The real idiocracy in action

I’ve been reducing the amount of time I spend on my blog because every now and then I need a break from the techno-ether. I came back to things a few days ago and discovered that death threats had been made to Kathy Sierra on her blog.

Ignorance married with fear breeds violence. The possibilities of Web 2.0 opened a seemingly unlimited realm of possibilities where one felt free to share and collaborate with others. It’s possible to increase one’s wealth of knowledge and built the potential for innovation with this sharing. Incredulously it seemed that people could reveal who they were on-line, in fact the whole success of the 2.0 movement is based on this openess. As a result little things such as intellectual property and protecting knowledge for personal and economic gain become if not a secondary consideration, impractical. In the non-2.0 world, people don’t share because they don’t fear or trust one another… and for some this fear and lack of trust is what keeps their world hinged together. Sharing via blogs and 2.0 challenges this Nashian environment where lack of trust and general fear of the intentions of others prevents people from sharing or connections to be made.

I can only assume that whom ever sent out the death threats on the Creating Passionate Users blog suffers from either a impulsive mental malady (like a flasher or cleptomaniac) or they simply are acting out of fear. Bullies are actually cowards all puffed up and high on the delusions of their own power. Sadly, some of them gain more power if other choose to follow them. This belligerent behavior mimics some of the typical bullying behaviors that occurred in the early chat rooms and forums that were on the web. I saw in some cases, the healthier groups would simply ignore the aberrant behaviors.

I believe that Kathy Sierra could have been targeted because she is one of the most visible people in the new arena for sharing and collaboration. Why would you target someone who is so known within a community other than to send out a message to others?Consciously or not this message inspires fear and send ripples of distrust within the community. It has obviously had a very profound and negative affect on Ms. Sierra.

Now, sending death threats to anyone is a federal offense. It’s an threat of intended violence (though not acted upon). In making such a threat, these individuals not only devalue their credibility they call themselves out as mad idiots who cannot come up with better arguments against what they fear or disagree with.

I believe that the only thing I can do is to continue on without fear and to support others.  This does not include attacking others whom you feel are responsible for cyber bullying or  attacks if you do not have proof that they had anything to do with them. Simply: we must all use our heads.

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2 Responses to “The real idiocracy in action”


  1. 1 MichaelP April 3, 2007 at 5:10 am

    It’s too damn easy to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: the Internet’s different than anything before it. There have always been nuts, and they’ve always had some kind of outlet. Pamphlets, graffiti, or just yelling on a street corner. You usually knew who was doing it, though, and you could track them down if you needed to (*someone* saw whoever lit that cross on your lawn). The Internet makes it so easy to hide your identity, and that’s not always a good thing, as this comic shows (warning: naughty words)

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

    [off topic: good luck, Natalie!]

  2. 2 nkilkenny April 3, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Yes… despite the naughty words…that was pretty funny… but true. The anonymity gives any ponce or putz a great deal of freedom and power.


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