We run a particular video benchmark, and it’s no longer a contest between video cards. It’s a contest over the better way to cheat. Is it cheating the benchmark or is it paying big money to those who make it.

When we get tired of that, then we can play “Which is cheating more, the video card or the motherboard?”

The mobo stuff gets us pretty enraged by that because that sort of motherboard cheating is our job, and when the equipment we buy doesn’t let us cheat enough, or burns out due to our cheating, why, we’ve been ripped off, so we RMA them off right back.

I strongly suspect one of these days, we’re going to find out some reseller have been saying, “They RMAed us off? Well, two can play that game. Get the shrink-wrap machine!” then sends them right back out again. Then we’ll see the RMAers say how evil those resellers are.

Besides, we need to cheat to get all the firepower we can get to process all the spam in our email boxes. Not to mention the DVDs we’re copying and the MP3s we’re “sharing,” to thwart the evil, greedy creators of such. Or the game cheats we use to thwart the evil, greedy game players who are better than us and cheat us out of winning.

Devo was right. We’re all devolved.

It’s All The Same Thing

This is what you get when people determine their own “morality.” The “me” drowns out the “we.”

Of course, we can’t face up to “me” being a scumbag, or being accountable for scumbag actions, so we turn ourselves into victims, and make it a case of Us vs. Them.

This can lead you down some very strange paths, like “our automated overclocking is so good, we’re not even going to tell you about it.”

Or “we’re not thieves or cheaters, we’re Robin Hoods correcting injustices, whether it be expensive entertainment or biased benchmarks. We’re really heroes, just don’t try to find out who we are.”

And when the cover is blown, what’s the response? There’s nothing wrong in doing anything wrong these days, what’s wrong is admitting to it. Honesty is now a fault.

Ironically, we make a curious distinction between action and consequence, a handy division of labor. We want to do something, but when we get caught, blame that or them, not us.

Shame, Where Are You?

Of course, people being scumbags is nothing new. There were probably sleazy Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals and maybe even paramecium.

Nor is ducking blame. In the Garden of Eden, what did Adam do when he got caught? He ran. Then he blamed Eve. 🙂

What is fairly new now is that we’ve seemed to have abolished shame and accountability as governing forces in our society. These are no longer general judgments, but political arguments.

We have no consensus on what is low any more. No matter what the action these days, some will defend or at least excuse it. Nothing is any one’s fault any more, not even the faulters.

No matter what the action, we first check to see if the miscreant is somehow on “our side,” then we react accordingly.

Given that, it is very hard to convince someone who is going to be a hard case anyway to realize, “Hey, I did this, and what I did was wrong.”

When you don’t hold people accountable for their actions, and punish them where it hurts, or even say anything to them about it, regardless of whether they’re on “our side” or not, we will just get more and more of the same.

If half the people who own the type of product these characters make wrote them and said, “Hey, you were real scumbags doing what you did. I’m not going to buy anything from dishonest people like you until you straighten up,” you’d see a real change.

On the individual level, you can do much the same when people boast of such activities.

But you have to make dishonesty pay. So long as dishonesty is profitable, and honesty isn’t, guess what you’ll get.

If you don’t make honesty a “feature” just as important as a pixel shader or USB 2.0 ports in your buying decisions, you won’t get it.


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