So I have this new policy of posting email that threatens violence with full identifying information. I may have to retract that, since it looks like it’s getting abused. The idea was that I would have a public record of the threat, and that the smart people commenting here would be able to do a little sleuthing for me.
It is most definitely not intended to incite harassment. I do not want you to be dunning these people with email, threatening them back, signing them up for spam, or otherwise being a jerk. For one thing, we can’t be certain that an innocent’s account hasn’t been hijacked; for another, we’re supposed to be better than that. With the size of the readership here, any reaction by you is likely to be repeated a thousand-fold and turned into an over-reaction. I welcome any suggestions from you all but let me take care of any writing back.
I’m going to have to rethink my policy, which is unfortunate. Exposing roaches to the light is usually a good way to get them to scuttle away, but it’s not so good if people use it as an opportunity to swing sledgehammers in the kitchen to squash them.
John Morales says
Jet, you would’ve had a point a couple of days ago.
All you’ve raised has already been discussed extensively.
Events have progressed since then.
Try to keep up, will ya? ;)
PZ originally posted the emails as a matter of record. Presumably he did this as a contingency for the unlikely, yet possible, situation that one of the threats was taken further somehow. To achieve this in future, I suggest he save the email(s) to a file then run some kind of hashing program on the file, e.g. md5sum . He could then post the sequence of letters and numbers that is output along with the email text with the headers removed.
Jet, you are wrong. IPs cannot be arbitrarily spoofed without hacking a router or the machine delivered to, except on a local network. Even then, you need to hijack the gateway’s IP somehow, e.g. spoof traffic from it, and just using a switch would prevent this. I guess you could spoof the gateway’s mac address, but I’m pretty sure a switch would just ignore you.
As for Wikipedia, perhaps both conventional usage and pedantry can be satisfied by writing it Wiki’ ?
truth machine, OM says
I suggest he save the email(s) to a file then run some kind of hashing program on the file, e.g. md5sum . He could then post the sequence of letters and numbers that is output along with the email text with the headers removed.
That wouldn’t achieve anything; you can’t recreate the email from the message digest. Producing the message digest is redundant with producing the original message, which he would have to do eventually.
truth machine, OM says
Have Mr Cook send the cracker back, with his apologies.
He returned the cracker, with apologies, shortly after he took it, ignoramus.
I’ve tried to show we’re not all evil by setting up this goodwill petition:
If you’re interested, please sign.
Richard Lentini says
I guess I didn’t think ahead either. I would have thought that nearly all readers of this blog would react in a mature fashion and NOT act like “jerks” by responding to the “crazies” in like manner. I am a fan of PZ, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens and would have expected better from readers of this blog.
Too bad we couldn’t measure the ratio of jerks on both sides. That is, the ratio of those who are fans of PZ yet have “jerk” tendencies, and those religious fundamentalists who react as “crazies”. Hopefully, there would be a significant difference. But could that be a mistake also?
Melanie Kroll has posted an online defence of her husband’s actions. Or rather, a pathetic excuse for them.
It appears that Melanie Kroll believes that Chuck is ‘just an excitable boy’, and not some kind of fanatical nutcase. However, she admits that Chuck regularly goes into violent rages towards anyone who disagrees with his political or religious views. From what Melanie has written, it appears that Chuck IS an unstable fanatic who experiences regular violent outbursts, and amazingly, this doesn’t seem to worry her in the slightest.
Melanie Kroll wrote:
“First off, it is amazing at all the speculation out there. Number one, i will not be leaving my husband due to this mistake. Number two he is not a crazy lunatic, but a very passionate man when it comes to his party and his religion. He’s a great person, great father and yes feels absolutely horrible about what has happened to me. As his wife, am i worried about any threats.. no i am not as i know it was just a rage via email. Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not…My husband went on to the drudge report site that he reads and clicked on a link and came across that man pz’s notice and responded as he always does when he is upset. Everyone has their opinions but the things that have been posted about my company and myself are herrendous (sic) and quite frankly is making me physically ill. Please enough with the harsh comments about me, my husband and my former employer. ”
I’m afraid that any sympathy I might have once had for Melanie’s predicament, has evaporated since reading her claim that Chuck’s e-mail did not constitute either extortion or a death threat against PZ Myers (either resign from your job, or die). If Melanie believes that any person could survive having his ‘brains bashed in’ for not resigning from his job, then she is just as delusional as her husband.
Here is what Melanie is defending:
Subject: your short life
Date: July 13, 2008 8:07:31 AM CDT
Subject:your short life
“well sir, you don’t get to blaspheme and walk away from this. You have two choices my fucked up friend, first you can quit your job for the good of the children. Or you can get your brains beat in. I give you till the first of the month, get that resignation in cunt.”
I’m not at all surprised that 1800FLOWERS.com wants to dissasociate themselves from such lunacy.
Yep. The numbers are clearly exactly identical, unfortunately. Belief or non-belief in a deity is no indication of stupidity, maturity, etcetera, which are evenly distributed in any population.
It’s been a recurring and interesting phenomenon, for me, to see the “fans” of Myers and Dawkins who have misunderstood the words of the people they claim to admire or idolize, and yet they try to follow these words in an utterly religious way… it’s disturbing… since I’m the last person on earth who would EVER construct (fallaciously) an argument against something Myers or Dawkins has said or written by arguing that they are encouraging “fundamentalism” amongst atheists, and attempt to back that up by saying “just look at some of the comments in the blogs.”… that would be stupid, but unfortunately the average person DOES think like that… and will hold it against atheism in general that some “fans” of atheists happen to be just as rude, immature, and stupid as the rude, immature, and stupid theists we love to criticize.
It really is unfortunate that as a matter of principle and logic, atheism’s being true is protected from this stupidity, but atheism’s being accepted and treated fairly in the world is tied directly to such stupidity. (A Catch-22 if I’ve ever seen one).
Torbjörn Larsson, OMa says
Life intervened, but finally returning to old threads FWIW:
Have you heard of scripts? You can get one to automagically post on a blog.