The Cautionary Tale of Timmy McGinnis

vandal arrestedI’d like to tell you a story about my fictional friend, Timmy McGinnis.

Timmy was a pretty normal guy, who did pretty normal things for a young man.  That is to say, Timmy did some things that were against the law.  He liked to smoke pot, and he occasionally played a practical joke on someone that might involve vandalism.  He also liked sex.  He routinely filmed his practical jokes, pot smoking, and sexual escapades with a video camera he had received as a gift for his 16th birthday.

One day, some police officers came to Timmy’s home with a search warrant.  It seems one of the women that Timmy had consensual sex with had filed rape charges against Timmy.  Timmy had only had consensual sex with this girl, we’ll call her Sandy Vagina, but unfortunately for Timmy, she was drunk at the time, and she didn’t appreciate the fact that he’d posted the video he shot of them having sex to the internet.  It was quite clear from the video that Sandy was completely intoxicated.  She seemed to be having a good time in the video, but the jury decided she was drunk, and therefore she couldn’t “meaningfully consent,” and Timmy had raped her.  Timmy was sentenced to 15 years, and was released on good behavior after 7 years. Read more »

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The Death of Money: Emergence and Economics

the death of money

The death of money

Will money become obsolete in the mid-21st-century?

Will technological changes within the next fifty years bring forth an era of super-abundance on Earth, such that a new moneyless vision of human transactions emerges naturally?  It is my assertion that this next great step for human interactions has become inevitable.  All economic roads eventually lead to the end of money in the next century.

[Note: Herein, “money” is defined as “any symbolic medium of exchange.”  It might be beads, or shells, or coins, or slips of paper, or numbers in a database.  In any case, it is understood that the money itself is generally purely symbolic of “value” (except where it takes the form of precious metals) and of little use except in that it may be exchanged for objects of real value.] Read more »

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Ethical Social Networking

ethics cloudEveryone seems to be into social networking these days.  You read it online everywhere.  Facebook this, Myspace that, Twitter the other….  It seems like everyone enjoys communicating online, and many of us via social sites.  I’ve also been reading a lot lately about the boon that social networking has been to charities and non-profits.  All of those people sharing links and info has resulted in more money heading into the coffers of those who seek to change our world for the better.  While this is all good, I began to wonder about the personal responsibility  and specific actions I could take as an individual to make the world of social networking a more ethical place.

I have been using computers and networks for many years.  I was one of those guys out there cruising on the internet and other networks before there ever was a World Wide Web to surf.  In all that time, I have learned a great deal about etiquette and ethics in the online domain from friends and coworkers.

Friends have written nasty emails to me, and vice versa.  I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving end of digital miscommunication; where the sender’s emotional content was misinterpreted by the receiver – a commonplace occurrence with computers.  I have witnessed firsthand long email battles, and even participated in a few.  I’ve visited the newsgroups and the forums, and seen some of what passes for communication there.

I’ve also spent a lot of time reading about things we can do to communicate more effectively, and to let people know when our buttons get pushed without pushing back.  So here are a few of my handy little suggestions for what to do to be a responsible, ethical social networker: Read more »

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