Monday, October 29, 2012

Me and Cory Doctrow

Lesson: don’t argue with the famous on Twitter.

Honestly, I didn’t think there was that much of an argument. I made one remark, just one, and for my apparently poor judgement, got a minor torrent of rebuttal.

Well, Cory: fuck you sideways. It’s like this: publicly, you champion free speech, but only if the speech that’s free is that which is endless echo-chamber we-love-you-famous-person fandom?

Fuck you with a Tabasco dildo.

Dude, I am a nobody. A five-star, number-twenty-seven champion nobody. There is absolutely nothing I can gain, monetary-wise, fame-wise, anything­-wise that I can get out a public spat with you. You win, instantly and before we get to a starting line that’s as rigged as is I were hopping on my K-Mart pushbike with Lance no-doping Armstrong next to me.

(Actually, I would lose in a cycling race with anybody. I can’t turn right without falling over, due to a dodgy ear. I walk the bike around sharp right-hand corners. But anyhow…)

You put a stupid idea up on Twitter: that drones would be a worthwhile instrument for a break-and-enter house burglar. And I said:

“Umm, no break-in technology will compete until it's cheaper than a brick applied to a window. #SpecialSubjectTheBleedingObvious”

@doctorow: “You get more time to search and harvest if the front window isn't smashed. Risk minimization is worth something to crims”

Me: “You're thinking like a hacker. A burglar only needs "undetectable" for enough time to find sellable stuff and get out.”

@doctorow: “Huge difference between a break-in that can be detected externally and a "silent" one”

Me: “So smash the back window. You're talking organised and intelligent. When did that last fit the profile of a burglar?”

After that, a bit of a storm arrived in my in-box, and I just can’t be arsed to relate the whole thing, except that apparently it offends the Sainted Cory to be accused of being a “futurist”.

But what gets me is two things.

One: You, dude, are rich and famous. I am not: I’m a working journalist with no particular claims, who thought one thing you said was a bit silly. I’m not going to damp the enthusiasm your fans obviously pour on your head. Why so serious? Why take one dissenting voice so personally that you have to back the shit-truck up to my doorstep?

Two: One of the few things I know about you – apart from Boing Boing – is that you believe in freedom of speech. So – again – why send the shit-truck over to a piss-poor nobody who spoke?

I yielded in the Twitter debate, because I like to sleep. But honestly, I would like to know: what’s the psychology behind someone of success and fame, drilling guns onto a nobody, merely for the crime of dissent?

PS, Cory. I’ve been burgled eight times. Every instance was fast, opportunistic, and based on a brick. If I found one person among the losers and junkies who stole CDs, cash, cigarettes, a hammer,  household electronics and, once, a two-year-outdated jar of caviar that probably landed them in hospital, who had either the capacity or contacts to use advanced technology in a break-in, I’d eat Clive Palmer’s used underwear. As a sci-fi story premise, “drones for burglars” sucks hairy donkey’s balls. And it’s derivative of Philip K Dick’s “The Unreconstructed M”. Now you know, and I know, and they know.


richardw said...

Yep, any burgular with a drone capable of aiding a break-in is too wealthy to bother robbing anyone.

I've been burgled more times than I can remember, certainly more than 8.

One break-in they stole a pest bomb! Hardly justified a drone strike.

Break-in's involve jemmying windows, cutting flyscreens, screwdrivers into van door locks etc.

In no way would a drone have been useful for anything more than reconnaisance, but then they'd draw attention and be counter productive.

Anonymous said...

I've been burgled twice. Both times they were arrested within the week due to their on-file fingerprints left all over the place. A fucking pair of gloves is apparently beyond the tech level of these people. Reconnaissance drones?!?