Had a bit of an internet argument with someone who was genuinely saying EU cookie laws were a problem because they impose technical and legal hurdles on covertly gathering user data. As opposed to, you know, just not doing that.

But the thing standing out was that their way of conducting themselves was this chest thumping repetition of a position in lieu of any argument.

That reminds me of a time in my younger years when I observed that people behaving like that get heard, so I thought maybe..

... I ought to emulate that behaviour. And I did for a bit, and may occasionally still slip into it.

Which turns this into a reminder to myself and anyone else that, no, let's not be like that. It's frustrating when this kind of behaviour gets attention, but the solution isn't to follow suit.

You can apply Mark Twain's rule, to "never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

They're not really idiots, but the rest applies well enough.

@jens I grok that.

My father got angry if someone disagreed with him, so my family were in the habit of not arguing. Which did avoid all the trauma of flaming rows, but also meant I internalised the idea that if you got angry people did what you wanted.

I realised it wasn't a positive method of achieving goals decades ago, but if I encounter a problem that isn't succumbing to debate I still feel fury bubbling up.

@jens The notion of "why not just stop being psychopaths?" never seems to cross the minds of techbrodudes in the USA. They seem to feel they have the *right* to make (literally) racist software that increasingly impacts every facet of our existence without anything holding them back beyond shareholders.

I used to, in my stupid youth, think computers were a future force for good. How wrong I was.

@zdl it's not the computers, though, it's the people who use them. You can use a pitchfork to shovel shit, which is useful, or to form a mob, which... Ok, OK, stupid analogy. You get the idea.

I'm far more impressed with the level of stockholm syndrome that would prompt someone to literally defend predatory business practices over customer protections.

@jens I suspect it is a combination of the two in a death spiral.

Yes, the consumers have been well-trained to accept bullshit and this disgusts me.

But, too, if you talk to enough "hackers" (as they love to call themselves) you get an overweening sense of entitlement from them. They feel *entitled* to attach a vacuum cleaner to your personal data so they can ruin your life and society.

@jens There's also this sense of what I like to call "the psychopath's creed": It's only business.

Want to ruin people's lives? Want it to be socially acceptable? Say it's for business and you get a pass. State surveillance is wrong. Corporate surveillance a hundred times as oppressive and omnipresent is fine. That kind of thing.

The CIA *wishes* it could gather information about people as well as fucking Facebook.

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