Sunday, February 20, 2011

On Searches And Hard Drives

This article recently popped up on customs and the searching of hard drives. This whole thing really reeks to me of unreasonable search and seizure. It's one thing to have your luggage scanned through, and another to have the contents of your computer looked through. It's the difference between having someone look through your backpack, and having that same person look through not only your house, but everything you've done for the past month, six months, or even further back (if you're someone who never cleans out their caches).

"Well if you don't have anything to hide, you won't mind being searched."

Oh, fuck no.

This whole thing just reeks of irony (and not just because I'm not at a bus stop!).

When asked for comments on specific cases of computer seizures, customs replied they could not offer much information. Why?

"The privacy rights that citizens have really supersede the government's ability to go into any depth."

Wait. Shouldn't these same rights apply to our hard drives? Especially given, oh, I don't know, the fourth amendment?

Okay, anyways, let's move on. I mean, it's hardly fair to bash customs. They prevent terrorism, day-in, and day-out. I mean, without them, there would be so many more terrorist attacks. This policy with scanning hard drives, they've caught dozens of would-be terrorists, right?

Well, you'd think that if customs had caught a terrorist, it'd be all over the news. They'd at least reference it, right? To show they were doing something.

No reports. No news stories. No nothing. Unless terrorists caught by customs happen to fly under the sensationalist media news radar (hint: they wouldn't!) I think it's safe to say there have been none.

I'll close with these statements: of the terrorist attacks in the past decade, how many have been on a plane whose passengers passed through customs? Now how many have not had anything to do with customs? How many terrorist attacks has customs caught? How many terrorist attacks were caught on the plane, having bypassed customs?

We don't need stricter customs, we need smarter customs. Once again, I point towards the Israeli setup. I think it's wonderful, and should be implemented here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Tried to make this as un-ranty as possible. That being said, this was produced in a facility which also processes rant, and thus may contain traces of rant.

For those of you who don't know what griefing is, let me sum it up: It's being a dick, usually for one's own enjoyment.

The question was posed a few days ago on reddit, and I so happened to be thinking about it at the time. (Okay, fine, only after I saw the topic)

I'm not entirely sure what drives people to grief others, but my conclusions, some of which were drawn from the thread, are these:
(Note: there are definitely some "reasons" griefers use, but these are rationalizations or post facto justifications which ring hollowly.)

Some men just want to watch the world burn

This is the smallest subset of griefers, I believe. There are those who much prefer to watch stuff get destroyed than make anything for themselves, but the number of people who have this mindset are few enough. Nothing to see here but depraved fellows, move along.

Dopamine rush

Some griefers get off by doing stuff they know they shouldn't be, getting a rush from the threat of getting in trouble or from the power trip from the illusion of not being able to be caught. Oh, you're such a rebel, killing your team at spawn. I bet all the girls go for you, rebel.


Somewhat like the above, some griefers get off on watching others suffer, or go into grief. Trolls basically feed on schadenfreude but with anger instead of pain. These are like masochists, except with other people. Are we allowed to sic modern "feminists" on them?


This would be a more personal thing, using the griefing as a means of showing how powerful they are. Again with the power tripping. Included in this are a mix of other motives for griefing - anger, jealousy, etc. This is the most childish drive for griefing, revenge, in my opinion, being a very childish thing itself. (Then again, I'm a youth, so what do I know?)

Anyways, being griefed generally sucks; it can turn what could have been a fun afternoon of gaming into a crapfest. (One might even relate them to bullies of the internet) One has to deal with them one way or another, and there really only are a few choices at your disposal (apart from dissolving into a puddle of sulk), and I suggest that all of them be employed.


This one is easy. If you see a griefer, report/ban/kick them or whatever means you have to remove them from the game you're in.


I should preface this with a statement: Chances are you won't make any griefers reform. They're also not worth your time; there are too many, and you're in the game to have fun, not to reform people. So this should be used if you can't get rid of the griefers yourself. Just grief them back until they leave.

No Reaction

"Don't feed the trolls" applies to this pretty well. No reaction means no fun for the griefers. They'll leave.

One last note: generally when griefers grief something, it's something someone else put work into. That is, a K:DR, a Minecraft base, a win/loss ratio, a WoW account, or the like. If you're getting worked up over losing these, as opposed to losing your time, then something is wrong. (I don't mean the time you put into that 10.0 KDR, either. I mean the time you are being griefed) If you need to have a statistic or an object proclaiming how much you love the game or how much time you put into it, you should reevaluate how you play. Think about it: do you enjoy the numbers/achievements/omfgwtfbbqhaxpwn items, or do you enjoy the act of playing the game? Griefers hit the former the hardest, and the latter to a far lesser degree.

tl;dr Griefers are lame excuses for humans, don't even deserve to be called trolls (trolls are funny to other people, that's the difference), but should be met as if they were trolls and ignored.

Addendum: Griefing done "right", just like trolling done right, is funny for everyone involved. To do it "right", it takes a certain level of familiarity, maturity, and cleverness on all sides (at which point it's more like frinedly back-and-forth than malicious assault). On the flip side, griefing done badly, like trolling done badly, just makes you into a childish arse.