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05/31/2010

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melponeme_k

I've lived inside Second Life, Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Eve Online, and Wizard 101. I can honestly say, I don't want the creators of any of these worlds anywhere NEAR our government.

They say that the people using these platforms are broken in some way. We are a bit out of step with the rest. Well that goes triple for the Devs. Whenever they rag on their paying customers in the tech news sectors, there is always more than a bit of projection going on.

Scylla Rhiadra

I am very largely in agreement with your comments on the "scholarly" studies of things like BDSM or Gor that exist in a sort of ethical vacuum. Part of the interplay of blindness and insight that we see in such research may well be the result of a certain kind of left wing slant, but I suspect that much of it has to do also with both tunnel-visioned specialization among modern academics ("I'm a sociologist, not a philosopher!"), along with a tendency to embrace the delusion that remaining ethically "neutral" (i.e., ethically silent) somehow makes such approaches more "scientific." This is, needless to say, nonsense.

As for the putative leftist views of such researchers, I can only say again that you are being reductive in your characterization of the left. I worry about the effects of this kind of genial "progressive" tolerance because it is really a sort of Trojan Horse: the proponents of BDSM and Gor are no friends to the broader perspective of the Left.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

"...Silicon Valley execs should stay out of politics. Sure, most of them are plenty smart, but the skill sets, temperament, and -- yes -- empathy needed to govern are beyond them."

That doesn't seem to have stopped the Obama administration.

V

Replace "geeks" with "Machiavellian sociopath technophiles".

Your description of "geek" is absolutely disgusting. Why not just say "Jew" instead? There are probably more geeks in the world than Jews.

In other words, you're an idiot and need to watch what you say. Dolt.

cube inada

vulcans...lol
those who believe they can govern human affairs based on a dozen fictional characters from a TV entertainment product.

last i saw, the geeks wrote Vulcan as blown up...lol

and im now free of hourly Meg Whitman commercials...good luck california...you get what you deserve.;)

memer cube3

Valiant Westland

I've worked in the IT Sector since leaving the Air Force. I'm now serving a second term as an elected official.

Technology is a tool. In Government, as in the private sector, it has tremendous potential to help us be better informed, collaborate and communicate.

During my Military, Civilian and Government careers, I have learned that all effective leaders share some universal qualities that include:

> Respect
> Empowerment
> Accountability
> Listening
> Sincerity

What makes Technology leaders potentially attractive to voters, are what they perceive as qualities not found in most politicians:

> The VISION to see possible solutions outside the status quot and partisan box.

> A willingness to engage in COOPETION with otherwise rivals to accomplish a greater WIN/WIN

> FREE MARKET approach to solutions that rewards innovation, risk and value.

A leader who possesses these latter qualities, along with core leadership skills and a mastery of current technology, can make a compelling case for being the best choice to make government lean, efficient and more accountable to the electorate. It's a compelling argument, when compared to what many elected officials have to offer.

A perfect example of this phenomenon is happening in right now in my home state of Michigan. One of our Gubernatorial Candidates, Rick Snyder, Venture Capitalist and former CEO of Gateway Computer is running as "One Tough Nerd." ( www.rickformichigan.com ) Of all the candidates, he has the most open, engaged and solution-driven plans for the future of the state. It's the reason I am supporting him, rather than the career politicians he's running against.

Amanda Dallin

Your right about the backlash. Obama might not be a geek himself but he does seem to think he can use them to govern and has bought into much of their agenda. The Tea Parties are in part a reaction to the temperament of the Obama Administration.

@V
Geeks are not a racial or ethnic group. Prok is using the term narrowly to define a mindset that he describes in great detail. You are either maliciously misrepresenting Prok's intent or you are the dolt and don't have the ability to understand. I suspect a bit of both.

Darien Caldwell

Obama is a geek. so I guess its too late. we are all doomed now. :p

Frankly, I don't care if people in positions of government are Geeks, Jocks, Popular or unpopular, Democrat or Republican, Black or White.

I just want them to be capable, responsible, uphold the laws, preserve the constitution, seek justice for all, and most importantly represent the people who elected them.

If the people elect a geek, then that's who they wanted.

Yumi Murakami

This was a really interesting post, Prokofy.

I am surprised at the quote from Steve Jobs, because there _is_ porn on the iPhone, and even BDSM porn (in fact, they specifically modified the API to allow applications to flag themselves adult), and there are also applications that eat battery power (Waze).

On the matter of "persuasion", I think that "geeks" do take offense at a single skill ("persuasion") being the only prerequisite for government!

Prokofy

He's talking about the i-pad.

Yumi Murakami

The iPad can run anything the iPhone can, and it uses the same download service.

Micha Sass

Is Geek a race, or a religion? Does being a Geek rely on your mother being a Geek, or can one convert to being a Geek? Do non-Geeks have a title..maybe Goyks? Am I a Geek, is there someone I can consult to determine if I am? Is defamation of Geeks protected under racism laws?

I am so confused..Maybe the government should enforce some sort of badging scheme, so I can easily see who the Geeks are within our populous. I can clearly see we need to be worried about Geeks and thier desire to take over the world, and maybe even need to devise some sort of final solution to the Geek problem.

Prokofy

Geeks *have* a religion and are a class of people. They have recognizable traits and a distinct ideology. It's more than fine to criticize them -- including you. It's also fine to criticize races, religions, peoples, etc. Like many politically-correct British socialists, you have an overbroad notion of what restraints can or should be put on speech that goes beyond even your own country's law and practices.

Racism laws that prevent criticism of religions? I don't think so, not in Britain, even with its more stringent libel laws, and certainly not in the U.S. "Defamation of religions" is a concept that Islamic countries battle for in the UN in the wake of the Danish cartoons and other incidents they view as insulting. They've gotten some resolutions passed here and there; the Western countries push back hard on this because it's an unreasonable restriction on free speech, not in keeping with Art. 19 and other standards for free speech at the UN, even being less free than the First Amendment, and is not required to combat racism.

You have to be able to be free to criticize races, peoples, religions. Especially when races, peoples, religions are intertwined or synonymous with states, as they are in Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. I'm not interested in making the world safe from criticism of theocratic Islamic states.

If you think the government needs to "badge" Geeks, I guess you can't recognize the obvious traits of this class. It's more than fine to define, label, and classify people, and their pernicious effect on society. Certainly you British leftists think this is the sort of thing that makes sense to do with "capitalists" or "neo-liberals" or "Americans" etc. with far less distinctions.

Final solution? I don't compare pushing back against a lot of aggressive assholes who want to create totalitarian systems online as the same thing as trying to devise mass murder schemes for the Jews. If you find such comparisons facile, you're even stupider than I thought. I'm not for killing people or using violence. I'm for criticizing their bad behaviour and pushing back against it, and I'm for government regulation of social media and virtual worlds.

V

"Final solution? I don't compare pushing back against a lot of aggressive assholes who want to create totalitarian systems online as the same thing as trying to devise mass murder schemes for the Jews."

YOU DO THIS ALL THE TIME. YOU DROP THE NAZI / COMMUNIST DICTATOR CARD ALL THE TIME WHEN TALKING ABOUT VIRTUAL GRIEFING. SO F OFF, HYPOCRITE!

Amanda Dallin

@V

When Prok compares griefers to terrorist he is not saying that they are morally equal. He is not saying griefers are murdering people. He is comparing their tactics and use of fear (terror) to influence the behavior of others. He uses Nazi and Communist analogies in a similar manner. You on the other hand just made a stupid comment that I assume purposefully misconstrued Proks meaning as anyone more than halfway literate would understand what Prok meant.

And no I don't always agree with Prok. We had a disagreement a few days ago in the comments of another post here. Intelligent people can disagree and even respect each other without telling each other to F OFF.

Prokofy

The patterns and dynamics the same. The scale and magnitude aren't the same, obvious, between virtual and real. That's all. The systems work the same. And it's not just about fear. It's about the random targeting of civilians with whom you don't have a beef to retaliate against those with whom you don't have a beef, or, the mere "propaganda of the deed," terrorism for terrorism's sake, as a nihilist act.

As for Nazism and Communism, not only are they indeed morally equivalent, and I have written about this as have others, in some respects Communism is worse:

o never ended
o mass murder stage stayed in power far longer
o never tried, as Nazism was in Nuremberg
o never outlowed, although some countries used a "lustration" method like a "denazification"
o far more many millions of people affected

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