothing that would make me act like an animal in a functioning system. We have Better Business Bureau for minor scams; small claims courts for larger scams. Besides, the customer support guy was acting rude and unprofessional, but he did say that he was sending out the order. The order was late. It happens. That's life. People get me angry all the time. People drive badly, talk in the movies, cross the street where they are not supposed and say things that i consider stupid and obnoxious. However, if I could press a magic button and have them drop dead, I wouldn't do it. The reason I don't punch everyone who frustrates me isn't just because I'm so small that anyone could take me or that I'd get in trouble with the law, but it's also because seeing blood drip out of their broken noses wouldn't make me feel better. It wouldn't be satisfying. It would be too much. I want the movie theater manager to come in and stop that annoying couple from talking, and I might get pissed enough to go get the manager. It would be satisfying to see them angry, embarrassed, upset, but, at no point, do I fantasize about breaking the annoying couple's bones.

People don't gang up and bully the bully out of principles. They do it because they are pathetic bullies themselves who enjoy watching someone (anyone) suffer. I am certain that only 2 types of people engaged in this mass attack: 1. Those who are obnoxious, violent bullies in their daily lives or 2. Those who secretly wish they were obnoxious, violent bullies, but feel too weak and pathetic to act on their desires. And, no, that's not everyone.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (16 votes cast)
Why is everyone here talkin... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 2:36 PM | Posted by iwdw: | Reply

Why is everyone here talking like internet censorship is not *inevitable*?

Do you think if we all started to behave, that the government wouldn't pass more SOPA laws?

Seriously?

Do you think that the best protests are when everyone politely lines up in the Free Speech zones and obeys the establishment that they are protesting?

Saying "If we didn't inconvenience anyone, the bigger bully (i.e. the government) will be nice to us" is isomorphic to a wife thinking if that she gets dinner *just right* this time, he's not going to hit her.

The establishment is abusive towards the citizenry, and no amount of good behaviour is going to change that.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (13 votes cast)
Chinese people like to be I... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 8:47 PM | Posted by longwinded: | Reply

Chinese people like to be Internet vigilantes too! it is a phenomenon that cuts across cultures. I'm not sure they give that much of a fuck about joysticks, though.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
I would like to add to this... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2012 5:24 AM | Posted by thestage: | Reply

I would like to add to this discussion something from the aisle of the typical penny-arcade cultist, which is to say from the side of people that outwardly identify as "gamers." I play a lot of video games, and I sometimes talk and/or read about them on the internet, so it's not exactly a new phenomenon to me. Would these guys act as crazy if the joystick was actually, say, a book, or an article of clothing? Maybe, I don't know. I suppose the post here would say "yes," but there is definitely a bit of group identity politics going on in the background. That it was a joystick and that the customer offended was a reader of penny-arcade means he is a gamer, and these people are very keen to defend the affects of their hobby at any possible cost. On the list of Important Things to your typical fervent penny arcade supporter, video games are somewhere around 1 through 5. This was not just the bully pushing around the nerd, which at least doesn't stand for anything. It was also the businessman and/or bro (see: picture) mildly ridiculing the object of worship. It plays a role.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
Mark, "they might still try... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2012 9:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Mark's comment, by Perry (formerly Anonymous): | Reply

Mark, "they might still try to end anonymity but I'm still naive enough to believe that at least they'll do it in a way that isn't as much of a minefield of disastrous unintended consequences as SOPA."

I hope you're right. My understanding is that SOPA is a wish list from the Hollywood greedbags-disguised-as-enlightened-progressives. Here's Wiki on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

One thing I've noticed about the countries enjoying a relatively high quality of life is that they generally recognize the value of free speech. I'm not sure which nations revere the right as much as the USA, but there is a coincidence.

I'm 62, so I guess I fall into the fearful demographic, but I know enough to be aware of algorithms that search for specific information, whether by marketers or terrorist hunters. So it gets into the category of "tricky business" from the start. National security vs privacy vs Google salesman vs anonymity. Legitimate concerns as opposed to intruders ransacking through your underwear drawer.

I don't know where SOPA begins and ends with anonymity, privacy rights and copyrights, but I these are big issues that no generation in history has had to deal with to this extent. Maybe we should feel a little healthy fear because so much is at stake.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
Intersting story!Mol... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2012 6:25 AM | Posted by mollyminks: | Reply

Intersting story!
Molly
classic cribs

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
why would his appearing as ... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2012 3:28 AM | Posted by dave: | Reply

why would his appearing as a businessman ruin reddit? cf penny arcade and jack thompson, who has a suit, is in his 60's, has a law degree and several television appearances and print quotes and soundbites to his name. No one forced him to, but note that Krahulik is his real name.

How is this substantially different than any other grassroots collective retaliation against a shitty practice? I'm not saying this is some Rosa Parks/Georgia Bus Boycott, but how is it really all that different?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
"...it gets to Reddit, who ... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2012 1:59 PM | Posted by aliz: | Reply

"...it gets to Reddit, who send him thousands of emails, phone calls, outing him as a possible steroid user, discovering a police report of domestic abuse charges, etc."

we're just gonna gloss over that? who cares if he is a jerk, it's his right to be a jerk. this is a civil case between private citizens. the thing that consistently horrifies me how a horde of faceless people managed to violate this man's right to privacy and reach his family.Am I the only one who is tempted to just disconnect from the net altogether? that's unbelievably horrifying. im not even indulging in hyperbole here, this is a case of a complete strangers taking on the mantle of tyrants, stifling the behavior of one person. how do you combat a mob?! seriously, dont tell me Im the only one horrified by this!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
Sometimes, information can ... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2012 10:49 PM | Posted by NDeewar: | Reply

Sometimes, information can be a weapon more destructive than any bomb engineered by man. The current structure of the Internet allows one to wield such weapons with relatively minimal fear of repercussion.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
"why would his appearing as... (Below threshold)

January 10, 2012 1:53 AM | Posted, in reply to dave's comment, by DensityDuck: | Reply

"why would his appearing as a businessman ruin reddit?"

Because it would show the people who make the rules that the Internet is no longer just nerds versus dorks, but is something that can reach out and touch successful professional businessmen. i.e. them.

"How is this substantially different than any other grassroots collective retaliation against a shitty practice?"

The owner of your local comic book store might be a total dick, but there's a difference between "buying comics somewhere else" and "finding out his home phone number and telling his daughter you're gonna kill her".

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
One thing TLP didn't mentio... (Below threshold)

January 10, 2012 2:38 PM | Posted by Walenty Lisek: | Reply

One thing TLP didn't mention, both of the Penny Arcade guys take anti-depressants daily. With this berserk behavior over a joystick, apparently they aren't taking enough meds.

http://penny-arcade.com/2012/01/09

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Assuming that Paul guy owns... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2012 5:38 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Assuming that Paul guy owns the business.....but what if he doesn't? Maybe his boss is a fucking bully, too? Meh, most gamers I know are man-children anyway.....

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
www.humantypes.org/... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2012 1:30 PM | Posted by Humantypes: | Reply

www.humantypes.org/

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I think a point missed here... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2012 10:47 PM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

I think a point missed here is that the Penny-Arcade guys are just as much (or more, think about it) businessmen as this bully. Doesn't change the way the government (probably) actually sees this though...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)