Conversations with an IdiotJan 12 • Categorized as Other
by Paul Rosenberg, Cryptohippie
Me: The Internet is not only being completely surveilled by spies and enforcers, it is also a thieve’s paradise.
Joe: (Thinking): (I’m talking to a crazy person… let me pull out the insults and get rid of this guy before he tricks me into doing something dangerous.)
That’s conspiracy crap. You just hate the government, don’t you?
Me: No, this is not conspiracy crap, it is documented fact. The NSA maintains tap rooms in AT&T facilities, for example. You can look it up yourself and see.
Joe: (No sale! I know that listening to weird things gets people in trouble. I will not listen to this guy.)
I don’t need to look anything up! I know what’s going on… nothing. People don’t get ripped off online, and if they do, the government will take care of it. In fact, that’s probably why you’re complaining. You want to overthrow the government, don’t you?
Me: No, I don’t. I just want to avoid it.
Joe: (Dude be dangerous for real.)
Avoid it? It’s the only thing keeping me from pulling out a gun and shooting you right now. If there wasn’t a government, people would be killing each other every day!
Me: They’re killing each other every day already, dude.
Joe: A frozen, blank panic.
Me: Look, we’re getting off the subject.
Joe: Silent relief.
Me: The point is that people are swimming in a shark tank; then they get mad at anyone who points it out.
Joe: I’ll tell you why they hate you: because you’re just trying to stir up fear, just so you can cash in on it.
Me: You mean because I run the office for an Internet security company?
Joe: Of course!
Me: That’s not something I ever planned; I only got into it because no one else was doing it, and someone had to.
Joe: So you say.
Me: So I do say. And, by the way, I also tell people how to protect themselves for free.
Joe: So how can you make money?
Me: Because doing it for free takes too much time. It’s a lot easier to pay a few bucks for our service and be done with it.
Joe: I don’t need anything.
Me: Because the government will protect you?
Me: I see. But didn’t I hear you complaining about politicians just yesterday?
Joe: Yeah, but that was about the Democrats. They are horrible.
Me: Dude, they make up half the government. That means that the government is half-horrible. Right?
Me: You just said that the Democrats are horrible.
Me: But they make up half the government. So, the government has to be half-horrible. That’s just math.
Joe: No, because the founders gave us a system that makes it all work out right.
Me: You mean it’s magic? Half the operators can turn all the wrong levers, but still it turns out right?
Joe: You make it sound wrong, but it’s true anyway.
Me: We’re way off our subject again, but let me ask you this: Did everything work out right for the 110 thousand Japanese guys who were put into camps in the 1940s? Did it go okay for the boatloads of Jews that Roosevelt sent back to Germany? Was all cool for the black guys in Alabama who the government kept sick with syphilis till they died thirty years later?
Joe: Frozen panic.
Me: Look, my original point was that the Internet has become a thieve’s paradise, and it’s time to do something about it, rather than hiding our heads in the sand.
Joe: Okay, fine, I see your point.
Me: (Crap; his automated defense routines are re-booting. This could get ugly.)
You know what?
Me: Maybe you’re right. If I keep saying crazy things, powerful people will make fun of me on TV. Then my wife will dump me and marry my enemy. We always get hurt if we disobey Teacher. Right?
Joe: Walks away confused.
* * *
By the way, I flipped a coin to decide whether I’d use “Democrats” or “Republicans” as the party Joe hated.
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