Author Topic: Spam scams and Darwin  (Read 6908 times)

Harvey Birdman

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Spam scams and Darwin
« on: October 11, 2007, 03:57:23 PM »
A totally pointless muse, this...

Just how stupid do people have to be to fall for spam scams? I mean, for god's sakes... just what sort of moron, living in New York, is going to believe an unsolicited, unverifiable email claiming they've won a lottery on a continent they've never been to? I mean really!!!

There's a case receiving publicity at the moment about a woman who sent off over 400,000 dollars in 'processing fees' so she could claim her 'European Lottery' prize. When she finally realized she was a @#$#^%^ idiot she killed herself.

Tragic? Hardly. It's Darwin at work. In an environment that hadn't been engineered to protect the stupid (welcome to the land of litigation!) she probably wouldn't have made it past childhood.

Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 04:10:26 PM »
Harvey, do you have a link? 
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Harvey Birdman

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 04:15:43 PM »
It's on Reuters.

My mistake - the article is datelined New York, but the idiot was in Louisiana.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 04:18:30 PM by Harvey Birdman »

Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 04:47:56 PM »
Thanks. 

Unbelievable.  Poor woman.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 04:54:54 PM »
I'm with you Harvey. I have fairly effective spam filters setup now, but I still don't feel totally comfortable letting them manage things without oversight so I do scan my spam folders from time-to-time, and I always have to ask myself "Are these *really* making people money? How on Earth does that work!?" It makes me lose a bit of faith in humanity that this is apparently a very lucrative industry. That means there must be millions of total idiots out there who believe everything they read and also apparently have cash to fork over on any stupid thing that comes along. Good lord it's a scary thought - these people also vote! :P

- Oshyan

Harvey Birdman

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 05:17:04 PM »
Exactly! People out there must fall for the stuff at a high enough rate to justify it's existence. The article says 'one in 5 of every adult americans  ... or a family member' is this freaking stupid. Man. The masses really are brainless sheep. You'd like to think otherwise, but it's true, and I don't think it's an exclusively American phenomenon.

One of my favorite stories from history is from Herodotus, where he describes a debate among a group of Persian noblemen on the pros and cons of various forms of government. Democracy is one of the options considered, but it's rejected because the masses are too stupid and too easily misled by rabblerousers. The American educational system goes to great pains to inculcate the idea that democracy is the ultimate, ideal form of government; American democracy in particular. I'm not so sure - I'm kind of with the ancient Persians on this one.


 :D

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 05:25:17 PM »
Clearly the ultimate form of government is a benevolent dictatorship, preferably with me as Supreme Emperor (you can count on me to be benevolent!). ;D But yes, I definitely value democracy and being able to contribute directly to government in some way, yet at the same time it scares the bajeezes out of me that the same people who will spend $1000's on Nigerian scams are also voting for president. It is hard to argue that if the logic that tells people someone in Russia has a desperate need for random people on the Internet to launder money for them is also being used to judge presidential candidates, we're in trouble.

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 05:26:48 PM by Oshyan »

Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 05:33:22 PM »
Yep.  Benevolent and wise.

Clearly the ultimate form of government is a benevolent dictatorship...
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Harvey Birdman

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 05:38:25 PM »
Clearly the ultimate form of government is a benevolent dictatorship...- Oshyan

So you've read the story, eh?   :D  Yep - If I were King...   ;D

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 05:53:27 PM »
Clearly the ultimate form of government is a benevolent dictatorship...- Oshyan

So you've read the story, eh?   :D  Yep - If I were King...   ;D

Hehe, I haven't read the story actually, I've just given all this a lot of thought and I think that's the clear answer. Bureaucracy inevitably results only in compromise and slower results, the least outstanding version of any given idea is ultimately approved because it is also least offensive to the majority. At the same time it is also least interesting and often least effective because of this. So a single strong leader can be much more effective, provided their intentions are benevolent, and their underlings are loyal. However, like Democracy, it is so great only in theory - in practice it's no more effective or reasonable than Democracy in terms of ensuring a happy populace and functional country (some would argue it is much less so, or somewhat more so, but on balance...) When someone figures out the ultimate, incorruptible system that can make up for all our human failings, then we'll be really moving on to something great, but I'm not holding my breath. :P

- Oshyan

Sethren

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 09:08:14 PM »
I think we are headed for the planet of idiots that was protrade in "Mom and Dad Save the World".


King Raff: [Voice over] At the very edge of the galaxy is our world. The tiny planet known, as Spengo. For many decades I was the king of this planet. The people were happy and their lives were good... But also, alas, we were a planet of idiots. Then, one day, the most bloodthirsty, fearsome villain had ever seen seized power, imprisoned me, and renamed the planet after himself. His name - Todd Spengo.
[Todd Spengo is walking and runs into a low pipe.]
King Raff: Well alright, so he's not exactly fearsome - but he certainly caught us by surprise.
Emperor Todd Spengo: General Afir, how much longer?
General Afir: The death ray is ready great one!
Emperor Todd Spengo: [Excited noises]
[Walks forward, his gaurds follow]
King Raff: [Voice over] Did I mention we were a planet of idiots?
[The guards run into the same pipe.]

 ;D
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 09:10:58 PM by Sethren »

Offline Will

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 10:15:24 PM »
*clears throat* If you would all like a benevolent dictatorship than I am available for "nomination"
The world is round... so you have to use spherical projection.

Offline Inscrutable

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2007, 01:45:41 PM »
The simple fact is that there is no ideal form of government.  A benevolent dictatorship is just as flawed a concept as democracy.  The idea of a single person in charge, with benevolent aims or not, simply could not work as any judgement that individual makes would be subjective.

With any issue facing a government, there is more than one side, and while I agree that a representative democracy is not exactly ideal, it is the debate over key issues that is of value.  That's the idea, anyway.

Core to the whole issue is the balance between involving everybody within the population (everybody has a view, but it is impossible for everybody to have a fully educated/informed view on each issue) and a single decision maker (more expedient, but impossible for him/her to be fully informed on all issues and also unbiased).

If we make the supremely unrealistic assumption that everyone is unbiased, fully informed and making decisions for the greater good, then there is little to seperate any model of government in terms of benefits to the whole!


Offline Arandil

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2007, 01:52:25 AM »
Clearly the only solution to our human failures is psychic powers ...

Offline dhavalmistry

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Re: Spam scams and Darwin
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2007, 02:44:37 AM »
Clearly the only solution to our human failures is psychic powers ...

LOL
"His blood-terragen level is 99.99%...he is definitely drunk on Terragen!"