DailyDirt: Stupiditry, Yah

from the urls we dig up dept

Everyone does something stupid from time to time, but there are some stories that are just amazingly bizarre and a little bit dumb — and they should be shared. But the Darwin Awards are a bit too brutal because someone has to die (or be made sterile) as a result of his/her own stupidity. So here are just a few examples of stupiditry in action, where people might get injured but not too seriously.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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Nature is like that

The Darwinian approach may seem brutal, but the genes are steering backwards. May I strongly recommend The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins? It is only our human ability to look beyond the fact of death that allows us to create such things as Darwin Awards, and perhaps to learn from the fatal mistake without making it.

Having said that, I think the Darwin Awards need to evolve to be more accurate. There should be categories and rankings depending on the degree of Darwinism involved. In particular, they often award Darwin Awards for people who are too old to reproduce, and in such cases there is no Darwinian penalty. Only a young person who dies from stupidity BEFORE reproducing has truly earned the standard Darwin Award. In contrast, if an older person dies by idiocy while killing some descendents, now that does merit a Darwin Award, perhaps with a gold cluster for each descendent. Of course the grand prize should be reserved for true Darwinian idiots who manage to take their ENTIRE family with them.


Re: Nature is like that

” In particular, they often award Darwin Awards for people who are too old to reproduce, and in such cases there is no Darwinian penalty. Only a young person who dies from stupidity BEFORE reproducing has truly earned the standard Darwin Award”

I can clarify that rule. You see, the person has to be of sound mind and judgement in juxtaposition to the scenario that caused their death. An example would be a lawyer testing the strength of the glass of his new high-rise office by running into it only to find that it was safety glass designed to break with a certain amount of force in case of an emergency.

The death or cause of the loss of reproductive abilities must not be self inflicted. This and other rules are clearly stated on the site.



Felony charges?

Is anyone else bothered by the idea of making a felon out of someone who didn’t do any harm to anyone? I’m not trying to make excuses for the women, what she did is wrong and she deserves to pay for it and society should not tolerate it…but a felon? That seems a bit extreme.

Felons lose a lot of privileges in society, and it’s usually because they’re violent or extremely dangerous in some other way. What’s the argument for making this a felony instead of, say, a misdemeanor?


Re: Felony charges?

the felony part isn’t about changing the grades, it’s about hacking into a computer and reading private emails and using passwords that don’t belong to this person. if this person had “hacked” into a bank and stolen millions of dolllars, she would have faced the same felony charges. the judge likely will not hand out the maximum sentence for changing grades, but if she had embezzled thousands in school funds, maybe she would get a tougher sentence.


Re: Re: Felony charges?

My problem isn’t with the sentence. She deserves some kind of punishment, IMO a relatively large fine that won’t put her in the poverty bracket sounds about right.

My problem is with making her a felon. Felons are supposed to be dangerous threats to society, which is why we restrict so many of their rights. For instance, in some states, felons can’t vote – permanently.

I have a feeling that “unauthorized access to a computer” laws are not proportional at all to harm caused. Whether or not it’s a felony should depend largely on what was done with the unauthorized access; after all, embezzling is its own violation of the law, wholly separate unauthorized access.

Consider a kid that breaks into a computer and does nothing. Does this kid deserve to be a felon?


Re: Felony charges?

Is anyone else bothered by the idea of making a felon out of someone who didn’t do any harm to anyone? I’m not trying to make excuses for the women, what she did is wrong and she deserves to pay for it and society should not tolerate it…but a felon? That seems a bit extreme.

Welcome to zero-tolerance law enforcement, where circumstances don’t matter. Just like suspending a student for having touched (and then refused) drugs.


Mom not so bright...

Just what did she get for her son bumping his grades up from a 98 to a 99? The teacher pressing harder on the report card when he wrote “A” there?

Her daughter’s retroactive excuse suddenly appeared in the data base.

The felony charges are about her being in the computer without authorization in the first place. But, just a second here? Did the school board involved shut her account down, as any half decent network admin with a head to shove up his behind should have done as she left the building on the her last day of work.

I doubt she had the skill required to actually crack into a system so we’re left with the network admin who didn’t shut her access off is now madly covering his ass, the one he can no longer shove his head into, to shift the blame onto a mother who doesn’t seem all that bright to start with.

Strikes me that if her account was still valid that she wasn’t breaking in as much as doing a days work for no pay.

Granted changing the upper 0.5 percentile of a bell curve student from a 98 to a 99 is going to be noticed but she doesn’t seem to have figured that one out.

And that someone might have noticed her daughter really was at school when she changed things to a medical exception. Not a complete Darwin fail but certainly not a success.

But felony? Cracker? I don’t think so.

Like I said its looking more and more like the school and it’s network type covering each other’s butts, particularly the one in charge of alleged security. They never shut her employee ID and password

Previous to this I’m sure she was reading the comic strip User Friendly. ­čÖé


A note to Tony Robbins

Hi Tony,

I didn’t know you were still out there selling your peculiar brand of “motivation” snake oil to the gullible who haven’t worked out that you motivate them to send you thier hard earned cash which you then proceed to stuff in your mattress. A mattress growing in size due to the magic of compound interest!

You do realize, I hope, that courses teaching how to do that trick of walking across hot coals don’t suggest a slow march across the coals but a delightful gait more akin to running and never ever putting all your weight on a foot at any particular time before moving it off. In short, get off there as fast as you can while looking like you were enjoying it!

There’s an old Mythbusters episode that dealt with this walking over hot coals stuff and if all of that bunch can get across without third degree burns then surely, if you’d spent 10 minutes with them how this illusion, which is what it is, works.

Tony, you really ought to fire whoever did the research of this stunt and if it was you I’d suggest retirement.

After all, all this has done is to strongly motivate 21 people to sue you for negligence at the very least. And maybe a class action or two started by your former marks, I mean customers, for selling a particularly odious form of snake oil without a license.

You’re rich enough now Tony, to drop off the face of the earth into some gorgeous Pacific paradise where you can’t be found. Of course, in these days of GPS everywhere and anywhere you may be motivated into being careful.

Unlike the marks…customers…I shouldn’t keep saying that..you motivated..ahh..conned into walking across hot coals without so much as even a suggestion that this might hurt if not done properly. And for a mere $157.95 plus federal and state taxes you’d be more than happy to motivate them to give you that money as you motivate yourself to squirrel it away.

That ever growing mattress, remember Tony?

Even better you’ll be able to motivate yourself and your mattress to be the first mattress inflated and powered by the miracle of compound interest alone to orbit the earth before sailing off to motivate Venus into washing its hair so that it won’t have that greasy old greenhouse effect any longer.

We trust we have been of service Tony, please find our bill attached for $275,000, federal and state taxes included.

Movin’ To Bermuda, Attorneys at Law
We motivate people to sue, even sue or clients!!

Call today!


Stupiditrousness: translation level

How about you give up all the crappy Google translations and ask the people here (among whom sufficient language skills exist to cover most foreign stories covered here) to translate properly? There’s an opportunity for you to personally demonstrate CwF/RtB, perhaps even shelling out a few bucks (or Amazon list fulfillment) for the more prolific?

Bonus to you for asking for some legal summaries and why decisions make sense in the local, non-US context (Germany’s privacy laws come to mind).

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