Testing viruses; Bullshit news story

Not a lot to talk about today. It was local election day. Yet they held an entire election for thse single purpose of electing a new mayor. That seemed like a monumental waste of taxpayer money to me. Sure all of the people that they staff during the voting are volunteers, but to print out all of the ballots and to rent (I assume) all of the equipment that they use for the vote is really just depressing. If they were only going to have a single thing on the ballot, couldn’t they have instead just got us all in an auditorium for two minutes and then just done a quick show of hands? It certainly would have been infinitely easier, but that would have made the ballot pretty public as opposed to ‘secret’. Why can’t they work out an internet voting thing that runs by your social security number? You log in with the number and some personal information, make a quick vote and log out. Faster, easier better all around. If you are concerned about the possibility of cheating, keep in mind that the person who gave me a ballot didn’t even check my ID, and I didn’t give her my full name, I just said ‘B,U,R’ to get her to the correct page, after that I could have picked from quite a few different names. At least with the internet idea I would have to know someones social, as well as having other information about them. Pointless speculating though.

• This is just something that I have been a tad curios about for the last few days. Let’s say that you are a budding programmer, you aren’t able to get the job that you really want and so you decide to go ahead and code a malicious virus. How do you test that? Sure you have now written the ultimate malicious program and all, but if there were typos it wouldn’t work, right? Do you have to run the thing on your own machine first to make sure that it infects the boot sector just how you had planned? How about one of the viruses that spreads through email, do you just go ahead and send it to your friends and family and make sure that it goes to their friends? Just a curious thought.

• Now for possibly the least believable news story of all time! That is of course not counting all of the stuff that you see in things like the ‘Enquirer’ and ‘Sun’. This one, I think, is trying to be serious and quite matter-of-fact. It is also complete and total bullshit.

Graphic, Violent Images Can Curb Kids’ Aggression. Now that is a hell of a headline. That is also a headline that is going to take a hell of a convincing argument to back up. I must mention that the headline itself seems out of context considering what the story talks about but still it is a damn bold headline. For the sake of brevity I will just quote a single paragraph from the story, then add my spin.

After looking at those pictures, participants showed signs that they would be “less likely to solve interpersonal conflict in a violent way,” study author Dr. Edward E. Cornwell, III told Reuters Health.

That quote was in referrence to having 9-17 year olds look at images of people in the emergency room after having been shot, stabbed or otherwise mutilated. It is much like when I had to watch all of the videos in driver’s education about people getting in horrible car crashes and then going to the emergency room. Sure I drove better for about a day, then it was back to the insane way that a teenager will drive. Perhaps that few seconds of clarity can change a life or two, but when the majority of them are going to go back home and play some game like ‘Hitman’ or ‘Grand theft auto’, where there appear to be no consequences for violence, I find it difficult to believe that they will actually change their tendencies based on a photo. For the most part when teens reach their mid-twenties they begin to understand that they are adults and that is when they decide to start being actual citizens. It doesn’t require any horrible images, it just requires one too many times of waking up in a pool of your own vomit in the back of your neighbor’s station wagon. This is, of course, my opinion on the matter and without any substantial proof to back it up. Does that differ in some way from the article I am talking about? I don’t think so.

To put a different light on the same idea, let us say that we start showing horny teen-aged boys porno videos. Sure they are going to be less likely to have sex in the very immediate future (like the next ten minutes), but then they will begin to crave it. I suppose that it is a little bit different but I can’t really see how. Show them people being killed and they won’t kill, show them people having sex and they won’t have sex. I don’t think either of those ideas are sound enough to even try to do a comprehensive study on.

Perhaps if there were more shows that showed the actual results from your decision to kill, like the shows on A&E that show the one time killer spending his life in prison for a few furious seconds that he would really like to have back. That would probably be a better premise to use than showing horrible photos. Or how about having the parents of the person that he killed being let alone with him in a room, with a board, with a nail in it, while he is tied up, and they have an hour of ‘No questions asked’ interrogation. The parents would not be prosecuted if he somehow died. That might slow it down.

I don’t like where I am going with this and I have even deleted a few parapraphs that I thought were a bit too harsh. I hope you were able to see my actual point, whether you saw the point or not, my email address is below and I welcome your comments.

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