the malignant stupidity of the few

From: Reason (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 23:25:22 MST

Bad apples. Bah.

So someone cracked the hosting provider ( for the
Longevity Meme ( getting on for 17 days ago. Wiped out
a bunch of database servers, web servers, the backups, etc. Bad time for me,
because I was ramping up for the crucial 3gsm show at Cannes and could spare
neither the time nor the money to shift web hosts and rebuild everything.

Readyhosting was, in classic kneejerk fashion, incommunicado about the whole
affair for twelve days; not responding to calls, shutting down their tech
support system, the complete tortoise act.

I'm finally up again, and looking at recreating from scratch; teach me not
to have found the time to backup the database offsite rather than rely on
their daily backups. At least I have the kindly contributed articles sitting
in final ascii format on my hard drive, and all the web pages, database
notes, etc, all intact.

So I get to share my annoyance at least. Since this is the extropy list, I
should make it kinda relevant to the future & tie in with a popular topic
these days; how does one deal with the malignant stupidity of the few? In a
sufficiently large population, you're always going to have grief players in
the game of life -- those who gain satisfaction and reward from causing
other people harm and distress. As the tech moves forward, these grief
players -- just like every other small group -- are going to wield ever
greater power. It also seems that their ability to go unpunished, even
undetected, is getting better too, although that may be just a phase due to
a particular alignment of technologies.

So what to do? It has to have been, oh at least a week, since we talked
about transparency of society, ethics of control, the human condition and
the problem of increasing power in the hands of the bad apples. Feel free to


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