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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
I have one comment, about one of the links:

Surely behaviour like Duffy's is better dealt with privately – offending parties ought to be socially stigmatized and voluntarily blacklisted by website owners and Internet Service Providers. Just because something is offensive, even morally repugnant, does not mean that it should be a crime.

Background to my comment: I, and friends of mine, and members of my and other's families, were abused and threatened by the woman a friend was divorcing. Our lives were threatened, careers were jeopardized (one person was put on unpaid leave for a month, another has to file paperwork with the state every year for as long as she remains in her chosen profession or anything related to it).

Comment: Hell yes these things should be criminalized. I can (vaguely) see an argument that this is already covered by harassment laws, so there's no need for an extra law saying that doing this electronically is *also* a crime, but that's not the argument being made here, is it?

Better dealt with privately? Seriously, is the person who wrote that completely out of touch with how the free market works, or how human beings as a whole operate?

Here's a proposition for you: Any, every, ethical businessman welcomes regulation.

Here's the argument: No matter what the business, if there is a way to do it more cheaply, then someone will do it that way no matter the ethical or moral cost, as long as the financial cost is lower than the competitor's. If there is a way to calculate accurate tax returns more cheaply, but that way involves using the livers of children that have been tortured for three days before being allowed to die of thirst, then some accountant, somewhere, will use that method and pass on the savings to their clients. And if you know anything about human nature, then you will not right now be saying to yourself "but no one would buy those services!"

In fact, if you said that to yourself, quite reading.

Behavior like Duffy's will not be dealt with by a true free market. According to the basic rules of the free market, someone will always be willing to sell services to the people who push, but do not actually violate, the boundaries of the law. The punishment of stigmatization does not work in a global society. Dependency on voluntary behavior works as well as a measurement of Houston's air quality tells you it will.*

I may yet post this as a top-level post on my own blog.

* If you don't know, Google it.
Sep. 15th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
How about the old auditor's trick of looking at the numbers and thinking critically about them?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )